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Originally published Wednesday, January 30, 2013 at 1:24 PM

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Savings seen on diabetes supplies, other equipment

Medicare is announcing a price cut.

The Associated Press

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WASHINGTON —

Medicare is announcing a price cut.

Diabetes testing supplies now average about $16 a month for beneficiaries. That's going down to around $4.50.

Savings are also coming for many patients who rent home oxygen gear, hospital beds, wheelchairs and other equipment.

Medicare deputy administrator Jonathan Blum said Wednesday it's due to competitive bidding making inroads against wasteful spending.

Starting July 1, diabetes patients will get blood sugar testing supplies through a new national mail order program.

Competitive bidding for home medical equipment, now being piloted in nine cities, will expand to 100 metro areas, including New York, Los Angeles and Chicago.

Some seniors may have to switch suppliers, but taxpayers will save nearly $26 billion over 10 years.

Outside experts say Medicare should make even greater use of competitive bidding.

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