Washington Some of the nation's most influential number crunchers those who work at the U.S. Congressional Budget Office March 3 published a budget-cutting
by Brook Raflo
April 1, 2003

Washington Some of the nation's most influential number
crunchers — those who work at the U.S. Congressional Budget
Office — March 3 published a budget-cutting handbook of sorts
for lawmakers on Capitol Hill.

The report, titled “Budget Options,” includes nearly
300 pages of savings suggestions, and targets home medical
equipment specifically.

For example, the federal government could save as much as $3.6
billion between 2004 and 2008, if Congress cut reimbursements for
Medicare Part B drugs, the report said. Currently, Medicare
reimburses these drugs — which include respiratory and
infusion medications — at a rate of 95 percent of the
“average wholesale price.” However, the CBO believes
that rate is not what providers pay for drugs,” and suggests
reducing the reimbursement to 85 percent of AWP.

Another option estimates that using a competitive-bidding model
to purchase two high-volume DME items — oxygen supplies and
hospital beds — would save Medicare $360 million through
2008. that sell a large amount of supplies.

More information about this report is available at www.cbo.gov.

For breaking news, go to www.homecaremonday.com, the electronic news service
of the home medical equipment industry.