Competition Cuts Medicare Fraud
Government officials said a one-year pilot program with competitive bidding has resulted in a whopping $200 million in savings for Medicare. The bids were for power wheelchairs, diabetic supplies, and other personal medical equipment. According to MedPage Today, the government now plans to expand the program from the original nine cities to 100, and the goal is to have the entire country participate eventually.
Medicare officials say the program is aimed at ending the waste and fraud that has plagued the program in the past.
"What we see is that costs are lower and there is no impact on the health status of our beneficiaries," said Jonathan Blum, deputy administrator for Medicare. "This gives us very strong confidence that we can expand the program. To us, this is a clear success."
On the other hands, the home-care supply industry questioned that conclusion, saying that hundreds of economists have concluded that Medicare's competitive bidding model is flawed and could lead to shortages or cut-rate equipment. However, MedPage Today's reports that Medicare said it "closely monitored the health of beneficiaries likely to use home equipment in the nine areas involved with the competitive bidding experiment" and that it "found no significant differences" with other areas.