CMS recaps competitive bidding info

Sunday, May 27, 2007

WASHINGTON - Providers gearing up for competitive bidding received a myriad of reminders about bid requirements and processes at last week's Open Door Forum.

Providers who plan to submit bids in the first 10 competitive bidding areas (CBAs) must include not only their prices for furnishing an item, but also their capacity for furnishing items on an annual basis to beneficiaries during the contract period.

"Pay close attention when reporting your capacity," said CMS official Joel Kaiser. "The capacity should be reported in units as recorded in the bidding information chart."

Kaiser also reminded callers that if they wish to bid in a certain product category--for example, oxygen and oxygen equipment--they must be prepared to furnish all items in that category, not just one or two.

"If you just deal in concentrators, and you want to be a contract supplier, you must furnish all the items, liquid and gaseous, in addition to concentrators," said Kaiser. "If you don't currently provide those items, you have to expand your business or subcontract to someone ahead of time to furnish those items in order to submit a bid."

Officials said three competitive bidding teleconferences would be held in June (See below).

Officials also reminded providers of the looming Aug. 31 deadline to become accredited.

"If you are serious about participating in the first round, you should already have applied for accreditation," said Kaiser. "If we come to Aug. 31 and you're not accredited, it doesn't matter if you've submitted a bid or not. You will not be considered for a contract."

CMS will cover these topics in its free one-hour teleconferences:

* "Submitting Your Bid" on June 4 at 2 p.m. CMS officials will guide listeners through navigating the Competitive Bidding Submission System.
* "Understanding the Bidding Rules" on June 6 at 2 p.m. Officials will discuss common ownership, financial requirements, small business provisions, and the bidding evaluation process and time frames.
* "Product Categories" on June 8 at 2 p.m. Officials will discuss how they selected product categories, what constitutes the mail order diabetic testing supplies category and what's included in the grandfathering provisions.

Each teleconference will include time for questions and answers.

To register for the teleconferences, go to Upon registration, CMS will send a call-in number and a confirmed date and time.

After each teleconference, CMS will make an audio recording and a transcript available on

Call 877-577-5331 with questions.