Medical equipment suppliers can submit bids for Round 2021 of the Medicare Durable Medical Equipment, Prosthetics, Orthotics, and Supplies (DMEPOS) Competitive Bidding Program (CBP) from July 16 through September 18, 2019, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has just announced.

As previously reported, Round 2021 of the CBP round will cover 16 product categories in 130 competitive bidding areas (CBAs), with contracts running from January 1, 2021 through December 31, 2023. This will be the first round using the new “lead item” bidding methodology, under which suppliers will submit a single bid price for the item in the product category with the highest total nationwide Medicare allowed charges (instead of separate bid prices for each item in the product category). Also new for Round 2021, CMS will calculate a single payment amount (SPA) for the lead item based on the highest amount bid within the winning bids in the CBA, rather than the median of winning bids. The SPAs for non-lead items will be based on the historic differences in the fee schedule amounts for the lead item and non-lead items.

Major milestones in the Round 2021 bidding process include the following (though CMS notes that the dates are subject to change):

6/10/2019 — Registration window opens for the DMEPOS Bidding System (DBidS) and Connexion (the CBP secure portal)

7/16/2019 — Bid window opens

8/16/2019 — DBidS registration closes

8/19/2019 — Covered document review date for bidders to upload financial documents

9/18/2019 — Bid window closes

Fall 2019 — Preliminary bid evaluation notification

Summer 2020 — CMS announces SPAs and begins contracting process

Fall 2020 — CMS announces contract suppliers

1/1/2021 Implementation of Round 2021 contracts and prices

The Competitive Bidding Implementation Contractor (CBIC) is holding a series of webcasts later this month to educate suppliers on Bid Surety Bond and Lead Item Pricing, Preparing and Submitting Financial Documents, and Registering and Submitting a Bid. The CBIC is compiling information on Round 2021 here.