Bid News Blog

This news site presents breaking news on the CMS competitive bidding programs. It is interactive and readers are encouraged to post stories in their names or anonymously
August 26, 2010

Reps urge CMS to keep diabetes supplies offered by retailers separate from Medicare mail-order pricing program

Drug Store News

By Michael Johnsen

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (Aug. 26) Reps. Mike Rogers, R-Mich., Zack Space, D-Ohio, Lee Terry, R-Neb. and Peter Welch, D-Vt., have sent a letter to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services recommending CMS keep prices for its national Competitive Bidding Program for Medicare Part B mail-order diabetes testing supplies separate from similar supplies offered by retail pharmacies, the National Association of Community Pharmacists announced Thursday.

August 24, 2010

House lawmakers want bid details of durable medical equipment program

From The Hill

By Mike Lillis
More than 130 House lawmakers have asked the Obama administration this month to announce the winners of Medicare’s durable medical equipment (DME) competitive bidding program — a month ahead of schedule.

“Without knowing the identity as well as the appropriate overall qualifications of these providers, we cannot evaluate the program’s impact in terms of quality and access to care for seniors we represent,” the lawmakers wrote in an Aug. 11 letter to Donald Berwick, head of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).

August 19, 2010

New CRS Report on DME Competitive Bidding

The Congressional Research Service has released a report reviewing the history of the DMEPOS competitive bidding program.  The report concludes that “the competitive bidding program will result in fewer suppliers participating with Medicare. In general, Members of Congress have often closely scrutinize or fail to support supported programs that have the potential to adversely affect companies or beneficiaries in their districts.”

The complete report may be found at

August 18, 2010

Feds to Destroy Bid Documents for Medicare’s Clinical Laboratory Competitive Bidding Demonstration Project in San Diego

Following an agreement by federal attorneys to destroy the lab bidder’s documents, a federal judge dismisses the case

Last month in a San Diego courtroom, federal attorneys agreed to destroy the clinical pathology laboratory bid documents that had been submitted as part of the poorly-conceived Medicare Part B Laboratory Competitive Bidding Demonstration Project that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) attempted to implement in 2008.

An agreement to destroy the bid documents was negotiated agreement between attorneys for the plaintiff clinical laboratories and federal attorneys for the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

August 11, 2010

CBO Sets Tab for Competitive Bidding Repeal at $20 Billion

Home Care Magazine

WASHINGTON — The Congressional Budget Office has set the 10-year cost to repeal competitive bidding at $20 billion, the American Association for Homecare reported late Friday.

According to the AAHomecare update:

“This latest savings attributed to the bidding program is based on the bid results from the new Round 1. The $20 billion compares to [the] $9.6 billion savings figure that the CBO had calculated based on the initial bids offered in 2008. The savings the CBO calculates the bidding program will generate is the same amount congressional offices will assume must be offset in any effort to repeal the program.”

August 4, 2010

Rotech awarded bid contracts despite flirting with bankruptcy


Rotech Healthcare, one of the largest national Durable Medical Equipment companies, announced yesterday that they were offered 17 contracts in the first round DMEPOS re-bid, despite the fact that they have over half a billion dollars in long term debt and have reported cumulative losses of $267 million over the last 2 fiscal years.

A Rotech company Press Release on July 12, 2010 stated:

August 2, 2010

CMS Goes Fact-Finding in Four CBAs

Home Care Magazine

ATLANTA — A CMS contractor has been hosting focus groups to gather information on how competitive bidding’s been going so far. A select number of home medical equipment providers and referral sources have been invited to attend the sessions, held in four of the nine Round 1 competitive bidding areas: Cleveland, Dallas, Orlando and Riverside.

CMS contractor Abt Assoc. is facilitating the focus groups, which come less than a month after the agency announced bid rates that average a cut of 32 percent below current Medicare payments. Abt’s history with CMS includes various contracts, among them work on the 104-page draft of mandatory DMEPOS supplier quality standards released in 2005.