As part of its October 11, 2011 proposed Medicare Advantage (MA) rule, CMS is proposing to allow MA plans to limit coverage of DME to specific manufacturers or brands if certain conditions are met. This would build on a CMS policy instituted in 2011 that permits different cost-sharing levels for DME items, supplies, and Part B drugs. CMS states that some MA organizations have asked whether they could offer lower cost-sharing for “preferred” DME products or brands versus “non-preferred” DME products or brands, as well as whether they could limit coverage of certain DME items and supplies to specific manufacturers’ products or brands. For instance, CMS notes that it is aware of one MA organization that limits coverage of diabetic test strips and monitors to those manufactured by certain entities. Under the CMS proposal, MA plans could restrict coverage of DME to specific manufacturers or brands if they meet requirements related to access and medical necessity, transition periods, mid-year changes to preferred DME items and supplies, appeals, and disclosure of coverage limitations. CMS believes that this plan would “help ensure that MA organizations maximize program efficiencies by driving enrollee utilization to specific DME products for which MA organizations may have negotiated bulk discounts.” CMS specifically requests comments on this proposal, including whether strengthened beneficiary protections would be warranted. Comments are due by December 12, 2011.