CMS unruffled by potential technical problems

Sunday, July 22, 2007

WASHINGTON - During Wednesday's Open Door Forum, CMS officials said they are unaware of any significant problems with the competitive bidding system.

Providers should be able to get their bids in on time, they said.

Some callers were not so sure.

One caller asked: "(Will there be) any flexibility shown by CMS for suppliers who in good faith tried to get their applications in but were shut out as a result of technical glitches?"

A CMS official responded that the agency was working "diligently" to deal with issues as they arose.

"I believe that everyone who is in the system submitting their bids will be able to get those in," said the official.

Another caller asked what back-up plans CMS has in the event that the system crashes due to increased volume, leaving providers unable to submit bids.

"We have seen an increase in traffic and it's going just fine, so we're not expecting there to be a crash," said an official. "Obviously, if there is a crash, we will consider what to do."

CMS also reminded callers not to call the help desk with accreditation concerns. Those questions need to be directed to CMS or to the accrediting agencies. For those who plan to submit bids in the first 10 competitive bidding areas, the deadline to get accredited is Aug. 31. No date has been announced for all DMEPOS providers to get accredited.