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OIG on power wheelchair pricing

This article was originally published in The Gray Sheet

Executive Summary

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

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