DMEPOS Competitive Bidding Program
How does the Medicare DMEPOS Competitive Bidding Program work?
The Medicare Durable Medical Equipment, Prosthetics, Orthotics, and Supplies (DMEPOS) Competitive Bidding Program (the Program) allows DMEPOS suppliers to compete to become contract suppliers.
DMEPOS suppliers submit bids to provide certain items of DMEPOS to people with Medicare living in, or visiting, competitive bidding areas (CBAs). We use these bids to set the amount we’ll pay for each item.
We thoroughly screen all suppliers to make sure they:
- Meet applicable state licensing requirements.
- Are accredited for the product category.
- Have an active Provider Transaction Access Number (PTAN).
- Meet financial requirements.
People with Original Medicare in CBAs who need competitively bid DMEPOS have to get their items from a contract supplier if they want Medicare’s help to pay. Sometimes, people in CBAs who rent oxygen or certain other durable medical equipment can keep renting these items from their current suppliers if those suppliers are “grandfathered” (non-contract suppliers that choose to continue to provide certain rented equipment under the terms of the Program).
Why is the Medicare DMEPOS Competitive Bidding Program important?
The Program is important because it:
- Lowers out-of-pocket costs for people with Medicare.
- Saves the Medicare program money while making sure beneficiaries can get quality items and services.
- Works with other fraud, waste, and abuse initiatives and is currently saving over $2 billion per year without hurting health outcomes.
What is the Medicare DMEPOS Competitive Bidding Program timeline?
The Program started on January 1, 2011, and now has 131 CBAs throughout the United States.
The Round 1 2017 contracts and prices went into effect on January 1, 2017. The Round 2 Recompete and the National Mail-Order Recompete contracts and prices went into effect on July 1, 2016.
All DMEPOS Competitive Bidding Program contracts expired on December 31, 2018.
As of January 1, 2019, there is a temporary gap (PDF) in the whole Program that’s expected to last 2 years until December 31, 2020.
On March 7, 2019, CMS announced plans to consolidate the CBAs included in the Round 2 Recompete and Round 1 2017 into a single round of competition named Round 2021. Round 2021 contracts are scheduled to become effective on January 1, 2021, and extend through December 31, 2023.
How can I help people with Medicare get more information about the Medicare DMEPOS Competitive Bidding Program?
You can tell people with Medicare to call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227) or visit Medicare.gov/supplier for more information.