OIG on power wheelchair pricing
This article was originally published in The Gray Sheet
Medicare fee schedule for power wheelchairs paid on average 45% more than median Internet prices in the first quarter of 2007, HHS' Office of Inspector General finds in a 1report released Oct. 30. CMS announced its intention last year to use an Internet process to help set a new power wheelchair fee schedule; the agency met fierce opposition from industry stakeholders who argued payments would go down inappropriately (2"The Gray Sheet" Sept. 25, 2006, p. 13). Still, the payments have faced sharp cuts and CMS notes that competitive bidding being phased in for 2008 will give the agency more opportunity to realign Medicare payments with market prices. OIG says it plans to conduct more evaluations comparing Medicare fee schedule amounts to actual prices paid by suppliers
You may also be interested in...
In a Nov. 14 "Dear Colleague" letter to Congress, Reps. Tom Allen, D-Maine, and Ron Lewis, R-Ky., back up concerns of medical equipment supplier Invacare and other power mobility stakeholders about a recent report from the Office of Inspector General, which suggests CMS overpays for power wheelchairs compared with Internet prices (1"The Gray Sheet" Nov. 5, 2007, In Brief). The letter explains that "extensive service-related costs" associated with Medicare compliance, but often absent from Internet pricing, must be considered in setting reimbursement rates. Invacare says less than 1% of its power wheelchairs are sold through Internet vendors
The Medicare fee schedule for power wheelchairs, expected any day, may incorporate online supplier pricing data, a prospect that has alarmed stakeholders
Liquid biopsy start-up Grail Inc. announced that a study of almost 6,700 participants found that its blood test could detect more than 50 types of cancer with a low false-positive rate. See what Minetta Liu, study co-lead author and a Mayo Clinic professor of oncology, had to say about the research.