DMEPOS: Next Steps for Bidding Program

To help Medicare set appropriate payment rates for durable medical equipment, prosthetics, orthotics, and supplies (DMEPOS), the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has announced plans to recompete the DMEPOS Competitive Bidding Program contracts in nine areas.

Medicare uses a fee schedule based on supplier charges from the 1980s, plus an annual item update factor, to pay for DMEPOS items. U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) Office of Inspector General (OIG) and Government Accountability Office (GAO) studies show the amounts for certain DMEPOS items on the fee schedule are overpriced.

Once every three years, CMS is required by law to recompete supplier contracts. This competition, according to a CMS Fact Sheet, “will continue the program in the first nine areas and add additional products that include high cost, high volume items with a large savings potential to the list of the product categories subject to bid.”

Round One Recompete Product Categories

  • Respiratory Equipment and Related Supplies and Accessories
    • Oxygen, oxygen equipment, and supplies
    • Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) devices and respiratory assist devices (RADs) and related supplies and accessories
    • Standard nebulizers
  • Standard Mobility Equipment and Related Accessories
    • Walkers, standard power and manual wheelchairs, scooters, and related accessories
  • General Home Equipment and Related Supplies and Accessories
    • Hospital beds and related accessories
    • Group 1 and 2 support surfaces
    • Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) devices
    • Commode chairs
    • Patient lifts
    • Seat lifts
  • Enteral Nutrients, Equipment, and Supplies
  • Negative Pressure Wound Therapy Pumps and Related Supplies and Accessories
  • External Infusion Pumps and Supplies

Start Preparing Now

To ensure suppliers have enough time to prepare, CMS announced the next steps for the program:

1. Spring 2012

  • CMS begins pre-bidding supplier awareness program

2. Summer 2012

  • CMS announces bidding schedule
  • CMS begins bidder education program
  • Bidder registration period to obtain user ID and passwords begins

3. Fall 2012

  • Bidding begins

Source: “Next Steps for the Medicare Durable Medical Equipment, Prothetics, Orthotics, and Supplies Competitive Bidding Program” Fact Sheet


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