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Medicare Beneficiaries To Save On Some Medical Equipment And Supplies

medical-equipment-and-supplies: Medical Equipment And SuppliesOn July 1, 2010, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that Medicare Beneficiaries in 9 Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSA) in the United States will see savings of up to 32 percent on certain durable medical equipment, prosthetics, orthotics and supplies. This is possible through the first round of Medicare's new Competitive Bidding Program. CMS Deputy Administrator and Director for the Center for Medicare Jonathan Blum predicted that this program would also help reduce Medicare fraud and save the Medicare program $17 billion over the next ten years.

The 9 MSAs of the United States that will be able to take advantage of the savings are: Charlotte - Gastonia - Concord (North Carolina and South Carolina) Cincinnati - Middletown (Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana) Cleveland - Elyria - Mentor (Ohio) Dallas - Fort Worth - Arlington (Texas) Kansas City (Missouri and Kansas) Miami - Fort Lauderdale - Pompano Beach (Florida) Orlando - Kissimmee (Florida) Pittsburgh (Pennsylvania) Riverside - San Bernardino - Ontario (California)

The savings to Medicare beneficiaries in the 9 areas can expect to see savings beginning on New Years Day, 2011 for the following commonly used durable medical equipment, prosthetics, orthotics and supplies: Oxygen, Oxygen Equipment, and Supplies Standard Power Wheelchairs, Scooters, and Related Accessories Complex Rehabilitative Power Wheelchairs and Related Accessories (Group 2 only) Mail-Order Diabetic Supplies Enteral Nutrients, Equipment and Supplies Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) Devices, Respiratory Assist Devices (RADs), and Related Supplies and Accessories Hospital Beds and Related Accessories Walkers and Related Accessories Support Surfaces (Group 2 mattresses and overlays in Miami-Ft. Lauderdale- Pompano Beach, FL only)

Medicare has begun mailing contract offers to supply companies that won the first round of bid review. Should a company decide not to accept the contract, Medicare will then offer contracts to other bidders to meet beneficiary demand. Any company that was not awarded a contract will be notified of the reasons for non-qualification and be offered a chance to bid again in Round Two, which will occur in 2011.

The Competitive Bidding Program for durable medical equipment, prosthetics, orthotics and supplies was established as a part of the Medicare Prescription Drug Improvement and Modernization Act of 2003 (MMA), signed into law by the President George W. Bush. Medicare briefly enacted this program in 2008 in 10 areas, but had to terminate the program on July 15, 2008 due to the passage of the Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act (MIPPA) of 2008 by Congress overriding the presidential veto. MIPPA delayed and made changes to the Competitive Bidding Program. The new law also required CMS to conduct the competition for the Round One Rebid in 2009 and thus delayed competition for Round Two in 70 additional MSAs until 2011, with additional areas being delayed beyond 2011. However, the Affordable Care Act of 2010 expanded the Round Two of the Competitive Bidding Program from 70 MSAs to 91.

For more information on the Competitive Bidding Program, please visit: http://www.cms.hhs.gov/DMEPOSCompetitiveBid/ or call 1-800-Medicare.

By David Alan Lucas - David Alan Lucas has worked in the health care industry for over 20 years and has been a Compliance Manager for a Fortune 500 Health Insurance Company since 2001. He is also currently serving as a Board M...  





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