DMEPOS Competitive Bidding Program Delayed

At the Obama administration’s request, the interim final rule on the Durable Medical Equipment, Prosthetics, Orthotics, and Supplies (DMEPOS) Competitive Bidding Program went into effect April 18.

The rule—issued by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) on Jan. 16—implements provisions in section 154 of the 2008 Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act (MIPPA) related to the program.

Specifically, this rule officially delays implementation of Round 1 of the DMEPOS Competitive Bidding Program until 2009 and Round 2 until 2011; requires CMS to conduct a second Round 1 competition this year; and mandates certain changes for both the Round 1 rebid and subsequent rounds of the program, including a process for feedback to suppliers regarding missing financial documentation and requiring contractors to disclose to CMS information regarding subcontracting relationships.

The Round 1 rebid includes the same items and services and will be conducted in the same areas as the 2007 Round 1 competition, with exceptions. Specifically, the Round 1 rebid excludes negative pressure wound therapy items and services, Puerto Rico, and Group 3 complex rehabilitative wheelchairs.

Suppliers previously awarded a competitive bidding contract will need to resubmit bids for consideration. However, suppliers need only submit financial documents from the past year, rather than the past three years.

The Round 1 rebid will occur in the following cities:

  • Cincinnati, Middletown
  • Cleveland, Elyria, Mentor
  • Charlotte, Gastonia, Concord
  • Dallas, Fort Worth, Arlington
  • Kansas City
  • Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Miami Beach
  • Orlando
  • Pittsburgh
  • Riverside, San Bernardino, Ontario

The Round 1 rebid will include the following categories of items and services:

  • Oxygen supplies and equipment
  • Standard power wheelchairs, scooter and related accessories
  • Complex rehabilitative poser wheelchairs and related accessories
  • Mail-order diabetic supplies
  • Enteral nutrients, equipment and supplies
  • Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAPA), respiratory assist devices (RAD), and related supplies and accessories
  • Walkers and related accessories
  • Hospital beds and related accessories
  • Support surfaces (Group 2 mattresses and overlays) in Miami

CMS is expected to issue guidance on the timeline and bidding requirements related to the Round 1 rebid in the upcoming weeks. This rule does not have an immediate effect on the DMEPOS benefit for Medicare beneficiaries.

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