On April 21, 2015, CMS announced its plans to recompete the supplier contracts awarded under the Round 1 Recompete of the Medicare Durable Medical Equipment, Prosthetics, Orthotics, and Supplies (DMEPOS) Competitive Bidding Program, as the statute requires CMS to do at least every three years. The current Round 1 Recompete contract period expires December 31, 2016; the new “Round 1 2017” contracts are scheduled to go into effect January 1, 2017.
For the recompete, CMS is making limited changes to the composition of the product categories and the number of competitive bidding areas (CBAs). The product categories to be included in the Round 1 2017 competition are as follows:
- Enteral Nutrients, Equipment and Supplies
- General Home Equipment and Related Supplies and Accessories – includes hospital beds and related accessories, group 1 and 2 support surfaces, commode chairs, patient lifts, and seat lifts
- Nebulizers and Related Supplies
- Negative Pressure Wound Therapy (NPWT) Pumps and Related Supplies and Accessories
- Non-invasive Pressure Support Ventilators (this product category is limited to eight CBAs)
- Respiratory Equipment and Related Supplies and Accessories — includes oxygen, oxygen equipment, and supplies; continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) devices and respiratory assist devices (RADs) and related supplies and accessories
- Standard Mobility Equipment and Related Accessories — includes walkers, standard power and manual wheelchairs, scooters, and related accessories
- Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) Devices and Supplies
The Round 1 2017 configuration generally aligns with the Round 1 Recompete categories, except CMS has: added a Non-invasive Pressure Support Ventilators in eight CBAs; deleted the external infusion pumps and supplies product category; created a separate TENS category (rather than including such items in the General Home Equipment category); and created a nebulizer product category (rather than including such items in the Respiratory Equipment category). Suppliers can bid on one or more product categories, but they must bid on all specified HCPCS codes within the category. A list of the specific items in each product category is available on the Competitive Bidding Implementation Contractor (CBIC) website.
CMS is conducting the Round 1 2017 competition in the same nine metropolitan statistical areas that were included in the Round 1 Recompete. Because of changes to zip codes and boundary changes adopted by CMS to ensure that no CBA is included in more than one state, however, the number of CBAs expanded from nine CBAs in the Round 1 Recompete to 13 CBAs in the Round 1 2017 competition. A list of the ZIP codes included in each CBA is also available on the CBIC website.
CMS announced the following general timeline for the Round 1 2017 competition:
April 21, 2015:
- CMS begins pre-bidding supplier awareness program
- CMS announces bidding schedule
- CMS begins bidder education program
- Bidder registration period to obtain user ID and passwords begins
- Bidding begins
Suppliers considering bidding in the Round 1 2017 competition should begin preparing now by ensuring that enrollment files at the National Supplier Clearinghouse are current, that they are accredited, and that they 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.