CMS Announces New Medicare DME Pricing, Aims For Expansion

New prices for durable medical equipment looks to save billions for both Medicare and its beneficiaries over the next decade, announced the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) on Wednesday.

Between 2013 and 2022, the CMS Office of the Actuary estimates Medicare will save $25.7 billion for its Part B Trust Fund, and $17.1 billion for beneficiaries. 

Scheduled to take effect this July, the new, lower price changes are an expansion of the Medical Durable Equipment, Prosthetics, Orthotics, and Supplies (DMEPOS) Competitive Bidding Program.

“This program has already saved millions for taxpayers and beneficiaries while maintaining access to care,” said CMS Acting Administrator Marilyn Tavenner. “We look forward to building on this success by serving more beneficiaries, increasing savings and helping to ensure the long-term sustainability of Medicare.”

Currently operating in nine areas, competitive bidding saved Medicare $202.1 million in its first year, but now the program sets it sights toward a mass expansion to 91 metropolitan areas.

In these areas, CMS estimates beneficiaries will save an average 45% for certain DMEPOS items once the price changes take effect July 1, 2013.

“We will continue to monitor the program closely as it expands to ensure the same success we saw in the program last year, with beneficiaries continuing to have access to all the services they need, while paying a much lower price,” said Jonathan Blum, deputy CMS administrator and director of CMS’s Center for Medicare.

Written by Jason Oliva

Jason Oliva