CMS taps the brakes on Round 2019

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Tuesday, February 7, 2017

WASHINGTON – CMS has decided to temporarily delay Round 2019 of competitive bidding to give the new administration the chance to review the program.

The agency made the announcement on Feb. 7, about a week after announcing it would consolidate all rounds of competitive bidding into Round 2019.

CMS has removed all information on Round 2019 that was released Jan. 31, including information on the agency’s website and the Competitive Bidding Implementation Contractor website.

The agency advises providers to continue to monitor these websites—www.cms.gov and www.dmecompetitivebid.com—for updates.

Per CMS’s initial announcement, Round 2019 will include 141 competitive bidding areas and have a total of 11 product categories. Contracts will be effective Jan. 1, 2019, through Dec. 31, 2021. The current Round 1 2017, Round 2 re-compete and national mail-order program for diabetes supplies end on Dec. 31, 2018.

CMS announced several changes to competitive bidding as part of Round 2019, including a new product category for insulin pumps and supplies.

The agency also announced it would add 10 new competitive bidding areas for CPAP devices only. In five of those CBAs, payment will be made on a bundled, non-capped monthly rental basis. In the other five, payment will be made on a capped monthly rental basis like all other existing CBAs.

Additionally, CMS announced it would use a lead item bidding methodology for certain items in Round 2019.

Stakeholders applauded a number of changes that CMS plans to make as part of 2019, including moving the bid ceiling to the 2015 fee schedule amounts, and requiring bidders to obtain a $50,000 surety bond for each CBA in which a bid is submitted.