The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is seeking public input on surveys that are intended to “further strengthen the monitoring, outreach, and enforcement functions” of the Medicare durable medical equipment, prosthetics, orthotics, and supplies (DMEPOS) competitive bidding program – even though the agency has asserted that the program “has maintained beneficiary access to quality products from accredited suppliers in all competitive bidding areas.”
The new planned surveys will be sent to “key stakeholders,” such as beneficiaries, contract suppliers, and “referral agents” (e.g., Medicare enrolled providers, physicians, treating practitioners, discharge planners, social workers, pharmacists and other health care professionals who refer beneficiaries for services in a competitive bidding area). The surveys are intended to determine whether, for instance:
- The item/service was received and was compliant with the physician’s written order.
- Beneficiary/referral agents had difficulty locating a contract supplier to provide the necessary item(s).
- Beneficiaries experienced delays in receiving equipment or difficulty obtaining follow-up assistance.
CMS also requests feedback on “effective methods for contacting referral agents as they play a critical role in assisting beneficiaries in obtaining competitively bid DMEPOS items.” CMS will accept comments emailed to DMEPOS@cms.hhs.gov through December 20, 2019; the subject line of the email must read “Competitive Bidding Surveys.” CMS does not specify when it intends to conduct these surveys.