Open Door Forum: NCB, accreditation and fraud demo

Sunday, September 2, 2007

WASHINGTON - Listeners to CMS's Open Door Forum last week received several reminders about national competitive bidding, accreditation and the agency's new fraud and abuse demonstration.

CMS officials noted that the deadline for registering for competitive bidding IDs and passwords came and went Aug. 27. They reminded providers that the deadline for submitting bids is Sept. 25 and the deadline for becoming accredited is Oct. 31.

Sandra Bastinelli, CMS's acting division director of special programs, cautioned providers not to use the new accreditation deadline as an excuse to delay their on-site surveys.

"If you have any deficiencies, you may not or will not have time to get accredited, because you have to correct those deficiencies," she said. "Keep in mind that just because you apply for accreditation doesn't guarantee you will be accredited."

Bastinelli also congratulated providers, especially those outside the first 10 competitive bidding areas (CBAs), for taking accreditation seriously.

"We understand, from the reports we get from the accreditors, that there are a lot of suppliers who are not in the CBAs who are already accredited," she said. "We congratulate you on that, and you're certainly far ahead of the process."

Bastinelli reiterated that CMS has yet to set a drop-dead deadline for all providers to become accredited.

CMS officials also reiterated that providers in several counties in Florida and California will receive letters asking them to resubmit applications for supplier numbers within 30 days. Moreover, providers will undergo multiple unannounced site visits, and owners and managing employees will undergo criminal background checks.

Additionally, CMS officials shared results from the Medicare Contractor Provider Satisfaction Survey (MCPSS). For the second consecutive year, 85% of respondents rated their fee-for-service contractors between four and six, with one representing "not at all satisfied" and six representing "completely satisfied." MCPSS queried more than 36,000 providers.

There were 430 listeners to the Open Door Forum. CMS has scheduled the next forum for Oct. 10.