Updated study finds DME saves money

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Thursday, February 23, 2017

WATERLOO, Iowa – Upfront spending on durable medical equipment saves Medicare money in the long run, according to an updated study conducted by Leitten Consulting for The VGM Group.

For every dollar spent on DME, CMS could save from $11 to $29 in direct treatment payment, according to the study, titled “The Case for Medicare Investment in Durable Medical Equipment.” Overall, annual savings range from $23 to $41 for every dollar spent on DME.

“This study continues to reaffirm the true value of DME within health care and the savings that it offers,” said John Gallagher, director of government relations for VGM. “DME providers have been able to save the health care system millions of dollars annually by taking care of patients in their homes.”

The study updates a previous study conducted in 2014.

Since that initial study, CMS has expanded bid pricing to non-bid areas, escalating reimbursement cuts.

“This has led to a dramatic drop in DME providers serving the Medicare population, profit margins that are often thin or non-existent, and reduced access for beneficiaries,” the study says.