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Changes Coming To Medicare: Competitive DME Bidding

Attention Medicare recipients!  Beginning this summer, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services will be phasing in a new system that will make getting medical equipment, easier, for both you and your wallet.
For years, Medicare and its beneficiaries have been paying too much for durable medical equipment, prosthetics, orthotics, and supplies (DMEPOS). To reduce costs and the fraud resulting from excessive prices, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) introduced a competitive bidding program in nine areas of the country in 2011. People with Original Medicare who live in competitive bidding areas – or CBAs – will pay less for certain DMEPOS items and services such as wheelchairs, oxygen, mail order diabetic supplies, and more. Competitive bidding for DMEPOS is proven to save money for taxpayers and people with Medicare while maintaining access to quality DMEPOS items.

Round 1 of the program has already been hugely successful, reducing money spent for equipment included in the program by more than 42 percent in its first year of operation. Now the program’s benefits are coming to you, and there is some important information you need to know.

Round 2 of the program is scheduled to begin on July 1, 2013, and expands to 91 new areas across the country, including Hunterdon, Middlesex, Monmouth, Ocean, Somerset and Union Counties in Central and Northern New Jersey. It is projected to save people with Medicare in these areas an average of 40 to 65 percent depending on the type of DMEPOS items. Medicare will also be implementing a national mail-order program for diabetic testing supplies at the same time as Round 2, and beneficiaries nationwide will save an average of 72 percent on these supplies.

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