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Updated Study Illustrates Value of DME within Health Care System

Leitten Consulting released its latest findings on the economic impact Medicare spending has on health care as it relates to durable medical equipment.

Leitten’s study, The Case for Medicare Investment in Durable Medical Equipment, shows that the health care system and beneficiaries save on long-term costs if the government invests in durable medical equipment services up front.

“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 health care system millions of dollars annually by taking care of patients in their homes.”

In the study, Leitten determined that for every dollar Medicare spends on durable medical equipment to beneficiaries, CMS could save from $11 to $29 in direct treatment payments. Overall annual savings range from $23 to $41 for every dollar invested in DME. The study also notes that since the 2014 update, “CMS has continued to expand its attacks on DME pricing, applying the pricing model to rural areas not covered by the earlier versions of the program. 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.”

“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,” stated Gallagher. “In order for the government to spend the taxpayer’s dollar in the most efficient way, an increase in DME spending must be supported.”

Gallagher will be discussing Leitten’s study during Medtrade and at upcoming state association meetings as well as presenting the findings to elected officials on Capitol Hill.

To read the white paper of the study, visit VGM’s Government Relations website by clicking here.