>> CMS recently announced that a 60-day supplier bidding period for the Round One Rebid of the Medicare Competitive Bidding Program for durable medical equipment, prosthetics, orthotics, and supplies will begin at the end of October. (Source)
CMS’s Jonathan Blum said, “Competitive bidding is an essential tool to help Medicare pay appropriately for health careâ€”important not only to maintain Medicare beneficiaries’ access to high quality medical items and services, but also to lower the cost of medical care for all. We are committed to ensuring that suppliers have up-to-date information and guidance so they may submit bids to furnish high quality, affordable medical items and services under the competitive bidding program.”
>> CMS announced that most Medicare Part D enrollees won’t see significant premium changes next year, but those who receive low-income subsides to pay for premiums will need to enroll in a new plan to stay in a zero-premium plan. The subsidy amount will not cover the cost of the premium. (Source)
>> CMS announced that its demonstrations “continue to provide strong evidence that offering financial incentives for improving or delivering high quality care increases quality and can reduce the growth in Medicare expenditures.” (Source)
Searching for ways to keep costs down while improving care, CMS says it will develop new ways to meet the goal. The value-based purchasing initiative, for example, ties payments to performance. CMS adds that doctors in the Hospital Quality Incentive Demonstration show improvement in quality of care for patients with chronic illnesses or who need preventive care.
Nursing homes and hospitals also participate in such demonstrations.