CMS to disgruntled bidders: 'We have process'

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

WASHINGTON - CMS officials assured the 436 listeners to the Open Door Forum on April 2 that they have "a process in place" for addressing concerns that some bidders were unfairly disqualified from Round 1 of national competitive bidding.
When asked, during the forum's question-and-answer period, to explain that process, CMS's Joel Kaiser said that disgruntled bidders can call 877-577-5331 and speak with a customer service representative at the Competitive Bidding Implementation Contractor (CBIC) to get detailed information on why their bids were rejected.
"Based on that information, bidders can request that there be further research into the specific information surrounding their bids," he said. "Once the CBIC is done with its review, they'll report to CMS, and CMS will work with the CBIC to further review each bid situation. Ultimately, we will reply back to the supplier on the outcome of the review. We're telling folks the process could take up to 30 days."
If a bidder receives a favorable outcome, "at that time, we'll provide additional information on what the next steps are," Kaiser said.
CMS officials told listeners to keep an eye out for upcoming Medicare Learning Network (MLN) Matters articles and national conference calls for more information on Round 1, which kicks off July 1. The agency published the first and second of those articles April 3 and 4.
CMS officials said they were "on track" to announce contract providers in May.
Other tidbits from the forum:
4 Accreditation. CMS officials squashed rumors of an accreditation backlog: "We've been hearing from some of our suppliers that there's a backlog of applications at our accreditation organizations, and we have checked with all of our deemed accrediting organizations," said CMS official Sandra Bastinelli. "While there is no backlog, it will take the accreditation organizations longer to process your applications due to the sheer volume, so you cannot wait, especially if you're competitively bidding." HME