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Steady as she goes

Steady as she goes

We're getting our ducks in a row for two big data reveals:

. the annual update of the HME Databank on Oct. 1; and

. the annual update to our State of the Industry Report in December.

For the State of the Industry Report, we always look at the growth in Medicare expenditures for DME. We do this by looking at products grouped into six “buckets”:

. med/surg supplies

. hospital beds

. oxygen and supplies

. wheelchairs

. other DME

. respiratory meds

We run Medicare expenditures for these products in a seven-year loop for comparison purposes.

In 2013, expenditures for every single “bucket” nosedived, led by wheelchairs, which saw expenditures of $1.1 billion in 2012 and $622 million in 2015, nearly a 50% reduction. Overall spending for all categories decreased from $8.1 billion in 2012 to $5.3 billion in 2013.

So what happened in 2014?

Well, not much, and in this case, steady as she goes is probably a good thing.

A few “buckets” saw some growth, notably respiratory meds which rebound from $709 million in 2012 to $605 million in 2013 to $836 million in 2014. A few saw declines, but none of them were that significant, at least not compared to the drops from 2012 to 2013.

More to come soon.


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