OIG: Two brands dominate mail-order market for diabetes supplies

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Wednesday, December 7, 2016

WASHINGTON – Two brands of test strips account for half of the Medicare mail-order market for diabetes supplies, according to a new report from the Office of Inspector General.

The OIG, which looked at claims submitted from April to June 2016, also found that the top 10 brands of test strips accounted for 93% of the mail-order market. Altogether, suppliers submitted claims for 30 different brands of test strips.

The OIG conducted the study to help CMS understand which brands of test strips were provided to beneficiaries prior to the start of the Round 2 re-compete of the national mail-order program. The Round 2 re-compete began July 1, 2016, with pricing of $8.32 per box of test strips vs. $10.41 per box in the previous round of the program.

The Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act requires CMS to award contracts to providers whose bids cover at least 50%, by volume, of all brands of strips on the market.

The top three brands by market share, according to the OIG, are Prodigy (28.2%), OneTouch Ultra (22.8%) and Embrace (11.5%).

In November, Sens. Dan Coats, R-Ind., and Mark Warner, D-Va., introduced the Diabetes Supplies Act to ensure that all Medicare beneficiaries have access to their preferred brand of test strips.