On August 16, 2012, CMS announced the detailed timeline for the Round 1 Recompete of the Medicare DMEPOS competitive bidding program, which applies to nine geographic areas where competitive bidding currently is in effect. As we previously reported, although CMS is calling this a “recompete,” the agency is actually making significant changes to the products included in Round 1, including subjecting new products to bidding for the first time (i.e., products that were not in the original Round 1 competitive bidding process), and expanding the range of products included in a single product category (which is significant because a contract supplier must furnish all products within a product category, either directly or through a qualified subcontract, in the competitive bidding area). The following is the timeline for registering and bidding (note that dates are subject to change):  

  • 8/20/2012 -- Registration for user IDs and passwords begins
  • 9/7/2012 -- Authorized Officials strongly encouraged to register by this date 9/28/2012 -- Backup Authorized Officials strongly encouraged to register by this date 10/15/2012 -- CMS opens 60-day bid window
  • 10/19/2012 -- Registration closes
  • 11/14/2012 -- Covered document review date for bidders to submit financial documents
  • 12/14/2012 -- 60-day bid window closes
  • Spring 2013 -- CMS announces single payment amounts, begins contracting process
  • Fall 2013 -- CMS announces contract suppliers, begins education campaign
  • January 1, 2014 -- Implementation of Round 1 Recompete contracts and prices

As CMS announced in the spring, the product categories for the Round 1 Recompete are: (1) Respiratory Equipment and Related Supplies and Accessories (includes oxygen, oxygen equipment, and supplies; continuous positive airway pressure devices and respiratory assist devices, and related supplies and accessories; and standard nebulizers); (2) Standard Mobility Equipment and Related Accessories (includes walkers, standard power and manual wheelchairs, scooters, and related accessories); (3) General Home Equipment and Related Supplies and Accessories (includes hospital beds and related accessories, group 1 and 2 support surfaces, transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation devices (TENS), commode chairs, patient lifts, and seat lifts); (4) Enteral Nutrients, Equipment and Supplies; (5) Negative Pressure Wound Therapy Pumps and Related Supplies and Accessories; and (6) External Infusion Pumps and Supplies.