RTI wins first competitive bidding contract

Sunday, June 20, 2004

June 21, 2004

BALTIMORE - To help with the development of “options and recommendations” on “effective strategies and designs for implementing” a national competitive bidding program, CMS awarded a research and design contract to Research Triangle Institute (RTI) in Research Triangle Park, N.C, CMS stated in a release on Thursday.
RTI conducted surveys of the competitive bidding demonstration projects in Polk County, Fla. and San Antonio, Texas and found that competitive bidding “can meet Medicare’s objectives in terms of program savings, maintaining access and quality, preserving competition in the DMEPOS markets and administrative feasibility,” according to an RTI report.
RTI will also provide consulting support and help CMS prepare for the implementation of this new payment methodology for DME. 
The MMA calls for national competitive bidding to be rolled out in the 10 largest metro areas in 2007 and the top 80 metro areas in 2009.
It’s not yet clear how RTI will interact with the Program Advisory and Oversight Committee (PAOC), which the MMA called for as an advising council to CMS. Applications for the 12 to 15-member panel will be accepted through Friday, July 2, and representatives from the industry are now scrambling to get on it.
“Congressman Jim Cooper, D-Tenn., will be nominating me,” said Darren Jernigan, director of government affairs at Permobil. “Dr. [Robert] Hoover, [medical director of the Region D DMERC], is coming to Permobil next week, and I’ll be asking him for a nomination as well.”