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Competitive Bidding

Monday, April 18, 2011 @ 09:04 AM  posted by jbuytaert

The Competitive Bidding Program for durable medical equipment, prosthetics, orthotics and supplies (DMEPOS) was established  by the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act of 2003 (MMA).The Program fundamentally changes Medicare’s approach to reimbursing DMEPOS suppliers like Handi Medical Supply under Medicare Part B, from the current use of fee schedules, to a system which sets reimbursement rates through a bidding process between the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and designated suppliers. The winning bids will be used to establish a single Medicare payment for 10 items designated by CMS. The ten items currently being bid out include the following:

  • Oxygen Systems
  • Standard Power Wheelchairs, Scooters and related accessories
  • Group 2 Power Wheelchairs
  • Mail order diabetic supplies
  • Enteral nutrients, equipment and supplies
  • CPAP, RAD’s and related supplies
  • Hospital Beds
  • Walkers and related accessories
  • Support Surfaces

Suppliers who wish to submit bids must be accredited and bonded. Contracts will be re-competed at least once every three years.  Handi Medical Supply is currently accredited through The Joint Commission often times refer to as the premiere accrediting body within the healthcare industry.  

In August 2009, CMS announced the re-launch of a competitive bidding program. Pricing under Round One of the program was implemented on January 1, 2011, across nine Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs).  The new healthcare reform legislation adds 21 cities to Round Two of the bid, bringing the total number of MSAs in the program to 100. It also requires the Secretary of Health and Human Services to bid all areas of the country or apply bid rates nationwide by 2016.  Round two is scheduled to begin in these top 100 MSA’s on January 1, 2013 which does include Minneapolis/St. Paul/Bloomington.

What does all of this mean to the consumer of medical equipment and supplies?  It means that you may or may not be able to use your current supplier for DMEPOS.  Only the winning suppliers will have the ability to provide Medicare Beneficiaries with the equipment that is included in competitive bidding.  This legislation effects everyone who is a Medicare Beneficiary using DMEPOS that reside within the MSA’s that are in round one and round two. 

For the past six years Handi Medical Supply has visited Washington to meet with members of congress and CMS to influence this legislation.  Perhaps the most powerful voice in this matter is you.  Your voice does make a different.  Call your Representatives and Senators and share your thoughts on Competitive Bidding.  For more information related to Competitive Bidding please go to www.cms.gov .

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