On April 17, 2012, CMS announced that it is recompeting Round One Medicare DME, prosthetics, orthotics, and supplies (DMEPOS) competitive bidding contracts in nine geographic areas, as it is required by statute to do at least every three years. CMS is making important changes to the product categories for the recompete, however, including subjecting new products to competitive bidding for the first time and expanding the products within single product categories (meaning that a supplier would need to furnish all of the products within that product category, either directly or through a qualified subcontract, in order to bid in a competitive bidding area). Additional details are provided after the jump.
The product categories for the Round One Recompete are as follows:
- Respiratory Equipment and Related Supplies and Accessories (includes oxygen, oxygen equipment, and supplies; continuous positive airway pressure devices and respiratory assist devices, and related supplies and accessories; and standard nebulizers).
- Standard Mobility Equipment and Related Accessories (includes walkers, standard power and manual wheelchairs, scooters, and related accessories).
- General Home Equipment and Related Supplies and Accessories (includes hospital beds and related accessories, group 1 and 2 support surfaces, transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation devices, commode chairs, patient lifts, and seat lifts).
- Enteral Nutrients, Equipment and Supplies.
- Negative Pressure Wound Therapy Pumps and Related Supplies and Accessories.
- External Infusion Pumps and Supplies.
The specific codes items in each product category, along with the zip codes for each competitive bidding area, are available on the Competitive Bidding Implementation Contractor website. CMS states that while it is not including retail (non-mail order) diabetic supplies in the Round One Recompete, CMS is “exploring options for adjusting the fee schedule amounts for retail diabetic supplies without requiring local suppliers to compete for contracts.” CMS expects to provide additional information on this issue in the coming weeks. Note that a national competition for mail-order diabetic supplies concluded in March 2012, with contracts scheduled to go into effect July 1, 2013. Bidder registration for the Round One Recompete will begin this summer, with bidding conducted this fall for contracts that take effect January 1, 2014. Suppliers considering bidding should prepare now, including ensuring that their enrollment files at the National Supplier Clearinghouse are current, and that they are accredited and hold all necessary state licenses for any products for which they will bid. For more information about the DMEPOS bidding program, see our previous postings. CMS also recently announced that overall Medicare savings from DMEPOS competitive bidding is expected to top $42 billion over the first 10 years of the program, reflecting savings of more than $25 billion in Medicare expenditures and $17 billion in lower beneficiary coinsurance and monthly premiums.