Bidding started in October 2009, payments were announced July 1, 2010, and this afternoon, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services released the list of providers who have accepted contracts in the Round 1 rebid of the DMEPOS competitive bidding program.

BALTIMORE — Bidding started in
October 2009
, payments were
announced July 1, 2010
, and this afternoon, the Centers for
Medicare and Medicaid Services released the target="_blank">list of providers who have accepted contracts in
the Round 1 rebid of the DMEPOS competitive bidding

The agency's Jonathan Blum, deputy administrator and director,
Center for Medicare, said target="_blank">CMS awarded 1,217 contracts to 356 suppliers
across the nine MSAs where the controversial bid program will be
implemented Jan. 1, 2011.

For a complete list of bid winners in each of the Round 1
competitive bidding areas, see the bulleted links below.

CMS' press release on the announcement is below that:

  • Visit HomeCare's competitive bidding section for
    more information.
  • View the target="_blank">contract supplier announcement press
  • View the target="_blank">contract supplier announcement fact
  • View a complete list of bid winners in each of the
    Round 1 competitive bidding areas:
    • target="_blank">Cincinnati – Middletown (Ohio, Kentucky and
    • target="_blank">Cleveland – Elyria – Mentor
    • target="_blank">Charlotte – Gastonia – Concord (North
      Carolina and South Carolina)
    • target="_blank">Dallas – Fort Worth – Arlington
    • target="_blank">Kansas City (Missouri and Kansas)
    • target="_blank">Miami – Fort Lauderdale – Pompano Beach
    • target="_blank">Orlando (Florida)
    • target="_blank">Pittsburgh (Pennsylvania)
    • target="_blank">Riverside – San Bernardino – Ontario

For industry reaction and continuing developments, check and upcoming issues of

HomeCare Monday.

Contract suppliers selected under new Medicare program

1,217 contracts awarded to suppliers of medical equipment
and supplies selected through competitive bidding in nine areas;
program saves money for beneficiaries while preserving access to
high quality items.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) today
released the list of the 356 suppliers that have contracts with
Medicare to provide certain medical equipment and supplies to
beneficiaries in nine communities across the U.S. at competitive
bid rates. This new program, authorized by Congress, is expected to
save Medicare and its beneficiaries nearly $28 billion over 10

"We are pleased that Medicare beneficiaries living in the nine
first round communities will be saving money and will continue to
receive high quality service and supplies from the suppliers who
were awarded contracts in Medicare's competitive bidding program,"
said CMS Administrator Donald Berwick, M.D. "Each of these contract
suppliers has met our stringent standards, so beneficiaries can be
assured they will receive their equipment and supplies from
legitimate and quality suppliers at prices that are more in line
with the current market."

The new competitive bidding program goes into effect on January
1, 2011, for beneficiaries in the Charlotte, Cincinnati, Cleveland,
Dallas, Kansas City, Miami, Orlando, Pittsburgh and Riverside areas
(more detail on locations below). This program used bids from
suppliers that represented the local, competitive marketplace to
lower the costs for certain durable medical equipment, prosthetics,
orthotics and supplies (DMEPOS) for Medicare beneficiaries to
obtain medical items and supplies. Because beneficiaries pay 20
percent coinsurance on the payment amount for DMEPOS, they will
directly benefit from the lower prices. Based on bids submitted by
these suppliers, beneficiaries and Medicare will see prices, on
average, 32 percent lower than Medicare currently pays for the same

CMS awarded 1,217 DMEPOS competitive bidding program contracts
with 356 suppliers. The contract suppliers have 662 locations to
serve Medicare beneficiaries in these competitive bidding areas.
All contract suppliers were required to comply with Medicare
enrollment rules, be licensed and accredited, and meet financial
standards. 76 percent of contracts were awarded to suppliers
already furnishing contract items in the local area.

Additional contract suppliers have furnished other items in the
local area or furnished contract items in other areas: fully 97
percent of contracts were awarded to suppliers already established
in the competitive bidding area, the product category, or both.
Small suppliers, those with gross revenues of $3.5 million or less
as defined for the DMEPOS competitive bidding program, make up
about 51 percent of the contract suppliers. CMS received 6,215 bids
from 1,011 suppliers during a 60-day bidding period last year.

