With the deadline almost in sight, CMS announced that it was
extending the bid deadline by one week to give providers more time to submit bids for national competitive bidding. The new deadline is this Friday, July 27.
The second time CMS has extended the deadline, providers have until 9 p.m. EST July 27. The first deadline change was from July 13 to July 20.
In two letters delivered to CMS, 65 U.S. Representatives from the House and 14 U.S. Senators urged Medicare to extend the deadline for competitive bidding for DME providers until quality and patient access issues are resolved. Both letters, dated July 13, were addressed to Leslie Norwalk, who is acting administrator of CMS.
The bipartisan group of Senators and Representatives request that the CMS that take specific steps to ensure that implementation of the bidding program does not harm quality or beneficiary access to homecare. Both letters stated, “Access to quality DME and related services can often mean the difference between a patient being able to remain in their own home or being forced into a nursing home or hospital.”
The letters urged CMS to address several concerns, including:
How will CMS assess the effectiveness of the bidding program with respect to clinical outcomes for patients such as those requiring pressure wound therapy and blood glucose self-monitoring?
The compressed timeline for implementation of the bidding process does not allow sufficient time for HME providers to learn about important details and obtain answers to key questions;
Medicare codes in many cases are overly broad, inconsistent, and confusing, which raises quality and patient-access issues.
See full text for House letter at: www.aahomecare.org/associations/3208/files/HouseFinalJohnsonAllenCMSletter071707v2.pdf
The CBIC help desk will be available to assist providers from 6 a.m. until midnight EST. The CBIC help desk will operate 24 hours a day the last day before bidding closes. You may call the help desk at (877)577-5331.