Competitive Acquisition Ombudsman (CAO)
Provide quality responses to DMEPOS suppliers and individuals and unbiased reporting to Congress.
Overview of the Competitive Acquisition Ombudsman
The Competitive Acquisition Ombudsman (CAO) was created as part of the Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act of 2008 (MIPPA) Section 154(b) to respond to inquiries and complaints made by suppliers and individuals relating to the application of the Durable Medical Equipment, Prosthetics, Orthotics, and Supplies (DMEPOS) Competitive Bidding Program. The CAO program falls under the leadership of the Office of the Medicare Beneficiary Ombudsman, which is responsible for resolving inquiries and complaints for all aspects of the Medicare program.
The CAO works with the local Competitive Bidding Implementation Contractor (CBIC), a source for assistance in resolving complaints made by suppliers and individuals.
The CAO, in coordination with the Office of the Medicare Beneficiary Ombudsman, is also required to submit an annual report to Congress that includes the CAO's findings and if appropriate, recommendations for improvements to the application of the Competitive Bidding Program.
The Role of the Competitive Acquisition Ombudsman (CAO)
The CAO works closely with CMS components and its contractors, as well as with external partners, to:
- Respond to suppliers' and individuals' inquiries and complaints;
- Ensure that issues are resolved; and
- See that a comprehensive process for timely responses to suppliers and individuals is in place.
How to file an inquiry or complaint
The CAO works with the local CBIC located within the 9 competitive bidding areas to ensure timely resolution of inquiries and complaints made by suppliers and individuals.
If a supplier has an inquiry or complaint about the application of the DMEPOS Competitive Bidding Program, it may submit the inquiry or complaint to the Competitive Acquisition Ombudsman. To submit an inquiry or complaint:
Telephone: (877) 577-5331, between 9:00 a.m. and 5:30 p.m., prevailing Eastern Time, Monday through Friday.
Web: Competitive Bidding Implementation Contractor – See "Related Links Outside CMS" section below.
Mail: Write to the CBIC, at Palmetto GBA, Competitive Bidding Contractor, 2743 Perimeter Parkway Suite 200-400, Augusta, Georgia 30909-6499.
Attention: Competitive Acquisition Ombudsman
For Individuals Including Beneficiaries and Caregivers
For individuals who have inquiries or complaints regarding the Competitive Bidding Program, please call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227). TTY users should call 1-877-486-2048.
- 2010 Report to Congress – Medicare Competitive Acquisition Ombudsman [PDF, 1MB]
- 2009 Report to Congress - Medicare Competitive Acquisition Ombudsman [PDF, 345KB]
- Competitive Acquisition Ombudsman [PDF, 149KB]
- Medicare Quality Standards and Beneficiary Protections for Respiratory Equipment, Power Mobility Devices, and Other Related Durable Medical Equipment - MLN Matters Article SE1009 [PDF, 80KB]
- Educational Resources
- Competitive Bidding Implementation Contractor - Opens in a new window
- Medicare Beneficiary Ombudsman - Opens in a new window
- Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act of 2008 (MIPPA) Section 154(b) - Opens in a new window
- Medicare's New Requirements for Durable Medical Equipment, Prosthetics, Orthotics, and Supplies (DMEPOS) Suppliers - Opens in a new window
- Medicare Supplier Directory - Opens in a new window
- Page last Modified: 04/11/2013 2:36 PM
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