OIG adds fifth bid study

Friday, January 9, 2015

WASHINGTON – The Office of Inspector General (OIG) has agreed to investigate the impact of competitive bidding on access to DME.

Back in July, 137 lawmakers, including Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga., asked the OIG to conduct the study.

“We plan to review documents from providers and Medicare claims data for a nationally representative sample of beneficiaries to determine and compare the rates at which beneficiaries successfully obtained needed items subject to competitive bidding,” Inspector General Daniel Levinson wrote to Price. “For a purposive sample of cases when beneficiaries appear not to have received needed items, we plan to explore why they did not receive items.”

The OIG has already reviewed Round 1 of the program and will start work this year to review Round 2. The agency is also conducting a limited scope review in 11 states related to allegations that unlicensed suppliers received contracts under Round 2.

Additionally, the OIG has reviewed the impact of the program on market shares for diabetic testing strips.

Industry stakeholders are confident the study will confirm their concerns about competitive bidding’s negative impact on access to DME.

“AAHomecare will continue to work with Dr. Price, the OIG and other members of Congress on the issue,” stated Tom Ryan, the association’s president and CEO in a release.