CMS: ‘There’s no specific proposal at this point’

Friday, March 7, 2014

BALTIMORE – CMS in February began taking public comment on how to expand competitive bidding nationwide, but not on the program itself, officials said during a March 5 Open Door Forum.

During the Q&A portion of the forum, Kim Brummett, senior director of regulatory affairs for AAHomecare, asked if CMS planned to wait until the Office of Inspector General (OIG) releases a pair of reports on Round 1 and Round 2 of competitive bidding before issuing a proposed rule on expanding the program.

Joel Kaiser, director of the Division of DMEPOS Policy, said CMS is taking comments on the methodology to adjust prices in non-bid areas, not on the bid program.

In addition to adjusting prices, CMS is looking at the payment rules for certain DME and for enteral nutrient supplies and equipment.

“What we’re doing in the same document is soliciting public comment on whether, under the competitive bidding program, we should simplify the payment rules,” Kaiser said.

Brummett followed up by asking, “On bundling for enteral therapy, is the intention of CMS, if it is bundled, to include the formula or are you guys thinking primarily of supplies and equipment?”

“This is just an advance notice of proposal,” Kaiser replied. “We’d like to get some thoughts and ideas. There’s no specific proposal at this point and there may never be one.”