Editor’s Note:  To Register to attend the CMS public meeting, click here.   The Federal Register notice with additional information about registering to attend the conference and for submitting oral and written comments to the record, is attached below.  For more information about CMS plans to use its “inherent reasonableness authority” cut payments for diabetic test strips, please see CRE’s DME Competitive Bidding Interactive Public Docket here

CMS Plans July 23 Meeting On Using IR For Diabetic Test Strips

CMS has scheduled a public meeting for July 23 to discuss whether it should use its controversial inherent reasonableness authority to drastically lower Medicare payment to retail pharmacies for diabetic test strips. CMS hasn’t used inherent reasonableness in its current form, a mail-order supplier representative said. In order to use such authority, CMS must follow many procedures, especially when reducing prices by more than 15 percent, which the agency likely wants to do in this case, the industry source said.

The inherent reasonableness policy lets CMS pay similar amounts for certain Medicare Part B services. As Inside Health Policy recently reported, CMS says it may try to invoke the authority because the competitive bidding program for mail-order diabetic supplies resulted in prices that are more than two times lower than those for diabetic supplies sold at retail establishments. Community pharmacists have expected CMS to apply the much lower, competitively bid mail-order prices to testing supplies sold retail ever since the agency announced in April that it is making companies bid again to stay in the first round of the Durable Medical Equipment, Prosthetics, Orthotics, and Supplies Competitive Bidding Program. As part of that rebid announcement, CMS decided against separatingbidding for retail and mail-order diabetic test strips.

The registration deadline for the public meeting is July 16, except for foreign nationals, who must register by July 5. — John Wilkerson

CMS-IR.Meeting.FR_Notice