Though the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services boast beneficiaries will save money under the new competitive bidding system, they are the ones who will suffer in the end, according to providers.
CMS implements Round 2 of its bidding process beginning July 1, where reimbursements for durable medical equipment (DME) will drop on average by 45%, with diabetic testing supplies facing an average 72% rate drop.
“Medicare recipients will be the ones who truly suffer,” says Isaac Newman, COO for MetroStar Home Health Products.
As these cuts will challenge DME providers nationwide to remain in the market, the threat of more companies being eliminated looks to impact beneficiaries’ quality of care as there will be fewer DME suppliers to service beneficiaries.
With fewer businesses participating in the market, there was a significant drop in utilization of DME equipment by Medicare beneficiaries, notes HomeCare Magazine. Because of this, many were forced to change providers.
“Competition amongst companies should increase the service and quality of products, but the CMS competitive bidding system allows for unusually low bidding, which suggests that patients will be receiving a substandard product,” says Newman. “That is completely unacceptable.”
Written by Jason Oliva