First-Round NCB Pricing Shows Cuts Across the Board

By definition, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services' (CMS) national competitive bidding (NCB) program seeks to save the agency money by paying less for certain types of high-demand DME in areas of the country that have a high volume of Medicare claims. But it wasn't until pricing was announced for the 10 product categories in the first 10 competitive bidding areas that both suppliers and beneficiaries saw how deep those cuts would be.

In March, CMS announced the single payment amounts, defined as "the amounts that Medicare will pay for the 10 product categories included in round one of the DMEPOS Competitive Bidding Program," according to an accompanying news statement.

Overall, CMS said, Medicare would pay "26 percent less than Medicare's previous payment amounts." CMS said national savings per category would range from 14 percent for negative pressure wound therapy to about 15 percent for complex rehab, 29 percent on CPAP equipment and 43 percent on mail-order diabetic supplies.

To download the single payment amounts for products in each category and each competitive bidding area, click HERE.

Competitive bidding went into effect on July 1 in the first 10 competitive bidding areas.

The product categories currently affected are complex rehab power mobility; CPAP equipment; diabetic supplies (mail order); enteral nutrition products; hospital beds; negative pressure wound therapy equipment; oxygen equipment; standard power mobility; support surfaces; and walkers.

Check back for more information on single-payment amounts and category analysis updates.

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