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S. 1914 (115th): Protecting Access to Diabetes Supplies Act of 2017

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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on Oct 4, 2017.

Protecting Access to Diabetes Supplies Act of 2017

This bill amends title XVIII (Medicare) of the Social Security Act to modify provisions relating to Medicare's competitive acquisition program (through which rates are set through a competitive bidding program rather than by an established fee schedule) with respect to diabetic testing strips. Specifically, the bill requires the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to:

use specified data to determine whether a bid satisfies certain requirements related to volume of coverage with respect to such products, reject a bid if the bidder does not demonstrate its ability to furnish such products in a manner consistent with its bid, and establish a process to monitor the extent to which an entity continues to cover the product types included in its bid. The CMS may terminate a contract if it determines that an entity, for reasons other than product discontinuation, market-wide shortage, or introduction of a newer model, fails to maintain ready access to such products included its bid.

In addition, the bill specifies that an entity furnishing such products to beneficiaries under the program: (1) must furnish to each beneficiary a brand of strips that is compatible with the beneficiary's home blood glucose monitor, (2) may not attempt to influence or incentivize a beneficiary to switch the brand of either type of product, and (3) must contact and receive a request from a beneficiary no more than 14 days prior to dispensing a refill to the beneficiary.