SUPPLIER BIDDING TO START IN OCTOBER FOR MEDICARES COMPETITIVE BIDDING PROGRAM FOR CERTAIN MEDICAL EQUIPMENT AND SUPPLIES
MEDICARE TO LAUNCH AGGRESSIVE SUPPLIER EDUCATION EFFORT IN NINE COMPETITIVE BIDDING AREAS
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) today announced the 60-day supplier bidding period will begin in late October for the Round One Rebid of the Medicare Competitive Bidding Program for durable medical equipment, prosthetics, orthotics, and supplies (DMEPOS). CMS is conducting an intensive supplier outreach and education effort to help suppliers prepare for bidding in each of the nine competitive bidding areas.
“Competitive bidding is an essential tool to help Medicare pay appropriately for health care—important not only to maintain Medicare beneficiaries’ access to high quality medical items and services, but also to lower the cost of medical care for all,” said Jonathan Blum, director of CMS’ Center for Medicare Management. “We are committed to ensuring that suppliers have up-to-date information and guidance so they may submit bids to furnish high quality, affordable medical items and services under the competitive bidding program.”
CMS started a supplier awareness effort in May to prepare suppliers for the registration period that begins later this August. Suppliers must register before they may submit bids when bidding starts in October. Today, CMS is also launching an extensive education and outreach effort to guide suppliers through the competitive bidding process. Information and materials may be found at www.dmecompetitivebid.com and a special toll-free help line (1-877-577-5331) has been established to assist bidders with questions and concerns. Supplier outreach will intensify in the coming weeks with a series of bidders’ conferences focusing on program information, registration and bidding that will be announced on the web site.
The Round One Rebid will occur in the same areas as the first Round One except Puerto Rico will be excluded. These areas are:
• Cincinnati – Middletown (Ohio , Kentucky and Indiana )
• Cleveland – Elyria – Mentor (Ohio )
• Charlotte – Gastonia – Concord (North Carolina and South Carolina )
• Dallas – Fort Worth – Arlington (Texas )
• Kansas City (Missouri and Kansas )
• Miami – Fort Lauderdale – Miami Beach (Florida )
• Orlando (Florida)
• Pittsburgh (Pennsylvania)
• Riverside – San Bernardino – Ontario (California)
The Round One Rebid will include the same items as the first Round One except negative pressure wound therapy items and Group 3 complex rehabilitative power wheelchairs will be excluded. These items include:
• Oxygen and Oxygen Equipment
• Standard Power Wheelchairs, Scooters, and Related Accessories
• Complex Rehabilitative Power Wheelchairs and Related Accessories (Group 2 only)
• Mail-Order Replacement Diabetic Supplies
• Enteral Nutrients, Equipment and Supplies
• Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machines, Respiratory Assist Devices (RADs), and Related Supplies and Accessories
• Hospital Beds and Related Accessories
• Walkers and Related Accessories
• Support Surfaces (Group 2 mattresses and overlays in Miami only)
The DMEPOS competitive bidding program, combined with Medicare’s accreditation and quality standard requirements, will help to ensure that high quality items and services continue to be available to beneficiaries who need medical equipment and supplies. There will be no immediate effect on the Medicare DMEPOS benefit, so Medicare beneficiaries can continue to get their Medicare-covered equipment and supplies from any Medicare-approved supplier until the program begins again in 2011.
The Medicare DMEPOS Competitive Bidding Program was established by the Medicare Prescription Drug Improvement and Modernization Act of 2003 (MMA). Round One of the program was implemented on July 1, 2008, in 10 competitive bidding areas. As part of the Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act of 2008 (MIPPA) enacted on July 15, 2008, Congress enacted a temporary delay of the Competitive Bidding Program and mandated limited changes in the program. MIPPA required CMS to terminate contracts awarded in Round One and to conduct the competition for the Round One Rebid in 2009. MIPPA also delayed competition for Round Two in 70 additional MSAs until 2011 and in additional areas of the country until after 2011.
The MMA required that CMS first implement the DMEPOS competitive bidding program in 10 of the largest MSAs before expanding to other areas of the country. In selecting the specific areas for the program, CMS took into account allowed DMEPOS charges per beneficiary, the number of suppliers per beneficiary, the total population of the MSA, and the MSA’s geographic location.
For additional information about the Medicare DMEPOS Competitive Bidding Program, please visit: http://www.cms.hhs.gov/DMEPOSCompetitiveBid/.
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