Medicare DME grew by 20% in 2002

Sunday, April 13, 2003

April 14, 2003

WASHINGTON - Medicare spending for durable medical equipment surged by 20% last year to $6.5 billion, according to data gathered by CMS’s Office of Actuary. In March, the Medicare Board of Trustees submitted its annual financial report to Congress.

The 20% growth clip ranks DME as the second fastest growing sector of the Medicare program, after hospice which grew by 24%, and more than doubled CMS growth in last year’s report. In 2002, Medicare’s actuaries had projected that DME expenditures would rise by only 9%.

The four fastest growing product categories last year were: power wheelchairs, DME drugs, blood glucose testing and home oxygen.

Growth in those product categories doesn’t surprise Asela Cuervo, senior vice president of government relations at AAHomecare.

“ If you look at the disease groups that fall into these categories, they’re in the news everyday,” said Cuervo.

For more on this issue, see the May issue of HME News.