The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced its next steps in the implementation of the Round One Rebid of the Medicare Competitive Bidding Program for durable medical equipment, prosthetics, orthotics and supplies (DMEPOS). CMS will now begin general "pre-bidding" supplier awareness and education efforts on key steps suppliers need to take now to be ready for registration and bidding including getting appropriate state licenses, updating Medicare enrollment files with the National Supplier Clearinghouse and getting accredited and bonded. CMS will also announce the detailed timeline for the program in the summer. The bidder registration period is expected to begin this summer before bidding opens in the fall. CMS has made a number of process improvements for the Round One Rebid, such as an upgraded on-line bid submission system, early bidder education and increased oversight of bidders that are new to product categories.
As part of the Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act of 2008 (MIPPA), Congress instituted a temporary delay of the competitive bidding program and called for certain changes in the program. The law required CMS to terminate contracts awarded in Round One and to conduct the competition for the Round One Rebid. Additionally, the new law established a financial document review process and a requirement for contract suppliers to report subcontract relationships. MIPPA also excluded certain DMEPOS items and areas from competitive bidding and provided an exemption to the program for hospitals that furnish certain types of DMEPOS items to their own patients. MIPPA did not fundamentally change the nature of the competitive bidding program as established by the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement and Modernization Act of 2003 (MMA) or the existing competitive bidding regulations finalized in 2007.
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