Medicare Expands Competitive Bidding Program
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services says this approach, which is geared toward durable medical equipment, will save billions of dollars and could become a model for other efforts to cut costs.
The Hill: Medicare Says Competitive Pricing Will Save $28B
Medicare is dramatically expanding a program that it says will save billions of dollars and serve as a model for other cost-cutting efforts. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) on Friday announced the second round of a program that uses competitive bidding to set prices for certain medical products. Medicare now uses competitive bidding in nine cities and will expand to 91 areas, according to the Friday announcement. In its first six months, the nine-city competitive bidding program has saved roughly $130 million, CMS officials said. The agency expects to save $28 billion over the next 10 years, roughly a third of which would be savings to patients (Baker, 8/19).
Modern Healthcare: CMS Expanding DME Competitive-Bidding Program
The CMS said it is expanding its competitive-bidding program for durable medical equipment to include eight new categories, including wheelchairs, hospital beds, and oxygen equipment and supplies. The second round of the Medicare Durable Medical Equipment, Prosthetics, Orthotics, and Supplies Competitive Bidding Program will be conducted in 91 metropolitan areas, according to a CMS news release. The new prices are expected to go into effect in July 2013 (Lee, 8/19).
CQ Health Beat: CMS Details Dramatic Expansion Of Medicare Bidding Program
Federal officials announced Friday that 91 more metropolitan areas will be added to a controversial bidding program designed to slash Medicare outlays by billions of dollars for wheelchairs, oxygen supplies, and other "durable medical equipment." Officials also said that they will be seeking bids on a national contract to provide mail-order diabetic test supplies to Medicare enrollees. And they will add two more products to the nine product categories now in the DME program: manual wheelchairs and negative pressure wound therapy pumps (Reichard, 8/19).