We’ve got a ton of news from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) this week. The big bomb, of course, dropped late Wednesday when the agency announced that contract offers for off-the-shelf back and knee braces had been made—and that would be all for the competitive bidding program for the time being. You can read our full story about the move, including comments from AAHomecare President Tom Ryan, here
CMS also issued a proposed durable medical equipment, prosthetics and orthotics (DMEPOS) rule that would set rates in rural and non-contiguous non-Competitive Bid Areas (CBAs), saying it would continue paying suppliers higher rates in those areas starting in April of 2021 or when the public health emergency ends. This, the rule says, was informed by stakeholder input about the costs and logistics of serving non-CBAs. “Previous feedback from industry stakeholders expressed concern regarding beneficiary access to items and services furnished in rural and remote areas,” CMS said. Find the rule fact sheet here.
But wait, there’s more! The DMEPOS change also proposes to classify continuous glucose monitors as DME under Medicare Part B and establish fee schedule amounts for them and for accessories. And it would broaden the DME category for home infusion pumps, and takes complex rehab manual wheelchairs and some other manual wheelchairs and accessories out of the bidding program as required by legislation passed this year.
One more note on a slightly different angle: CMS also announced this week
that it would cover the costs of COVID-19 vaccinations for seniors with Medicare or Medicare Advantage plans.
See you Monday!