From Stillwater-Ponca City (OK) Ostomy Outlook May 2001:

James Knight on Medicare Reimbursement Problems

from presentation by James Knight on April 16, 2001

At our April 16 meeting in Stillwater, James Knight of Knight Medical Supply explained the recent improvements in Medicare policy for ostomy supplies but also emphasized the need to lobby for further improvements.

In October 2000, thanks to a great deal of effort including data collection and lobbying by UOA and allied groups, Medicare increased their guidelines for "usual maximum quantity of supplies" (We announced this in our Nov-Dec 2000 newsletter and you may also read it at This increased the quantity of products that Medicare will reimburse; however, the monetary fees that Medicare reimburses for each product are still far too low, often well below dealer's cost. Currently, only 20% of ostomy suppliers accept Medicare assignment on all ostomy products. And numerous medical equipment suppliers have stopped selling ostomy supplies entirely. Clearly a new lobbying campaign is needed to increase the Medicare fees. (Note: In the very near future, perhaps before this newsletter goes to press, the UOA website at will include a major new system to help us write to our elected representatives.)

(Based on average for 9 most commonly used ostomy product categories)

[Graph of Medicare Fees, Consumer Price Index and Industry Best Price from 1989 to 1999]

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Content last revised 2001-05-09