CMS Releases Round 2021 Bid Data

The Round 2021 bids show increases for lead items in most areas compared to the 2020 fee schedule, while bids for non-lead items show mixed results. CMS opted not to award contracts for 13 categories in late October.

In response to requests from DMEPOS stakeholders, CMS has released more information on the pivotal bid results of Round 2021.

As readers will recall, after it took bids for 16 product categories in the 130 competitive bid areas of Round 2021, CMS only awarded contracts for off-the-shelf (OTS) back and knees braces.

Since the agency removed the non-invasive ventilator category due to the COVID-19 public health emergency, that left 13 categories for which CMS did not offer contracts because “the payment amounts did not achieve expected savings.”

On Jan. 1, contracts went into effect in 127 CBAs for the OTS Back Braces and OTS Knee Braces product categories, as Medicare expects to save $600 million in benefit savings over the three year Round 2021 contract performance period.

Initial review of CMS’s bid information from the American Association for Homecare shows inconsistent results.

“Overall, Round 2021 bid results for lead items show increases in most areas compared to the 2020 fee schedule, while prices generated for non-lead items show mixed results,” a statement from the association read. “While it appears to support HME stakeholders' concerns that the current SPAs are too low, it is important to analyze the data and understand the variations to avoid potential unintended consequences that could result in CMS eliminating the critical gains achieved during the last several years.”

AAHomecare said it has submitted a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for specific data on each of the 130 CBAs and 13 product categories: 

  • Number of bid bonds issued.
  • Number of bids submitted.
  • Number of bona fide bid requests.
  • Number of disqualified bidders.
  • Number of first time bidders.
  • Number of disqualified bidders due to preliminary bid evaluation.

For more information, read CMS’s announcement on the CBIC site.

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