CMS Requests Comments For Bidding Survey

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The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is soliciting comments about how it should conduct a survey of key durable medical equipment, prosthetics, orthotics, and supplies (DMEPOS) stakeholders. CMS is also soliciting comments on effective methods for contacting referral agents as they play a critical role in assisting beneficiaries in obtaining competitively bid DMEPOS items. Comments must be received by December 20.

The surveys will be used to further strengthen the monitoring, outreach, and enforcement functions of the DMEPOS Competitive Bidding Program. The surveys are intended to assess, at a minimum, if the:

·        Item/service was received.

·        Supplier furnished an item the beneficiary did not want or need.

·        Beneficiary/referral agents had difficulty locating a contract supplier to provide the necessary item(s).

·        Beneficiary out of pocket expense exceeded the 20 percent coinsurance.

·        Beneficiary experienced delays in receiving the item/service.

·        Beneficiary had difficulty accessing the supplier for any follow-up needs, such as answering questions, repairing or maintaining the equipment, or delivering replacement accessories or, if applicable, oxygen tanks.

·        Item/service was compliant with the physician's written order.

·        Quality/durability/performance of the item does not meet Medicare quality standards.

·        Service provided by the supplier did not meet Medicare quality standards.

·        Contract supplier has concerns related to competitive bidding that are not attributed to general medical documentation requirements.

AAHomecare shared key points from its comments to CMS, and welcomed providers to include its recommendations in their comments:

·        CMS should issue the same surveys in advance of the implementation of the Round 2021 competitive bidding program to develop a baseline against which CMS can compare survey results from during the competitive bidding program.

·        CMS should survey the stakeholders twice a year to better monitor trends and changes from competitive bid program impacts.

·        Once surveys reveal particular negative impacts, CMS needs to conduct a root cause analysis and develop a corrective action plan that is shared with the industry in the spirit of transparency. 

·        CMS should publicize survey results, and the results should be available within a reasonable timeframe.

AAHomecare uploaded Word documents of sample questions that stakeholders can include in their comments to CMS. For Supplier Survey Sample Questions, visit https://aahomecare.us1.list-manage.com/track/click?u=3c0f3755f13930464597f245a&id=329f49c192&e=948b3eba57.

For Beneficiary Survey Sample Questions, visit https://aahomecare.us1.list-manage.com/track/click?u=3c0f3755f13930464597f245a&id=0cf96d8c1e&e=948b3eba57.

Comments must have "Competitive Bidding Surveys" as the subject line and be emailed by the deadline to dmepos@cms.hhs.gov to be considered.