National competitive bidding deadline is tomorrow

Sunday, September 23, 2007

WASHINGTON - HME providers who plan to participate in the first round of national competitive bidding must submit their bids by 9 p.m. EST tomorrow, Sept. 25.

CMS extended the bidding deadline 60 days from the earlier July 27 deadline, giving providers additional time to prepare and submit their bids. While the extension has not been free of the technical glitches that plagued the process earlier, the magnitude of the problems has been much less, said Walt Gorski, AAHomecare's vice president of government affairs.

Once the bid closes, AAHomecare will focus on ensuring that CMS gives providers an opportunity to submit omitted information, he said.

"We believe CMS should be working with suppliers," Gorski said. "This is a new, untested program. This is new information providers are being asked to provide. If the NSC application is any indication, we're certain that some providers have made a mistake or forgotten to include a document. We want to make sure that there is an opportunity to correct any problems with their bids."

AAHomecare also has concerns over how CMS will evaluate the bids.

"We've seen some of the benchmarks but none of the specifics," Gorski said. "We should know the applications are going to be judged. There should be sunshine in the process. It should not occur in a black box."

The association plans to raise its concerns at the Oct. 11 meeting for the Program Advisory and Oversight Committee (PAOC) for national competitive bidding.