Kazynski's take on NCB

Thursday, June 30, 2005

WATERLOO, Iowa -- While delays are nothing new to CMS, industry watchers expect CMS to release a draft DME competitive bidding plan this month, as well as a draft of proposed new quality standards.
If CMS wants to meet the MMA deadline for rolling out competitive bidding in 10 of the largest MSAs by 2007, it must move quickly on the plan's components, said Dave Kazynski, president of VGM's Home Link and a member of the PAOC, a competitive bidding advisory committee.
Kazynski gave an update on competitive bidding at VGM's Heartland Conference in June.
Kazynski said, among other things:
- Once the program starts, CMS wants to solicit bids every three years because that process is expensive.
- In rolling the program out in 2007, look for CMS to pick 10 MSAs of about 1 million people. CMS wants to roll out the program in "manageable areas" that include a sizeable population of Medicare beneficiaries and many providers.
- In a recent poll, 90% of dealers said they would buy less expensive equipment if they are part of a competitive bidding MSA.
- All winning bidders will be paid the same, and winning suppliers must receive at least as much as the bid for an item.
- Areas that can be exempted for competitive bidding: rural/low population areas and regions within an MSA that include few providers.
- CMS can expand MSAs to include adjacent areas that are highly competitive or that show high utilization.