Regulators clash with suppliers over effectiveness of competitive bidding program for durable medical equipment

Share this article:

Federal officials maintain that its competitive bidding program for durable medical equipment is operating successfully, but some industry suppliers disagree.

Officials from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services testified Wednesday to the House Ways and Means Health Subcommittee that they are satisfied with Round 1 of the bidding program. Laurence D. Wilson, director of CMS's chronic care policy group, told the committee that CMS estimates that the program saved Medicare $202.1 million, or a 42% reduction from the fee schedule in its first year of operation.

Government Accountability Office investigators determined that while it's too early to identify how the program affects beneficiaries, CMS's “ongoing monitoring activities generally indicate that beneficiary DME access and satisfaction have not been affected,” according to a GAO report released Wednesday.

But some suppliers and long-term care advocates have criticized the program, saying that there will be less suppliers for more beneficiaries in the long run, and that the system forces long-term care facilities to accept the lowest bids.

However, at least one supplier testified that CMS has done a good job including small and medium-size suppliers, and that he expects volume to increase.

Click here for the GAO report, and here for more on the House hearing.

Share this article:

More in News

Antipsychotics reduction goal raised to 30% by end of 2016, CMS and provider groups announce

Antipsychotics reduction goal raised to 30% by end ...

Long-term care providers are being asked to reduce the use of antipsychotic medications among residents by 25% by the end of 2015, and 30% by the end of 2016. Providers ...

CDC issues new guidelines on pneumococcal vaccine, says LTC flu vaccination rates remain low

CDC issues new guidelines on pneumococcal vaccine, says ...

Long-term care workers continued to have low rates of flu vaccination last season, despite there being 92% vaccination coverage overall among physicians and nurses, the Centers for Disease Control and ...

AL operators accused of withholding $2M in unpaid overtime, minimum wages ...

Four California assisted living operators are facing eight felony charges related to wage theft, tax and insurance violations, according to local reports.