GAO: Supplier numbers decline again

Thursday, January 10, 2019

WASHINGTON – The number of DMEPOS suppliers furnishing rate-adjusted items in non-bid areas decreased 11% in 2017, according to a new study from the Government Accountability Office.

That decrease follows an 8% decrease in 2016—the first year rates were adjusted—compared to 2015 and continued a trend of annual decreases in non-bid areas that averaged 8% each year going back to at least 2011, according to the report, “Medicare Fee-For-Service: Information on the Second Year of Nationwide Reduced Payment Rates for Durable Medical Equipment,” released Dec. 21.

The number of beneficiaries receiving at least one rate-adjusted item in non-bid areas in 2017 decreased 2 percent compared to 2016. This followed a decrease of less than half of 1 percent between 2015 and 2016.

Since 2010, the number of suppliers furnishing rate-adjusted items has decreased by almost 45% and suppliers furnishing non-adjusted items decreased by almost 25%. 

The GAO’s findings are in line with AAHomecare’s supplier analysis, which shows an estimated decrease of 35% in suppliers between 2010 and 2018.