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DMEPOS Toolkit

DMEPOS Competitive Bidding Program

Round One of the Durable Medical Equipment, Prosthetics, Orthotics, and Supplies (DMEPOS) Competitive Bidding Program went into effect on January 1, 2011 in nine areas of the country for nine product categories. In its first year of operation, the program saved Original Medicare over $200 million and resulted in better value for Medicare and beneficiaries, with lower prices and continued access to quality items from qualified suppliers. Medicare is required to recompete contracts at least once every three years. As a result of a recompete, new contracts went into effect in the same nine areas on January 1, 2014 with some changes to the specific items that are part of the program.

In Round Two, the program  expanded to an additional 91 areas of the country for some of the most expensive and frequently used DMEPOS items. At the same time, Medicare implemented a national mail order program for diabetic testing supplies.  Both Round Two and the national mail order program went into effect on July 1, 2013.  

Under the competitive bidding program, suppliers submit bids for certain medical equipment and supplies that must be lower than what Medicare now pays for these items. Medicare uses these bids to set the amount it will pay for those equipment and supplies under the new program. Qualified, accredited suppliers with winning bids are chosen as Medicare contract suppliers. When a round of the program goes into effect in an area, beneficiaries with Original Medicare who obtain program items in the area will usually need to get these items from a contract supplier for that round if they want Medicare to help pay for the item, unless their current suppliers become grandfathered suppliers (non-contract suppliers that choose to continue to provide certain rented equipment under the terms of the program).

If beneficiaries have questions, they may call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227), visit or call their State Health Insurance and Assistance Program (SHIP) for more information.