Competitive bidding: Watchdog group tells CMS to play fair
There's nothing I love more than common sense. So when I saw this piece of news, a little knot of frustration began to tighten in my gut, and I said to myself: "When is CMS going to get it that the way they've designed competitive bidding for DME is just plain wrong?"
WASHINGTON – The HME industry is not alone in believing that CMS’s competitive bidding program for DMEPOS is bad for small businesses.
In a July 14 letter to Jeffery Zients, the director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), Jim Tozzi, board member for the Center of Regulatory Effectiveness (CRE), a watchdog group, wrote that competitive bidding should be used “to set prices but not to determine which companies are eligible to participate at the competitively determined price.”
In his letter, Tozzi points out that CMS is developing a competitive bidding system for Medicare Advantage plans that would do just that: set prices but not exclude companies.
The goal of competitive bidding, Tozzi writes, should be to “protect small business while still achieving the cost savings.”
“Within the part of CMS responsible for durable medical equipment, competitive bidding is being used to exclude all but a relative handful of winning companies from the Medicare market,” Tozzi writes. “We think this inconsistency must be resolved.”
Tozzi also sent a copy of his letter to Charlene Frizzera, CMS’s acting administrator.
I wonder, will CMS ever see the light?
— Mike Moran