About Medicare’s Competitive Bidding Program

Medicare created a competitive bidding program, at Congress’ instruction, to save cost on durable medical equipment. Diabetes testing supplies were included. Medicare tested the program in nine cities. Medicare reported that the program saved money without adverse outcomes.

A new article in Diabetes Care, the peer-reviewed journal of the American Diabetes Association, shows that competitive bidding for diabetes testing supplies has failed on all counts.

Safety

The Hippocratic Principle should apply to Medicare – First Do No Harm.

Access

Disrupting access to testing supplies had a negative effect on health outcomes.

Quality

Consider health outcomes including hospitalizations and mortality.
Disruptions to access resulted in higher hospitalizations and complications that cost Medicare more that the bidding program saved. More distressing the evidence shows higher mortality in the test markets.

Call on Congress to suspend bidding until they can fully investigate and ensure patient safety.  A program to save does not indeed cost us all more. People with diabetes can help by calling on Congress to Investigate. Learn more about this disastrous program on our Fact SheetAction ToolkitHistory, Key Points, Data and more.