To take advantage of the lower prices for the items that were
part of the competitive bidding program, Medicare beneficiaries
living in one of the competitive bidding areas who have ongoing
need for a DMEPOS supplier may need to choose a new supplier if
their current supplier is not a contract supplier and they wish to
have Medicare continue to cover their equipment and supplies. A
beneficiary may, in some situations, also be able to continue to
receive certain items from a grandfathered supplier. Grandfathered
suppliers are non-contract suppliers that provide certain rented
equipment under the terms of the program.

CMS will now launch a comprehensive public education effort to
ensure that beneficiaries, healthcare professionals, and others
have the information they need to understand the new program. This
effort will include mailings to beneficiaries, a full range of
Internet-based and printed program information, and educational
teleconferences. In addition, the 1-800-MEDICARE customer service
representatives and case workers will be ready to assist

CMS will also be monitoring program implementation closely.
Monitoring methods will include:

  • beneficiary surveys,
  • active claims analysis,
  • local surveillance and resolution of any program issues by CMS
    Regional Offices and local ombudsmen, and
  • contract supplier reporting and tracking and analysis of
    complaints and inquiries.

In addition, the Competitive Acquisition Ombudsman will respond
to complaints and inquiries from suppliers and beneficiaries about
the application of the program and issue an annual Report to

"Medicare contract suppliers signed contracts that included
terms such as protections to ensure that they will furnish
beneficiaries with necessary equipment and quality customer
service, starting on January 1, 2011," said Berwick. "Medicare will
hold contract suppliers to their obligations and will take action
to address any contract performance problems."

Consumers, physicians and other providers can find a list of
Medicare contract suppliers in the nine initial areas of the
program by visiting (under "Resource Locator"
select "Medical Equipment and Supplies") or by calling
1-800-MEDICARE (TTY users should call 1-877-486-2048). People can
also visit the local offices of the various partner groups for help
in finding a Medicare contract supplier, such as their State Health
Insurance and Assistance Program, Area Office on Aging and a number
of community organizations that can provide information on the

The Medicare DMEPOS Competitive Bidding Program was established
by the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization
Act of 2003 (MMA), and the program was briefly implemented in 2008
in 10 areas before it was temporarily delayed. The Medicare
Improvements for Patients and Providers Act of 2008 (MIPPA),
enacted on July 15, 2008, terminated the supplier contracts in
effect at the time, temporarily delayed the program and made
certain limited changes to the program. MIPPA also required CMS to
conduct the competition again for Round One in 2009, and delayed
competition for Round Two in 70 additional metropolitan statistical
areas (MSAs) until 2011 and in additional areas of the country
until after 2011. The Affordable Care Act of 2010 expands the
number of Round Two MSAs from 70 to 91 areas.

With the exception of Puerto Rico, the Round One Rebid was
required to be in the same areas in which the program was briefly
implemented in 2008. These areas are:

  • Charlotte — Gastonia — Concord (North Carolina and
    South Carolina)
  • Cincinnati — Middletown (Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana)
  • Cleveland — Elyria — Mentor (Ohio)
  • Dallas — Fort Worth — Arlington (Texas)
  • Kansas City (Missouri and Kansas)
  • Miami — Fort Lauderdale — Pompano Beach
  • Orlando — Kissimmee (Florida)
  • Pittsburgh (Pennsylvania)
  • Riverside — San Bernardino — Ontario

The Round One Rebid was required to include the same items as
the 2008 program except that negative pressure wound therapy items
and Group 3 complex rehabilitative power wheelchairs are excluded.
These items include:

  • Oxygen, Oxygen Equipment, and Supplies
  • Standard Power Wheelchairs, Scooters, and Related
  • Complex Rehabilitative Power Wheelchairs and Related
    Accessories (Group 2 only)
  • Mail-Order Diabetic Supplies
  • Enteral Nutrients, Equipment and Supplies
  • Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) Devices, Respiratory
    Assist Devices (RADs), and Related Supplies and Accessories
  • Hospital Beds and Related Accessories
  • Walkers and Related Accessories
  • Support Surfaces (Group 2 mattresses and overlays in Miami-Ft.
    Lauderdale-Pompano Beach, FL only)

For additional information about the Medicare DMEPOS Competitive
Bidding Program, please visit: