HME News


BALTIMORE – CMS officials went to Capitol Hill yesterday to sell members of Congress on the “improvements” they have made to the competitive bidding program, according to AAHomecare.

They also sketched out this timeline for Rounds 1 and 2 of the program, according to a participant, AAHomecare reported:

Round 1

– CMS will announce Round One “winners” in June 2010.

– New contracts and prices will be implemented on Jan. 1, 2011.

– CMS will hold a Program Advisory and Oversight Committee (PAOC) meeting on March 17, 2010, “as mandated by law” to focus on the Round 1 transition period and show plans for beneficiary education, including where beneficiaries can go for services and what has changed for beneficiaries.

Round 2

– Round 2 of bidding must begin in 2011, according to the statute.

– CMS is extending review times due to the increase in MSAs–from areas in Round 1 to 79 areas in Round 2.

– Rule making: CMS expects that changes to the bidding program will require the agency to go through the rulemaking process. CMS anticipates that a proposed rule will be published in Summer 2011 with a final rule published in Fall 2010. The rule will include product categories and education requirements for Round 2.

– Winter 2010: CMS will announce the bid schedule and begin registration.

– Spring 2011: CMS will end registration and begin bidding.

– Summer 2011: CMS will end bidding and begin review process.

– Fall 2011: CMS will end review process, notify HME providers and begin evaluating bids.

– Spring 2012: CMS will announce “winning” providers and begin contract bids.

– Summer 2012: CMS will announce contract rates.

– Round 2 pricing will go into effect on Jan. 1, 2013.