WASHINGTON, DC – A new website has been launched to prepare durable medical equipment (DME) suppliers for Medicare’s Round 2021 of the Durable Medical Equipment, Prosthetics, Orthotics and Supplies (DMEPOS) competitive bidding program (CBP).
The DME CBP website offers useful information and easy-to-understand tools to help DMEs better understand Medicare’s new competitive bidding program, how a bid for the lead item impacts the rest of the items (non-lead items) in the product category, and how those single payment amounts (SPAs) would compare to current Medicare rates. It will also serve as a platform for webinars and events intended to educate prospective bidders about the process.
Suppliers and prospective bidders from across the country will be able to utilize the website’s enhanced bid calculators to estimate how bids on lead items will impact rates for other related items in 16 bidding categories. The site’s bid calculators employ the ratios developed by the Competitive Bidding Implementation Contractor, but also provide more contextual information, including rates currently in effect and how results for non-lead items compare to current rates in both dollar amount and by percentage.
“Informed bidding will help sustain DME businesses, therefore ensuring that patients’ access to life-changing medical equipment remains steady, stable, and secure,” said Tom Ryan, President and CEO of the American Association for Homecare. “We’re excited to work with leaders industrywide to produce these valuable tools.”
Five industry leaders collaborated on the DME CBP website: the American Association for Homecare, the Council for Quality Respiratory Care, VGM & Associates, and the Healthcare Nutrition Council.
About the Competitive Bidding Program
The DMEPOS Competitive Bidding Program was mandated by Congress through the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act of 2003 (MMA). The statute requires that Medicare replace the current fee schedule payment methodology for selected DMEPOS items with a competitive bid process.
Under the program, a competition among suppliers who operate in a particular competitive bidding area is conducted. Suppliers are required to submit a bid for selected products. Not all products or items are subject to competitive bidding. Bids are submitted electronically through a web-based application process. Bids are evaluated based on the supplier’s eligibility, its financial stability and the bid price. Contracts are awarded to the Medicare suppliers who offer the best price and meet applicable quality and financial standards. Contract suppliers must agree to accept assignment on all claims for bid items and will be paid the single payment amount for each HCPCS code in a product category.
These competitive bidding rates will then be used by CMS to set the rates in the non-competitive bidding areas in the rest of the country.
While the website provides useful tools to educate prospective bidders, it is not intended, nor should it be construed as legal advice. Bidders are responsible for their bids and should consult their own counsel for legal advice or the CBIC.