Suppliers Invited to Register, As Competitive Bidding Program Begins

With the 10 initial metropolitan statistical areas announced (again) and the Durable Medical Equipment, Prosthetics, Orthotics and Supplies (DMEPOS) competitive bidding product categories announced, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) have invited suppliers to start the bidding process by registering their companies.

The process begins, says CMS in an April 9 directive, by registering via the Internet. An authorized official, whose information must match the information on file with the National Supplier Clearinghouse (NSC), is required to complete the Internet application.

Assuming the official's submitted information ù last name, date of birth, Social Security number and supplier number ù match what is on file with the NSC, the authorized official will receive a user ID and a password, delivered in two separate mailings to the official at the correspondence address.

Each person needs only one user ID and password to submit bids on behalf of multiple companies if the person is listed as those companies' authorized official. Suppliers will need to have their user IDs and passwords to submit a bid.

CMS says it expects to start accepting bids late this month.

CMS has also encouraged suppliers to read a user's guide before completing their registrations. The guide is located on the Competitive Bidding Implementation Contractor's Web site: www.dmecompetitivebid.com/cbic/cbic.nsf/(pages)/home . The Competitive Bidding Implementation Contractor (CBIC) help desk is open Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. Eastern time and on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Eastern time to answer suppliers' questions about registration.

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