KQED: Bidding for Medicare Contracts

KQED's Health Dialogues featured The Center's story on a new Medicare program that will slash prices on certain wheelchairs, oxygen concentrators and other medical devices. Multimedia reporter Lauren Whaley joined senior writer Deborah Schoch as well as reporters from the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin and the San Bernardino Sun.

The long-awaited list of the 70 winning bidders offers local Medicare recipients their first glimpse of what firms will now be supplying them, since the program went into effect on January first.

This program has rolled out in nine regions across the country, including one in San Bernardino and Riverside counties. The plan is to spread the competitive bidding program to 91 other regions across the country by the end of 2014. And, once the new prices reach the full 100 regions, most of the people in the U.S. Will be covered. After that, Medicare will use the rates bid in the 100 areas to set rates for the remaining rural parts of the country.

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Medicare announces winning suppliers

Signaling a massive effort to cut Medicare costs, Medicare officials on Wednesday issued the names of nearly 70 companies selected to provide medical equipment throughout the Inland Empire.

Medicare Contact Information

Looking for more information? Medicare can be contacted at 1-800-MEDICARE or online at www.medicare.gov

Agency gets word out on Medicare's new competitive bidding program to ease seniors' concerns

Among those spreading the word about Medicare's new competitive bidding program is the Riverside-based nonprofit Inland Agency.
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Lauren M. Whaley

Freelance journalist Lauren M. Whaley is a photographer, radio producer and print reporter specializing in topics related to mental illness, reproductive health care and health disparities. She is also a childbirth photographer.This year, She is working on a series about how low-income parents access care for perinatal mental illnesses. The project is funded in part by the Rosalynn Carter Fellowships for Mental Health Journalism.She was a 2016-17 Knight Science Journalism Fellow at the Massachusetts Institute for Technology.Her work has been recognized by the Association of Health Care Journalists, the Scripps Howard Foundation and the Public Radio Exchange (PRX) STEM story project. She has contributed radio, video, photography and written stories to KQED Public Radio, Southern California Public Radio, the San Jose Mercury News, the New York Times and other media outlets. For six years, she worked as the Center for Health Reporting's multimedia journalist. She is a past president of the national organizationJournalism and Women Symposium (JAWS) and spent her early 20s leading canoe expeditions for young women, including a solo-led 45-trip in the Canadian Arctic. She is based in Los Angeles.

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