Council proposes standards for disposables

Friday, August 24, 2012

CHARLESTON, S.C. – With state Medicaid programs on permanent lookout to save money, a group of industry stakeholders has drafted national quality standards for adult incontinence products to ensure beneficiaries still get the best possible care.

“Because of the orientation of states to pay for the lowest unit cost, inferior product is being used by default,” said Nancy Muller, executive director of the National Association for Continence, which formed the council. “We are not looking at this from the point of view that if you just buy a more expensive product everybody will be happy. We are looking at this from a value and performance point of view.”

The council, made up of state agency representatives, technical directors from the four major absorbents manufacturers, and representatives from various trade, clinical and caregiver groups, released its draft recommendations in July. 

At their core, the recommendations include eight specific physical characteristics that, ideally, all products in the category would need to meet for inclusion on Medicaid formularies.

Cheaper products can mean increased healthcare costs associated with poor performance, Muller said, and larger quantities are often needed—at least in states where they haven’t limited quantities.

The recommendations were available for comment at through early September.