Mandatory deadline: Drop-dead deadline 'not even close'

Sunday, October 14, 2007

WASHINGTON - With a little more than two weeks to go until the Oct. 31 deadline for providers in the first 10 CBAs to get accredited, now's not the time to turn away surveyors, said a CMS official during last week's Open Door Forum.

"We have gotten word from some of our accreditation organizations that some suppliers have refused onsite surveys," said CMS's Sandra Bastinelli. "These are unannounced surveys; unannounced means just that. When you are refusing an onsite survey, for all intents and purposes, you are refusing to become accredited."

Meanwhile, those wondering what the drop-dead deadline is for all providers to become accredited will have to wait longer. Bastinelli was quick to put the kibosh on a rumored April 1, 2009, deadline that circulated at Medtrade earlier this month.

"Someone made up a nice date of April 2009," she said. "It did not come from a leak, and it wasn't even a proposed date. It wasn't even close."

CMS also reminded listeners that the competitive bidding window closed Sept. 25 and that hard copies of bids had to be postmarked on that same date.

"Suppliers can still verify receipt of the hard copies by viewing their home page on the competitive bidding submission system," said a CMS official. "The home page will let you know if a hard copy has been received but it does not say the package is complete or accurate."