Editor’s Note: The complete report, “Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Competitive Bidding Program: Assessment of Impact on Beneficiary Acquisition of Diabetes -Testing Supplies and Durable Medical Equipment, Prosthetics, Orthotics and Supplies-Associated Health Outcomes” may be found here. Below is an excerpt.
Regardless of CMS’s motives and rationale for their inadequate monitoring program, findings from Puckrein et al. clearly show a significant disruption in acquisition of diabetes-testing supplies among beneficiaries who require these products for the safe and effective management of their disease. This disruption prompted a large percentage of beneficiaries to reduce or cease acquisition of diabetes-testing supplies. This behavior that was linked to increased mortality, hospitalizations, and associated costs.
It is reasonable to conclude that disruption of acquisition and subsequent adverse health outcomes likely occurred among beneficiaries who purchased the other CBP-covered DMEPOS; however, no formal analyses of the impact of the CBP within these populations have been reported.
Because adverse health consequences have been detected and can be associated with the [DMEPOS Competitive Bidding Program] CBP among patients with diabetes, nationwide implementation of the CBP should be suspended immediately, the impact of reduced access to patients dependent on other program products evaluated, transparent science-based methodologies should be adopted, and the ability of beneficiaries to seek redress should be clarified by amending the immunity and waiver provisions that compromise current beneficiary protections in the Medicare program.