Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Durable Medical Equipment Is Slowest-Growing Sector of Medicare and the Most Cost-Effective

Figures released this week show that durable medical equipment is the slowest growing sector of Medicare, increasing 3.8 percent between 2005 and 2006 (from $6.7 billion to$6.9 billion). Total Medicare spending increased 18.7 percent over the same period. In other words, skyrocketing spending may be a problem in Medicare generally -- but not in the DME sector. Home medical equipment is cost-effective and preferred by patients. Nationwide, across all payor categories, health care spending increased 6.7 percent to $2.1 trillion, or $7,026 per person in 2006 according to the report released this week.

The source is the National Health Expenditure Accounts (NHEA), which are the official estimates of total health care spending in the United States. See:

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