Leitten Study: HME Saves Medicare Significant Sums

Annual savings to Medicare program range from $23 to $41 for every dollar invested in HME; translates to millions annually.

When the government invests in home medical equipment, it reaps substantial savings over the long term, according to the latest findings in The Case for Medicare Investment in Durable Medical Equipment, an ongoing study from Leitten Consulting.

For every dollar Medicare spends on HME for beneficiaries, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services can save from $11 to $29 that it would otherwise spend on direct treatment payments, according to the study’s latest findings. Annual savings range from $23 to $41 for every dollar Medicare spends on HME.

“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 Group Inc. “DME providers have been able to save the healthcare system millions of dollars annually by taking care of patients in their homes.”

Since the study’s 2014 update, Leitten noted that “CMS has continued to expand its attacks on DME pricing,” and highlighted the national bid expansion, which has applied competitive bidding-derived reimbursement rates to HME items in rural, non-bidding areas. “This has all led to a dramatic drop in DME providers serving the Medicare population, profit margins that are often thin or non-existent and reduced access to beneficiaries,” the study added.

“Without these providers having the necessary resources to reach these patients, hospitals will see an increase in readmissions and difficulty discharging patients in a timely manner,” Gallagher explained. “In order for the government to spend the taxpayer’s dollar in the most efficient way, an increase in DME spending must be supported.”

VGM reported that Gallagher will discuss the latest iteration of Leitten’s study at Medtrade Spring, as well as at upcoming state association meetings, and will present the findings to elected officials on Capitol Hill.        

For the complete study, visit VGM’s Government Relations website at vgmdclink.com.  

About the Author

David Kopf is the Editor of HME Business.

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