Kazynski and Filippis Named to Competitive Bidding Committee

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The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced September 24 the names of 21 nominees who were selected as members of the Competitive Bidding Program Advisory Oversight Committee (PAOC).

The Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement and Modernization Act of 2003 (MMA) required the Secretary of Health & Human Services (HHS) to replace the current Durable Medical Equipment (DME) payment methodology (fee schedule method) for certain items with a competitive acquisition process, with the intent to improve the effectiveness of Medicare's methodology for setting DME payment amounts.

This new bidding process will establish payment for certain durable medical equipment, enteral nutrition, and off-the-shelf orthoses. The PAOC will provide advice on the development and implementation of the Competitive Acquisition Program.

Seven O&P organizations initially nominated representatives to the panel; however, the professional organizations recognized the broad scope of expertise needed on this panel, and that the profuse nominations, (170-plus) could result in inadequate or nonexistent representation for the O&P profession. Eventually a coalition of O&P groups, including the National Association for the Advancement of Orthotics & Prosthetics (NAAOP), the American Academy of Orthotists & Prosthetists, the National Commission on Orthotic & Prosthetic Education (NCOPE), the American Board for Certification in Orthotics & Prosthetics (ABC), the Board for Orthotist/Prosthetist Certification (BOC), POINT Health Centers of America, and Hanger Prosthetics & Orthotics, consolidated nominations to endorse two consensus candidates: Terry Supan, CPO, FAAOP, and Al Kritter, CPO, FAAOP, neither of whom were selected by CMS as PAOC members. AOPA maintained its separate nomination of two candidates: A.J. Filippis, CPO, and Charles Dankmeyer, CPO. VGM, parent company of OPGA, also nominated Dave Kazynski, president of Homelink/contracting division.

Kazynski and Filippis, who is president of Wright & Filippis and a practicing prosthetist/orthotist, were both selected as PAOC members.

The advisory committee membership was expanded from 15 to 21 members to represent a broad range of stakeholders in the outcome of the competitive bidding process: beneficiary/consumer, physician/provider, manufacturer, supplier, certification/standards, and federal and state programs. This committee's purpose is to ensure that CMS maintains an open communication process during the implementation of this new program. Specifically, the committee will be advising CMS on implementation of competitive bidding, beneficiary access issues, appropriate educational strategies, and financial and quality standards for suppliers under the program.

The committee held its first meeting on October 6 at CMS headquarters in Baltimore. Committee meetings are open to the public but oral comments by non-committee members are not permitted. The committee will meet periodically until the end of 2009.

Competitive Bidding Program Advisory and Oversight Committee Membership Roster

1. Cara Bachenheimer - vice president of Government Relations, Invacare Corporation.

2. Robert Baum - program manager for the Prosthetic and Sensory Aids Service, Strategic Healthcare Group, Veterans Health Administration (VA) Central office, Washington, DC.

3. Mary Benhardus - founder and controlling owner, Handi Medical Supply Inc.

4. Henry Claypool - expert adviser to Social Security Administration's deputy commissioner to advise on Interim Medical Benefits

5. Asela Cuervo - senior vice president, American Association for Homecare.

6. David Gray - associate professor of neurology and associate professor of occupational therapy, Washington University School of Medicine.

7. Don Hawley, DDS - program director, Utah Department of Health, Division of Utah Health Care Financing.

8. Lawrence Higby - president and CFO, Apria Healthcare.

9. Rita Hostak - vice president, Home Healthcare Group of Sunrise Medical Inc.

10. Dave Kazynski - president, Van G. Miller & Associates's HOMELINK division.

11. Anthony Filippis, CPO - president and CEO, Wright & Filippis, practicing certified prosthetist/orthotist.

12. Alan McMullen - cost reimbursement analyst, Medical Assistance Administration, Department of Social & Health Services, State of Washington.

13. Jean Minkel - founder and president, Minkel Consulting. Specializes in assistive technology.

14. William Popomaronis - vice president, Long-Term/Home Health Care Pharmacy Services, The National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA).

15. Maryanne Popovich - executive director, Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO).

16. John Prassas - director, Corporate Provider Development & Contracting, PacifiCare Health Plans.

17. Chris Reisdorf - manager, Benefit Policy Unit Minnesota Health Care Programs Medical Assistance, General Assistance Medical Care, and Minnesota Care programs.

18. David Van Sleet - VISN 1 prosthetics manager, Department of Veterans Affairs, New England Healthcare System.

19. Ken Viste, MD - medical director, Physical Rehabilitation Unit, Mercy Medical Center, and staff physician, St. Agnes Hospital.

20. Don Vliegenthart, MD - medical director, Hoveround Corporation.

21. Daniel Waldmann - director of federal affairs, Johnson & Johnson Inc.