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
November 24, 2010

New competitive bidding study: ‘Things are not all fine and dandy’

From: HME News

By Mike Moran Executive Editor – 11.24.2010  

ELYRIA, Ohio – A new analysis of Medicare’s competitive bidding program paints a bleak picture of the winning bidders and raises concerns that many may not be qualified or have the financial resources to adequately serve beneficiaries.

“We’ll be hitting the Hill heavily next week with this information,” said Cara Bachenheimer, Invacare’s senior vice president of government relations. “We think it’s important for members of Congress to see the full picture. All they hear is CMS’s side and the fact of the matter is that things are not all fine and dandy.”

November 17, 2010

Bidding Slowdown Not Likely, Lobbyists Say

Home Care Magazine

ATLANTA — Providers’ hopes of eliminating or delaying competitive bidding before Jan. 1 might have been dashed by the election, the evaporation of time and CMS’ full-steam-ahead attitude, but they can’t afford to give up now, industry lobbyists said last week.

“The train is on the track heading toward a tunnel that is not finished — and you’ve got another train — Round 2 — right behind it, ” said John Gallagher, vice president, government relations, for Waterloo, Iowa-based VGM Group. “This is a major tragedy waiting to happen.”

November 10, 2010

November 17 Deadline Looms for Round 1 Providers

From: Home Care Magazine

CMS sets calls for referral agents, contract winners

BALTIMORE — A multi-slide presentation held Monday afternoon (available for download as a PDF) and aimed at Round 1 providers who failed to win a competitive bidding contract yielded a lot of information — but a super-tight deadline to make crucial decisions. Specifically, non-contract suppliers must determine if they are willing and able to be grandfathered suppliers no later than Wednesday, Nov 17. If they choose not to be a grandfather supplier, they must also notify beneficiaries by that deadline — and begin to transfer business to contracted DMEPOS competitive bidding providers.

A non-contract supplier who decides not to take the grandfathering route must pick up rental equipment from the patient’s home after sending notifications that meet strict CMS guidelines. Proper notification includes a 30-day, 10-day, and finally a two-day notice reiterating the supplier’s decision to forego grandfather status. The first 30-day notification must be sent by Nov. 17, and it must be in writing.

November 1, 2010

Tiberi Adds Letter to CMS’ Stack

WASHINGTON — In another letter addressed to HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and CMS Administrator Donald Berwick, Rep. Patrick Tiberi, R-Ohio, asked whether or not CMS is considering changes to the competitive bidding program that many of the country’s top economists say it needs.

“I understand you have received information from a group of 165 experts in theory and practice of auctions highlighting their concerns about the program,” Tiberi wrote in the Oct 27 letter. “I also understand that inquires about whether or not CMS is considering changes to the program have been made, but no information has been provided.” Just two days before on Oct. 25, Rep. Bruce Braley, D-Iowa, wrote the health care honchos asking for a response to the economists’ concerns and also calling for a delay of the bid program.

Read Tiberi’s letter on the VGM website.