Finally shedding light on the process, CMS announced the winning providers for round one of its competitive bidding program.
A total of 325 providers in round one’s 10 MSAs received 1,345 contracts. In order to participate and win a contract, those providers had to be accredited by one of the CMS-approved accrediting bodies.
A full list of all the wining providers can be found at http://www.dmecompetitivebid.com/cs.
For Medicare patients living in one of round one’s 10 MSAs, this means they will need to change their provider to one of the winning bidders if their current provider did not win a Medicare contract or isn’t a provider who is allowed to supply patients as a grandfathered supplier. Grandfathered suppliers are those who chose to continue to provide certain rented DME, oxygen and oxygen equipment for existing patients.
During the bidding, 68 percent of the 1,005 original bidders were eliminated, according to said CMS acting Administrator Kerry Weems. Since that time associations such as the American Association for Homecare have received approximately 200 complaints from providers who argue their bids were improperly disqualified.
Looking at the list, there are many winning providers in the 10 MSA that are not based in those 10 MSAs. For example, the Cleveland Plain Dealer reported that the majority of 125 providers who won contracts for the Cleveland, Elyria and Mentor MSA “do not appear to have operations in the area.” Only 50 winning bidders in the MSA appear to be local, the paper said.