Medical equipment makers and distributors are lashing back at Medicare managers’ efforts to hold down Medicare skilled nursing facility supply costs.
Nursing facility suppliers are lobbying to keep the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) from expanding the Medicare Durable Medical Equipment, Prosthetics, Orthotics and Supplies (DMEPOS) Competitive Bidding Program July 1.
CMS has been testing the program in nine markets, and it says the program helped it cut prices for the products purchased by an average of 45 percent. CMS wants to start using the same approach to purchasing in 91 markets.
Equipment suppliers are arguing that expansion of the new Medicare bidding program will be devastating for the suppliers and may lead to supply shortages for patient.
The competitive bidding program came up today at a hearing on Medicare post-acute care payments organized by the House Ways and Means health subcommittee.
Rep. Adrian Smith, R-Neb., questioned whether reports of average savings of 40 percent or more are realistic.
“You’ve got to make sure these are legitimate bids,” Smith said. “I just don’t know you cut someone 40 percent.”