New Data Show CMS Competitive Bidding Program Coincided with Increased Hospitalizations and Death Among Medicare Beneficiaries with Diabetes
Position on "Unintended Consequences" of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Competitive Bidding Program
Jun 12, 2015, 11:35 ET
BOSTON, June 12, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The following is being released by the National Diabetes Volunteer Leadership Council:
As reported by the National Minority Quality Forum (The Forum) and leading endocrinology experts at the American Diabetes Association 75th Annual Scientific Sessions, on June 7 in Boston, MA, implementation of the CMS Competitive Bidding Program (CBP) in nine test markets disrupted Medicare beneficiary access to necessary blood glucose monitoring supplies, which was associated with increased mortality.
The study reports that this disruption in access to self-monitoring blood glucose (SMBG) supplies correlated with more deaths and hospitalizations in the test markets in 2011, the year the competitive bidding program was implemented. In fact, the number of deaths was nearly twice as high in the pilot markets compared with the rest of the Medicare population (102 deaths in the test markets vs. 60 deaths in the non-test markets, in the propensity score matched analysis).
Although the unintended consequences of CBP implementation in the nine test markets are alarming, the potential impact of the nationwide implementation of the program in 2013 raises even greater concerns, because the significant reductions in reimbursement for diabetes testing supplies imposed on mail-order distributors now applies to retail channels.
As a result, beneficiaries may be forced to pay out of pocket in order to continue using the blood glucose monitoring system prescribed by their physicians. This reduction may also dissuade many pharmacies -- especially independent pharmacies from providing SMBG supplies to Medicare beneficiaries, creating the potential for even greater access disruption. Ultimately, this has the potential for even more patient lives lost.
Effective diabetes management requires that therapy be personalized to the unique needs of each patient. Collaboration between clinicians and their patients in selecting the most appropriate supplies is a critical component of treatment individualization.
The findings reported by The Forum, in combination with the recent reports from the General Accounting Office and American Association of Diabetes Educators, which showed a significant shift in the glucose monitoring devices Medicare beneficiaries are now using, clearly demonstrate that implementation of the CBP has not only disrupted beneficiary access to the tools they need to manage their diabetes but has violated the sacrosanct relationship between physicians and their patients.
Given these troubling findings that show the suffering of Medicare beneficiaries, it is our position that CMS be compelled to suspend the CBP until adequate safeguards are in place to monitor the true impact of the program, preserve the integrity of physician-patient relationships and protect beneficiaries from potential further harm.
About National Diabetes Volunteer Leadership Council
The National Diabetes Volunteer Leadership Council (NDVLC) is an organization comprised of former chairs of the board and past officers of the American Diabetes Association who are committed to ensuring the well‑being of diabetes patients across the country. NDVLC is committed to improving the quality of life for all children and adults who are living with diabetes.
The National Diabetes Volunteer Leadership Council receives support from Roche Diabetes Care, Novo Nordisk Inc. and Johnson & Johnson.
SOURCE National Diabetes Volunteer Leadership Council
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