The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) have released the list of metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) and the HME categories to be included in the second round of national competitive bidding (NCB).
In a Jan. 8 announcement, CMS Acting Administrator Kerry Weems said the following product categories would be included: oxygen supplies and equipment; standard power wheelchairs, scooters and related accessories; complex rehabilitative power wheelchairs and related accessories; 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; Negative Pressure Wound Therapy (NPWT) pumps and related supplies and accessories; and walkers and related accessories.
For a complete list of the second-round MSAs, go to www.dmecompetitivebid.com/cbic/cbic.nsf/(pages)/home.
Weems’ announcement, and subsequent discussion of the second round of NCB at the Jan. 9 Open Door Forum, did not include such details as the ZIP codes within each MSA, the Healthcare Common Procedure Code System (HCPCS) codes within each product category, the timespan of the competitive bidding contracts or the registration and bid submission deadlines for HME suppliers who want to participate.
In the Jan. 9 Open Door Forum, CMS’ Joel Kaiser said the agency deemed it important to release the identities of the MSAs and product categories so suppliers would have the information as soon as possible — even if all the details of the second round were not yet finalized or ready for release.
“We need to have suppliers being aware that this is where we’re going next with competitive bidding so they can start getting their businesses ready and (start making) their decisions,” Kaiser said. “So we thought we needed to go out as early as we could with the announcements of the MSAs and the product categories, even though we’re not quite ready to release a detailed timeline and other specifics like the specific competitive bidding areas and the specific HCPCS codes in these product categories.”
Kaiser indicated that the outstanding details would be announced “in just a couple of months.”
For more information on the competitive bidding program, go to www.cms.hhs.gov/CompetitiveAcqforDMEPOS/.