More than 1,100 providers dialed in to listen to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) explain many of the details of the final DMEPOS competitive bidding rule after it was published in the Federal Register last week.
Although providers have been waiting for CMS to release information on competitive bidding for months now, many providers are shocked at the short turnaround time providers in the 10 MSAs have to prepare. CMS already announced the 10 MSAs and the product categories to be competitvely bid, and invited providers to register to submit their bids a week ago. In late April, the bidding window will open for 60 days and close in late June. Winning bidders will be announced in January 2008.
In one year, April 2008, competitive bidding prices will go into effect.
Providers are required to submit a bid for every product within a product category and must be able to supply all of the products in that category. CMS official Joel Kaiser stressed that CMS will be closely monitoring the accreditation process. All suppliers will have to be accredited in order to submit a bid.
Providers have to submit bids that are below the current CMS fee schedule for that item. Suppliers who win bids have to honor their bid prices for the entire length of their contract with CMS, no more than three years.
Other important points addressed:
- If providers were to bid on oxygen, they also need to bid on statinoary concentrators, liquid and gas oxygen systems as well as the contents and accessories.
- CMS will determine the winning small providers by selecting a “pivotal bid” or the point that CMS has enough suppliers to meet demand and the suppliers below that pivotal bid are the winning suppliers. If there are enough small suppliers in the winning range to meet the small supplier target, the process is complete, if not, CMS will go above the pivotal bid with the supplier closest to the pivotal bid.
Suppliers can go to the CBIC Web site, www.dmecompetitivebid.com/cbic/cbic.nsf/(pages)/home, to look up product categories and the codes for each category.