The CMS on Monday released a final rule that changes how Medicare pays for durable medical equipment, prosthetics, orthotics and supplies, or DMEPOS.
Under the rule, the CMS will phase-in a competitive bidding process, moving away from a fee schedule and toward mean dollar amounts that will be determined by suppliers bidding for selected items. The rule takes effect in 2008 in 10 so-called metropolitan statistical areas, or MSAs, excluding the top three markets of Chicago, Los Angeles and New York, and will apply to 10 of the top DMEPOS product categories. The program expands to 70 MSAs in 2009 and even further afterwards.
Accredited suppliers that wish to furnish competitively bid items in a competitive bidding area will be required to submit bids to furnish those items, the CMS said. Contracts will be awarded to a sufficient number of winning bidders in each CBA to ensure access and service to high-quality DMEPOS items.
The first DMEPOS product categories include: Oxygen supplies and equipment, power wheelchairs, scooters and related accessories, mail-order diabetic supplies, respiratory-assist devices, hospital beds and related accessories, negative-pressure wound therapy pumps, walkers, and in Miami and San Juan, Puerto Rico, onlysupport surfaces for mattresses and overlays. -- by Matthew DoBias