Durable medical equipment rebidding process to start in October

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The 60-day supplier bidding period for the Medicare Competitive Bidding Program for durable medical equipment, prosthetics, orthotics, and supplies (DMEPOS) will begin in late October, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services said Monday.

The Round One Rebid will occur in the same areas as the first Round One, but Puerto Rico will be excluded. It also will include the same items as the first Round One except negative pressure wound therapy items and Group 3 complex rehabilitative power wheelchairs will be excluded, CMS said.

CMS delayed the start of the initial Round One as a result of the Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act of 2008 (MIPPA), which was enacted on July 15, 2008. MIPPA required CMS to terminate contracts awarded in Round One and to conduct the competition for the Round One Rebid in 2009.  Nursing homes have been opposed to the bidding process because of concerns that it favors the larger DMEPOS companies. Some smaller companies are affiliated with nursing homes.

For additional information about the Medicare DMEPOS Competitive Bidding Program,  go to http://www.cms.hhs.gov/DMEPOSCompetitiveBid/.