Accreditation Deadline Announced
Last week the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released the deadline for accreditation in the first round of competitive bidding. All providers in the first 10 MSAs who wish to submit bids must be accredited by Aug. 31, 2007.
CMS will not accept bids from suppliers that have not applied for or earned accreditation. Likewise, suppliers who are not accredited will not be awarded a contract.
Many in the industry expect CMS to announce the deadline for accreditation for all suppliers to be announced during this week's Open Door Forum on April 25. The deadline is said to be sooner than expected, according to industry sources.
CMS has said that bidding will open in late April 2007. For a list of the CMS-approved Deemed Accreditation Organizations and information about the Medicare DMEPOS Competitive Bidding program, visit www.cms.hhs.gov/CompetitiveAcqforDMEPOS/.
CMS has continued to roll out information regarding competitive bidding since its announcement on April 2. The CBIC's Web site (www.dmecompetitivebid.com) includes ZIP codes, MSA maps and HCPCS codes. Members of the industry, including PAOC committee members as well as AAHomecare, are submitting questions to CMS to clarify some of the details of the final rule. A frequently asked questions section should be posted on the CBIC's Web site soon.
Cara Bachenheimer, vice president of government relations, Invacare Corp., urged providers to check both the CBIC's Web site and CMS' Web site daily to stay informed.
"People just need to be as informed and educated as possible," she said. "The thing that is so overwhelming is you read through the rule, you talk about it with people (and yet) there are so many complexities and so many unanswered questions that it's mind boggling. The only way that people are going to know any level of comfort is just by making sure they have understood all of the information that's out there."
- Late April 2007 CMS holds educational Web cast
- Late April 2007 CMS opens 60-day bid window for first round of Competitive Bidding Program
- Late June 2007 60-day bid window closes
- Aug. 31, 2007 Last day for first round bidders to obtain accreditation
- Late September 2007 CMS concludes bid evaluation and begins contracting process
- December 2007 CMS announces winning suppliers for first round
- Jan. 1, 2008-April 1, 2008 CMS conducts intensive beneficiary and referral agent education campaign
- April 1, 2008 New program begins
This article originally appeared in the April 2007 issue of HME Business.