Program and Beneficiary Costs Under Durable Medical Equipment Fee Schedules

HRD-92-78: Published: Jul 7, 1992. Publicly Released: Jul 7, 1992.

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Pursuant to a legislative requirement, GAO reviewed the appropriateness of payment levels for medical equipment sold or rented to Medicare beneficiaries, focusing on the effect that the 1987 fee schedules and their 1990 modifications had on Medicare program costs and beneficiary liability.

GAO found that: (1) 1987 fee schedules increased Medicare program costs and beneficiary liability, with the greatest increases related to rental items purchased and rented under the fee schedule; and (2) 1990 changes in the fee schedules will make payment rates more uniform, and will reduce program costs to levels equivalent to those prior to implementation of the fee schedule.