WATERLOO, Iowa (March 22, 2019)—In response to the aggressive timeline for providers to meet CMS’s newest requirements to bid in Round 2021, VGM Insurance Services, in affiliation with its treasury-listed partner, Lexon Insurance Company, has developed a new Competitive Bid Bond product available to businesses intending to participate in the next round of bidding.

Although the dates of the bidding window have not been released, industry stakeholders expect it to begin sometime in the second quarter of 2019. Providers that intend to submit bids are encouraged to confirm that licensing is current and that financial statements are in order.

“The DMEPOS Competitive Bidding Program is expected to open as early as June 2019, so providers should begin their preparations now if they intend to consider placing a bid in one or more of the 130 competitive bid areas (CBAs),” stated Mark Higley, vice president of Regulatory Affairs at VGM. “As in all previous rounds, VGM stands ready to assist in all facets of the program, including providing those impacted with education, tips and tools, as well as easily accessible surety bonds for those intending to participate before the bid window closes.”

According to section 522(a) of the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA), all bidders are required to obtain a bid surety bond in the amount of $50,000 for each competitive bidding area for which they submit a bid.

Bid surety bonds must be obtained from an authorized surety, which can be found on the Listing of Certified Companies on the Department of the Treasury’s website. VGM Insurance will continue its partnership with treasury-listed Lexon Insurance Company, its surety partner since 2009, to assist those intending to bid. As part of the CBA governance, bidders must show evidence of owning the required bid surety bond(s).

“It’s important to note that CMS is shifting some items to different, smaller product categories to accommodate a new ‘lead item pricing methodology,’” said Higley. “Because of this move, there are now 16 product categories in Round 2021, which include the new categories of off-the-shelf (OTS) back braces, OTS knee braces and non-invasive ventilators.”

Bid surety bonds required for the DMEPOS Competitive Bidding Program are not the same as the surety bonds required for DMEPOS supplier enrollment purposes. With these changes and others, knowing the ins-and-outs of the CBA will be vital for those choosing to participate.

“CMS made it clear in their announcement of Competitive Bidding Round 2021, suppliers interested in bidding should prepare now and not wait to get bonded, licensed and accredited,” noted Tom Ryan, AAHomecare’s president and CEO. “We are working with our partners to help member companies receive the best products, information and education to participate in this next round of bidding and are proud to coordinate with VGM Insurance Services in affiliation with Lexon Insurance Company. I encourage providers to begin this process early.”

“VGM, along with AAHomecare have developed a number of tools to help our membership communities successfully prepare for and navigate through Round 2021,” stated VGM Insurance Services president and AAHomecare Executive Committee member Mike Kloos. “Among these tools include webinars, bid calculator and a hotline for more information about applying for bonds.” 

For more information about product categories, visit dmecbpeducation.com. If you have any questions about bid bonds or the application process, please contact the VGM Insurance Bond Department at bondinfo@vgm.com, vgminsurance.com/bidbonds or call (866) 497-0472 to reach the VGM Bond Hotline.