Moving the HME Industry Forward

Legislative/Advocacy

Medicare DME Spending Flatlines

May 5, 2014

WASHINGTON, DC – The 2012 numbers from CMS are in, and Medicare spending on DME has remained steady at about $7 billion since 2000. According to an AAHomecare analysis of the 2012 CMS National Health Expenditure Accounts report, the opposite is true for other health care sectors. 


“Costs in other categories such as hospitals, doctors, and prescription drugs have soared,” wrote AAHomecare analysts in a note to members last week. “In fact, other healthcare costs have increased so much that DME’s share of the total spent is nearly half as much now as it was in 1960. Not only that, but Medicare paid for less than 20% of all DME purchases in 2011. The most common payer by far was patients themselves. Out-of-pocket payments accounted for almost 55%.” 
 


AAHomecare created an infographic that uses CMS’ own data to show just how distorted the agency’s focus on reducing spending in DME really is. For example, out of the $554.3 billion Medicare spent in 2012, these are the line items they spent the least on:
• Dental Services—$300 million or 0.05%      
• Other Non-Durable Medical Products—$3.2 billion or 0.58%
• Other Health, Residential, and Personal Care—$5.1 billion or 0.92%
• Durable Medical Equipment—$7.7 billion or 1.39%
• General Administration—$8.2 billion or 1.48%

AAHomecare Washington Legislative Conference Starts May 7
WASHINGTON, DC – If you wish to attend the AAHomecare Washington Legislative Conference, scheduled for May 7-8, there is still time. Contact Ashley Jackson at (202) 372-0754, or via e-mail: ashleyj@aahomecare.org. Or go to www.aahomecare.org/conference

“Everyone should attend one of AAHomecare’s Legislative Conferences in Washington DC,” says Douglas E. Coleman, CEO of Colorado-based Major Medical Supply, and president of the Colorado Association for Medical Equipment Services. “You get to walk the halls of Congress and see how our system works. It is fun to meet with our elected officials and their staff to educate and persuade them to take an interest in our issues. I have been going every year for at least a decade and it helps to establish a person relationship with Congressmen, Senators, and their staff.

“Because of these consistent visits, I can call the staffers and they will take my call to discuss the issues,” continues Coleman. “They will not always support our position, but they will listen and become informed. Remember, they work for us…we elect them to their office. If possible, attend one of these Conferences with someone who has been before. He or she can show you the ropes, because it is really quite easy and very interesting.”