Medicare to Expand Competitive Bidding Program

CMS has announced it will pilot its competitive bidding program for durable medical equipment in 91 additional major metropolitan areas after its initial one-year pilot in nine cities saved the program approximately $202.1 million with no negative health impacts on hospitalizations and other metrics.

CMS' competitive bidding program for DME aims to lower costs by requiring suppliers to bid for Medicare Part B contracts. Seniors could save an average of 45 percent on certain equipment, totaling as much as $17.1 billion in savings to beneficiaries and $25.7 billion to the Medicare Part B trust fund over the next 10 years.

The expansion will begin July 1 and will monitor beneficiaries' health outcomes to determine whether there is a negative impact from the bidding program. CMS said more than half of the winning suppliers will be small businesses.

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