Diabetes organizations want bid program stopped

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

TAMPA, Fla. – The Diabetes Patient Advocacy Coalition has launched a campaign calling for the immediate suspension of competitive bidding for diabetes testing supplies.

DPAC has created the Suspend Bidding Action Center (www.diabetespac.org/suspendbidding) for site visitors to learn more about the issue, and help them to email their lawmakers and tweet members of Congress using the hashtag #SuspendBidding.

"It is outrageous that CMS continues to ignore the data and the pleas of Medicare beneficiaries across the nation," said Bennet Dunlap, co-founder of DPAC. "It is past time for members of Congress to exercise their oversight responsibilities and suspend this program immediately."

CMS on March 15 announced single payment amounts for the Round 2 re-compete of competitive bidding, as well as the national mail-order program for diabetes supplies. The new payment amount for test strips is $8.32 per box compared to $10.41 per box for the original Round 2.

Although CMS says there has been no disruption in access to diabetes supplies as a result of these payment reductions, a study by the National Minority Quality Forum, first presented in June and recently published in the journal Diabetes Care, found not only decreased access, but also increased hospitalizations and deaths in test markets.

DPAC joins a number of organizations calling for a suspension of the program, including the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE), the American Association of Diabetes Educators (AADE) and the National Diabetes Volunteer Leadership Council (NDVLC).

DPAC is a non-profit advocacy group for diabetes patients that launched in 2015.