The second phase of a competitive-bidding program for certain Medicare durable medical equipment will launch on July 1, 2013, and expand the types of equipment included and the geographic areas where it is required.
CMS expanding competitive-bidding program
The CMS program—expanded by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act—aims to use supplier bids to set lower payment rates for certain medical equipment and supplies than the Medicare fee schedule.
The CMS will expand the cost-saving initiative to 100 metropolitan areas from the nine geographic areas where it launched in January.
The expanded program will apply to eight equipment categories, including oxygen supplies, walkers and some types of power wheelchairs.
It will save Medicare a projected $28 billion over 10 years, according to the CMS.
“Today marks another step forward in our progress toward obtaining fair prices for equipment like wheelchairs and walkers,” Dr. Donald Berwick, administrator of the CMS, said in a news release. “We are looking forward to a robust competition that will achieve better value and preserve access for our beneficiaries.”
Bidding registration will begin Dec. 5, according to the release, and the 60-day supplier bidding period will begin in January 2012.
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