U S Department of Health and Human Services www.hhs.gov

Intergovernmental Center

Medicare Spotlight

DMEPOS Competitive Bidding Program: On July 15, 2008, the Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act of 2008 was enacted, making changes to the Medicare program.  Section 154 of this Act requires the delay of Round 1 of the DMEPOS Competitive Bidding Program.  

As a result of the delay, Medicare beneficiaries in areas previously covered under the competitive bidding program may use any Medicare-approved supplier for Durable Medical Equipment.  If a beneficiary changed suppliers when this new program started (July 1, 2008), they can either continue to use the new supplier or choose another supplier.  The original DME payment rates in effect prior to July 1 are reinstated retroactively.   
Additional information can be found in this fact sheet.  Please check back for updated information.


Medicaid Spotlight
Deficit Reduction Act Webpage: The DRA provides states with much of the flexibility states have been seeking over the years to make significant reforms to their Medicaid programs.

Tamper Resistant Prescription Pads:  CMS released guidance through a State Medicaid Director Letter providing baseline requirements to States to define and implement tamper-resistant prescription pads as required by law.  The documents "Medicaid Tamper Resistant Prescription Information for State Policymakers" and "Frequently Asked Questions on Tamper Resistant Prescriptions" provide additional background information.  These documents have been recently updated for October 1, 2008 implementation.  Please refer to the Frequently Asked Questions for new information on CMS' policy with respect to computer-generated prescriptions.  An updated fact sheet for pharmacists is available to assist pharmacists with implementation of the new policy. (Updated July 16, 2008.)

Reasonable Crowd Out Procedures in SCHIP:  CMS released a State Medicaid Directors letter that clarifies the application of existing statutory and regulatory requirement in State requests to extend eligibility under the SCHIP program to children in families with effective family income levels above 250 percent of the Federal poverty level (FPL).  CMS issued further clarifications in another State Health Officials letter on May 7th.


Part D Spotlight

2009 Call Letter:  The 2009 call letter is now available.

2008 Low Income Subsidy Toolkit: This toolkit provides important resources for partners to help beneficiaries learn about and apply for extra help, including general targeting estimates to help assist in on-going outreach activities. 


Important Links

State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP)


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