DME Suppliers in First 10 Competitive Bidding MSAs Notified of Bid Results
- By Laurie Watanabe
- Mar 21, 2008
At a March 20 news conference, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Acting Administrator Kerry Weems announced that the agency had sent letters via overnight mail to suppliers who submitted bids to participate in the first round of competitive bidding. The letters will arrive today, March 21.
Competitive bidding rates in the first 10 metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) will be implemented July 1.
Weems indicated that three different types of letters had gone out, including invitations to sign contracts with CMS if suppliers' bids were within the winning price ranges. A second type of letter told non-winning suppliers that they would not currently be invited to sign a contract, but may be offered a contract in the future if a winning supplier in the same area for some reason dropped out of the program. He added that some suppliers were disqualified from competing for contracts because they fell short of CMS' "safeguards," which included failure to meet basic supplier enrollment standards or submitting bids that did not comply with terms and conditions outlined in the requests for bids.
Weems said during the bidding period, CMS had received "thousands of bids -- more than 6,300 -- from hundreds of different suppliers." But during the news conference's Q&A session, he declined to answer Mobility Management's question as to how many suppliers were offered contracts as "winning bidders."
Weems noted that suppliers that were offered contracts would have 10 days to respond to CMS to indicate whether or not they wanted to participate.
According to Weems, 64 percent of the bidders being offered contracts were small businesses. Under questioning about the program's potentially negative impact on small businesses, Weems said he was "pleased with the 64-percent figure."
Weems said overall, Medicare expected to save $1 billion per year once competitive bidding is implemented in the first- and second-round MSAs.
The 10 first-round metropolitan statistical areas are Charlotte, N.C.; Cincinnati, Ohio; Cleveland, Ohio; Dallas, Texas; Kansas City, Mo.; Miami, Fla.; Orlando, Fla.; Pittsburgh, Pa.; Riverside, Calif.; and San Juan, Puerto Rico.
For more information on competitive bidding, go to www.cms.hhs.gov/CompetitiveAcqfor DMEPOS/. Details were also posted at www.dmecompetitivebid.com/SPA.
Laurie Watanabe is the editor of Mobility Management. She can be reached at (949) 265-1573 or email@example.com.