CMS launches competitive bidding Web site

Sunday, March 25, 2007

WASHINGTON - CMS launched a Web site last week for its competitive bidding implementation contractor (CBIC), Palmetto GBA. The Web site,, will contain up-to-date information on the program.

Last week, the Web site outlined Palmetto's role in the program: preparing requests for bids; performing bid evaluations; ensuring suppliers meet applicable financial and quality standards; monitoring effectiveness, access and quality; and supporting efforts to educate beneficiaries, suppliers and referral agents.

The Web site also featured a "Notice to All Suppliers Interested in Competitive Bidding." The notice states:

* Suppliers must be authenticated before they submit bids. To do that, they should update all information provided to the National Supplier Clearinghouse (NSC).

* There is no deadline for suppliers to become accredited to retain/obtain their enrollment numbers or competitively bid.

Additionally, the Web site reminds suppliers of NCB's five objectives:

* To operationalize competitive bidding for DME and to use this to determine appropriate prices for categories of DME covered by Medicare Part B;

* To protect beneficiary access to quality DME throughout the program;

* To reduce the amount Medicare pays for DMEPOS and bring the reimbursement amount more in line with that of a competitive market;

* To limit the burden on beneficiaries by reducing their out-of-pocket expenses; and

* To mitigate proliferation of use of certain items of DMEPOS by contracting with suppliers who engage in a business model that is beneficial for the program and for Medicare beneficiaries.

The Web site concludes: "In the coming months, CMS will be publishing more information and resources related to this provision."