The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced operational details November 30th for Round 2 of the Medicare Durable Medical Equipment, Prosthetics, Orthotics and Supplies (DMEPOS) Competitive Bidding Program. Some key dates to be aware of:
- Bidder registration will begin December 5th, 2011;
- The 60-day supplier bidding period will open on January 30, 2012; and
- New prices are expected to take effect on July 1, 2013.
The Round 2 categories of products are similar to those in Round 1, with some additions. The Round 2 product categories are:
- Oxygen, oxygen equipment, and supplies;
- Standard (Power and Manual) wheelchairs, scooters, and related accessories (a new category that combines all mobility devices);
- Enteral nutrients, equipment, and supplies;
- Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) devices and Respiratory Assist Devices (RADs) and related supplies and accessories;
- Hospital beds and related accessories;
- Walkers and related accessories;
- Negative Pressure Wound Therapy pumps and related supplies and accessories (new category);
- Support surfaces (Group 2 mattresses and overlays).
The first phase of the program was implemented for nine product categories in nine areas of the country on January 1, 2011. So far, CMS is saying that their monitoring data has shown a successful implementation with no changes in beneficiary health status. Round 2 expands the program to 91 additional metropolitan areas.
Under the competitive bidding program, DMEPOS suppliers compete to become Medicare contract suppliers by submitting bids to provide certain items in competitive bidding areas. The new, lower payment amounts resulting from the competition replace the fee schedule amounts for the bid items in these areas.
To assist suppliers through the bidding process, CMS has also launched a bidder education program that will feature Request for Bid instructions, updated fact sheets, and a series of webcasts. More educational information can be found at www.dmecompetitivebid.com, and an overview of the program is available on the CMS website.