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Competition Cuts Down Medicare Fraud

Medicare officials say competitive bidding for power wheelchairs, diabetic supplies and other personal medical equipment is clamping down big-time on waste and fraud. The savings last year — some $200 million.

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A government report coming out Wednesday says a nine-city experiment with competitive bidding generated few complaints from people receiving Medicare benefits — just 151 complaints from a total population of 2.3 million Medicare recipients in test areas, including Miami, Cincinnati and Riverside, Calif.

Officials say the experiment will expand to 100 cities next year, and eventually the whole country.

The shift to competitive bidding has been strongly opposed by the medical supply industry, which raised the specter of medical rationing. But the report says there’s no evidence so far of shortages or harm to those in Medicare.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

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