Medicare Expected to Save $28B With Expanded Competitive Bidding Program

CMS will be expanding its competitive bidding program, estimating it will save $28 billion over 10 years on durable medical equipment, according to a CMS release.

First implemented on Jan. 1, 2011, the competitive bidding program uses competitions between suppliers of medical equipment, prosthetics, orthotics and other supplies to set lower payment rates. The first round of competitive bidding saved 35 percent compared with the fee schedule, and 51 percent of the contracts were awarded to small businesses, the release said.

This second phase of the program will begin in the fall, and new prices will be in effect on July 1, 2013. The expanded categories of products include the following:

•    Oxygen, oxygen equipment and supplies.
•    Standard wheelchairs, scooters, walkers and related accessories.
•    Enteral nutrients, equipment and supplies.
•    Continuous positive airway pressure devices and respiratory assist devices with related accessories.
•    Hospital beds and related accessories.
•    Negative pressure wound therapy pumps and related supplies and accessories.
•    Support surfaces.

Related Articles on Medicare Costs:

Medicare Revenues Rising at Slowest Rate Since 2005
OIG: Medicaid Overall Pays Lower Than Medicare for Drugs
Some Low-Income Medicare Beneficiaries Could Qualify for $2.50 Generic Drugs

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