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
January 31, 2013

Medicare Expands Competitive Bidding Program

From: Kaiser Health News

The new prices will kick in July 1 and are expected to save on average 45 percent for products such as walkers, wheelchairs, oxygen equipment and other medical products.

The Associated Press/Washington Post: Medicare Expands Competitive Bids For Medical Equipment; Big Savings Seen For Some Seniors Savings are also coming for many patients who rent home oxygen gear, hospital beds, wheelchairs and other equipment. Medicare deputy administrator Jonathan Blum said Wednesday its due to competitive bidding making inroads against wasteful spending (1/30).

January 30, 2013

CMS Announces Sharp Price Cut for Mail Order Diabetic Supplies

Editor’s Note:  From the CMS Press Release, “Medicare beneficiaries across the country will save an average of 72 percent on diabetic testing supplies under a national mail-order program starting at the same time.” 

From: CMS

CMS Announces DMEPOS Competitive Bidding Payment Amounts for the Round 2 and National Mail-Order Competitions

On January 30, 2013, CMS announced the single payment amounts for the Round 2 and national mail-order competitions of the Medicare Durable Medical Equipment, Prosthetics, Orthotics and Supplies (DMEPOS) Competitive Bidding Program.

For additional information:

Successful Exit Strategies

From: Home Care Magazine

You won a Medicare Competitive Bidding bid, that’s great! But remember that it isn’t a golden ticket

by Bradley Smith

I have noticed a trend among DME providers that have either received Round 1 Medicare competitive bids or are anticipating receiving bids in Round 2. Many believe that their bid is a golden ticket that makes them magically able to claim an exorbitant price for their business regardless of how much they profit. In today’s new DME marketplace, the Medicare competitive bidding process has created significant changes and false confidence for the sellers of DME businesses. While everyone is proud of their “baby,” sellers need to remember that a bid is just a means to continue doing business in the competitive Medicare arena, and the value of the company is still determined by the numbers. When a DME seller is planning an exit, here are six essential considerations before marketing the business.

January 25, 2013

CMS begins education outreach for DMEPOS competitive bidding

From: Home Care Magazine

HALIFAX, Va., Jan. 25, 2013—As reported by the National Association of Independent Medical Equipment Suppliers (NAIMES)—and courtesy of VGM—although CMS has not yet announced the Round 2 bid rates, it has begun its educational outreach for DME providers, beneficiaries and referral sources. Announced late last week, CMS will begin its first series of educational programs that are geared for referral sources.

January 22, 2013

Rep. Price will reintroduce MPP bill

From: HomeCare Magazine

ASHINGTON, D.C., Jan. 16, 2013—Congressman Tom Price (R-Ga.) has told the American Association for Homecare that he will reintroduce the Market Pricing Program (MPP) legislation in the 113th Congress. He is dedicated to stopping the current bidding program and replacing it with MPP. Price also indicated that he will ask a senior Democratic member of the House to be the co-lead on this important legislation.

January 16, 2013

Day of reckoning nears for payment amounts

From: HME News

by: Theresa Flaherty

BALTIMORE – CMS has indicated to key lawmakers that Round 2 payment amounts for competitive bidding will be released by the end of January, according to HME industry stakeholders.

“Signs are pointing that way,” said Seth Johnson, vice president of government affairs for Pride Mobility Products.

Those signs include CMS announcing last week a series of bidding webinars scheduled for Jan. 28 to Feb. 5 for physicians and other practitioners. CMS stated it probably wouldn’t schedule webinars for HME providers until after it announces contract winners this spring.

January 14, 2013

Science News examines Medicare bidding program

From: Home Care Magazine

WASHINGTON, D.C., Jan. 10, 2013—The Jan. 7 issue of Science News attacks the mathematical underpinnings of Medicare’s competitive bidding program. According to the American Association for Homecare, the article by Julie Rehmeyer states that “Medicare could waste billions of dollars, bankrupt small businesses and leave seniors without crucial medical equipment, some economists warn, with a new auction-based purchasing plan that ignores mathematical principles of competitive bidding… As a bidder in this system, the rational thing to do is to bid really, really low. After all, your bid doesn’t determine what you’ll be paid.”

January 9, 2013

Medicare says medical equipment costs down under pilot program in San Bernardino/Riverside counties

From: The Sun serving San Bernadino and the Inland Empire

Lauren M. Whaley, CHCF Center for Health Reporting

Esta Smith, Esta Willman’s mother, helps her daughter clear files in October from the now-closed Medi-Source Equipment & Supply Inc. in Yucca Valley. The Willmans say competitive bidding drove them out of business. (Lauren M. Whaley/CHCF Center for Health Reporting)

A two-year Medicare cost-cutting experiment in San Bernardino and other areas has been wildly successful, officials say, reducing the price of certain medical equipment by 42 percent and saving the government and taxpayers more than $200 million nationwide.

January 3, 2013

‘Doc Fix’ Will Cut Medicare Hospital Payments

Editor’s Note:  The article below discusses yet another expansion of competitive bidding, this time speeding up timetable for diabetic test strips.

From: Fiscal Times

By MARY AGNES CAREY, Kaiser Health News

Legislation passed by Congress on New Year’s Day to avert the dreaded “fiscal cliff” would stop a scheduled payment cut in Medicare physician payments. But hospitals, which have to bear a major part of financing for that “doc fix,” are not happy.

The bill would require that, over the next decade, hospitals pick up nearly half of the approximately $30 billion cost of stopping a 26.5 percent payment cut for Medicare physicians, scheduled to begin today.