OIG pushes monthly rentals for all PMDs

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Tuesday, May 23, 2017

WASHINGTON – Medicare could save millions if it sought legislation to shift from a lump-sum purchase option to a monthly rental payment for all power mobility devices, according to a report from the Office of Inspector General (OIG) published in May. In January 2011, Medicare eliminated the lump-sum purchase option for standard power wheelchairs, a move that saved $86 million from 2011 to 2014, according to the OIG. If legislation were in place to also eliminate this option for scooters and complex power wheelchairs—what the OIG calls “nonstandard PMDs”—Medicare would have saved an additional $10.2 million from 2011 to 2014, according to the report. The OIG conducted an audit that covered Medicare payments totaling $264,376,368 for PMDs obtained by 85,761 beneficiaries choosing the lump-sum purchase option during 2011through 2014. The PMDs were new and used nonstandard devices provided to Medicare beneficiaries during the four-year period. The agency calculated the potential savings to the Medicare program by comparing the lump-sum purchase to what the rental payments would have been over a 13-month rental period.