CMS Unveils Round 2021 Timeline

Registration starts June 10 and the bid window opens on July 16 for the next iteration of the competitive bidding program, which includes significant changes.

CMS has released the Round 2021 timeline with dates for the registration and bid window and the biggest part of that announcement is that CMS has stretched the bid window opening from an unspecific date in June to July 16.

“CMS encourages bidders to take advantage of this additional time to prepare by utilizing the comprehensive bidder education materials,” read a statement from the Competitive Bidding Implementation Contractor (CBIC).

The more detailed timeline dates include:

  • June 10 — Registration window opens for the DMEPOS Bidding System, DBidS, and Connexion, the program’s secure portal.
  • July 16 — Bid window opens.
  • Aug. 16 — DBidS registration closes (Connexion registration always remains open).
  • Aug. 19 — Covered document review date for bidders to upload financial documents in Connexion.
  • Sept. 18 — Bid window closes.
  • Fall — Preliminary bid evaluation notification.
  • Summer 2020 — CMS announces single payment amounts and begins contracting process.
  • Fall 2020 — CMS announces contract suppliers.
  • Jan. 1 2021 — Implementation of Round 2021 contracts and prices.

All the dates, except for implementation date, are targets, according to CBIC. Further detail is on the Round 2021 timeline page.

Round 2021 involves new features such as lead item pricing and CBIC noted that is has provided various resources on its site, such as the Request for Bids Instructions, bidding rules, a Lead Item Pricing Calculator, fact sheets, checklists, and Bid Preparation Worksheets.

CMS’s Round 2021 Webinars

In addition to the CBIC resources, CMS and CBIC are jointly presenting a series of three webinars this month that aim to help educate HME providers understand key elements of Round 2021:

(To register, click on each webinar’s name.)

CMS will accept questions during the webinars, but encouraged prospective attendees to email their questions in advance to cbic.admin@palmettogba.com with “Webcast Question” in the subject line. CMS noted that questions do not need to be limited to the topics included in the webcasts, but should pertain to Round 2021.
Providers with additional questions can call the CBIC customer service center at (877) 577-5331 between 9 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday.

Industry Ramps up Round 2021 Education

In addition to CMS’s webinars and CBIC’s online resources, various industry entities have banded together to give HME resources to help them prepare for Round 2021, including a new educational web site and a June 5 bidding summit.

To give providers deeper Round 2021 information, the American Association for Homecare (AAHomecare), the Council for Quality Respiratory Care (CQRC), and the VGM Group banded together to release dmecbpeducation.com, a website designed to help HME providers better prepare the new round.
The new site includes educational resources and tools such as bid calculators to help providers make the right decisions when enrolling and bidding in Round 2021. A key resource on the site is its new bid calculators, which help providers better formulate what their reimbursement will look like and how it will impact their business when they bid under lead item pricing.

Taking their Round 2021 educational efforts further, the educational coalition behind the dmecbpeducation.com website is hosting the Bid Smart 2019 Summit in Nashville, Tenn. on June 5.
The one-day summit, hosted at the One Century Place Conference Center in Nashville, will provide a day-long workshop that will address topics such as lead item pricing; bid surety bond; and the use of single payment amounts to set rates in non-competitive bidding areas.

About the Author

David Kopf is the Executive Editor of HME Business and DME Pharmacy magazine. Follow him on Twitter at @postacutenews.

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