CMS officials discuss licensure, bid requirements

Sunday, September 6, 2009

BALTIMORE - When it comes to national competitive bidding, CMS plans to take state licensure requirements very seriously. Officials made that crystal clear during last week's Special Open Door Forum.

Licensure requirements vary from product to product and state to state. Last year, CMS awarded some contracts to providers who didn't possess the necessary state licenses, drawing criticism. The agency wants to avoid that snafu this year.

"Any supplier who submits a bid must meet the quality standards, accreditation and licensure requirements for that product category in that competitive bidding area (CBA) at the time of the bid submission," said Cindy Dreher, content and policy lead for the Competitive Bidding Implementation Contractor (CBIC). "A copy of any applicable state license must be on file with the NSC."

For CBAs that encompass multiple states, like Kansas City (Kansas and Missouri), a provider must meet the licensure requirements for each state, Dreher said. That's a concern for some providers.

"As a diabetic supplier in Florida, most mail order companies provide to patients throughout the entire United States," said one caller. "There may be several states you cannot obtain a license in unless you have a physical location in that state. That will preclude certain suppliers and narrows the ability to make this viable."

Dreher responded: "The rule is you have to be licensed to provide that specific product category in that state if that state requires a license."

Providers should check the NSC Web site,, for state licensure requirements.