OIG: CMS missed $815M in DME savings

Thursday, July 31, 2003

WASHINGTON - The OIG’s 2003 Redbook, which was posted on June 2, suggests that CMS could have saved more than $815 million in the first half of the fiscal year, had it acted on the OIG’s recommendations for DME.

The OIG posts the Redbook twice a year to highlight which of the office’s cost-saving recommendations CMS has not fully implemented.

The largest missed opportunity for cost savings was improving medical reviews for home oxygen therapy ($268 million). Nearly one-quarter of the oxygen certificates of medical necessity that the OIG studied were inaccurate or incomplete, the office claims.

Other missed opportunities for cost savings included eliminating semiannual maintenance payments for capped rental equipment ($98 million), identifying medical equipment/supply claims that lack valid, active UPINs ($91 million), and eliminating inappropriate billing for blood glucose test strips ($79 million).