Open Door Forum reveals little

Sunday, February 24, 2008

BALTIMORE - Use your NPIs. Get accredited. Hang tight if you're awaiting word on competitive bidding contracts.

The news at the Feb. 20 Open Door Forum was that there really is no news. CMS officials started off the call with reminders on several key ongoing issues.

"If you are in a competitive bidding area, you should be calling accreditors for an application and preparing for an onsite survey," said CMS official Sandra Bastinelli. "I understand from the accrediting agencies that they are not busy, which is not a good sign. There is no need to wait further."

There was nothing new on the competitive bidding front either, said CMS official Joel Kaiser.

"We are nearing the end of evaluating the bids submitted, and we will begin offering contracts in association with those bids in the near future," he said.

Industry watchers expect CMS to announce the winning bidder sometime in March.

CMS officials reminded callers that they can only comment on the underlined parts of the proposed revisions to the quality standards, released Jan. 25. The deadline for comments is March 18, 5 p.m. EST. Comments can be submitted at