CMS sets new deadlines for competitive bidding

Monday, December 31, 2007

BALTIMORE – CMS has updated the timeline on its Web site for the first round of national competitive bidding, officials told the 280 listeners to a Nov. 28 Open Door Forum. In January, the agency plans to finish evaluating bids; in March, it plans to announce the winning bidders.
Other key dates: In April, CMS will conduct an “intense beneficiary and referral education campaign.” In July, the program kicks off.
CMS plans to roll out 70 additional competitive bidding areas (CBAs) for the second round of competitive bidding “in the near future,” said CMS’s Joel Kaiser.
(CMS did not announce the date when all HME providers must be accredited. Officials planned to do that during a Special Open Door Forum scheduled for Dec. 19.)
During the question-and-answer session, AAHomecare’s Walt Gorski asked CMS officials whether the agency has sent letters to all providers in the Miami and Los Angeles areas asking them to reapply for their Medicare numbers as part of a fraud demo. The agency has sent letters to one-quarter of providers, officials said. It plans to send letters to the remaining providers by the end of January, they said.
Gorski also asked CMS officials if they could update listeners on the claims backlogs in Jurisdiction C due to the agency’s switch from Palmetto GBA to Cigna Government Services. No one attending the meeting could provide an update, but officials said they would try to add that, as well as service and maintenance issues, to the agenda of the next forum, Jan. 9. (See story on page 6 for more on the Region C backlog.)