The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) have announced that 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. The round-one items do not include orthoses, prostheses, or O&P supplies.
The round-one rebid will include the same items as the first round-one session, except that negative-pressure wound-therapy items and Group 3 complex rehabilitative power wheelchairs will be excluded. The included items are:
- 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 the Miami bidding-area only).
- 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 occur in the same areas as the first round one, except that Puerto Rico will be excluded. The following areas are included in the round-one rebid:
CMS started a supplier-awareness effort in May to prepare suppliers for the registration period that begins later this month. Suppliers must register before they may submit bids when bidding starts in October. On August 3, CMS also launched its education and outreach effort to guide suppliers through the competitive bidding process. Information and materials may be found at www.dmecompetitivebid.com. A help line at 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 that will be announced on the competitive-bidding website. The conferences will focus on program information, registration, and bidding.
“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 stated, “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.”
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