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Medicare Fee Schedule Gets 2.3%-2.5% Inflation Adjustments for 2019

The 2019 Medicare fee schedule information was released yesterday by CMS grants modest 2.3%-2.5% CPI-U increases in several categories:

  • Former competitive bidding areas: SPA + 2.5%
  • Diabetic supplies, National Mail Order: SPA + 2.5%
  • Diabetic supplies. Non-Mail Order: remains at current rate
  • Items not included in CB program: 2018 rates +2.3%
  • Rural/non-contiguous areas: 50% unadjusted fee schedule and 50% new adjusted fee schedule
  • AAHomecare has reached out to CMS for clarification on whether non-rural areas outside of former CBAs will get the indirect benefit of the CPI increase in former CBAs.

This round of adjustments is the highest applied since the bidding program took effect.  Previous increases have averaged 1.3%, with a high of 2.1% in 2015.

As noted by Tom Ryan, president and CEO of the American Association for Homecare, "While adjustments to keep pace with inflation are certainly welcomed by home medical equipment suppliers, they do nothing to offset the deep reimbursement cuts produced by the bidding program over the last seven years.  Even with the gains for rural suppliers and reforms for future rounds of the bidding program achieved in 2018, this fee schedule update reminds us that we are a long way from a sustainable Medicare reimbursement environment."

See CMS' 2019 fee schedule update here.

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