Website Launched to Prepare DMEs for Medicare’s New Competitive Bidding Process

Website shows durable medical equipment suppliers how new CMS rules affect bidding for lead and non-lead items and how single payment amounts would compare to current Medicare rates.

Washington, DC, April 17, 2019 --( A new website has been launched to prepare durable medical equipment (DME) suppliers for Medicare's Round 2021 of the Durable Medical Equipment, Prosthetics, Orthotics and Supplies (DMEPOS) competitive bidding program (CBP).

The DME CBP website offers useful information and easy-to-understand tools to help DMEs better understand Medicare’s new competitive bidding program, how a bid for the lead item impacts the rest of the items (non-lead items) in the product category, and how those single payment amounts (SPAs) would compare to current Medicare rates. It will also serve as a platform for webinars and events intended to educate prospective bidders about the process.

Suppliers and prospective bidders from across the country will be able to utilize the website’s enhanced bid calculators to estimate how bids on lead items will impact rates for other related items in 16 bidding categories. The site’s bid calculators employ the ratios developed by the Competitive Bidding Implementation Contractor, but also provide more contextual information, including rates currently in effect and how results for non-lead items compare to current rates in both dollar amount and by percentage.

“Informed bidding will help sustain DME businesses, therefore ensuring that patients’ access to life-changing medical equipment remains steady, stable, and secure,” said Tom Ryan, President and CEO of the American Association for Homecare. “We’re excited to work with leaders industrywide to produce these valuable tools.”

Five industry leaders collaborated on the DME CBP website: the American Association for Homecare, the Council for Quality Respiratory Care, VGM & Associates, and the Healthcare Nutrition Council.

About the Competitive Bidding Program

The DMEPOS Competitive Bidding Program was mandated by Congress through the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act of 2003 (MMA). The statute requires that Medicare replace the current fee schedule payment methodology for selected DMEPOS items with a competitive bid process.

Under the program, a competition among suppliers who operate in a particular competitive bidding area is conducted. Suppliers are required to submit a bid for selected products. Not all products or items are subject to competitive bidding. Bids are submitted electronically through a web-based application process. Bids are evaluated based on the supplier’s eligibility, its financial stability and the bid price. Contracts are awarded to the Medicare suppliers who offer the best price and meet applicable quality and financial standards. Contract suppliers must agree to accept assignment on all claims for bid items and will be paid the single payment amount for each HCPCS code in a product category.

These competitive bidding rates will then be used by CMS to set the rates in the non-competitive bidding areas in the rest of the country.

While the website provides useful tools to educate prospective bidders, it is not intended, nor should it be construed as legal advice. Bidders are responsible for their bids and should consult their own counsel for legal advice or the CBIC.

About the Collaboration

American Association for Homecare
AAHomecare advocates for home medical equipment providers and manufacturers in Washington, D.C., as well as with state Medicaid authorities and other major payer groups. Their efforts include lobbying to ensure sustainable reimbursement rates and sensible regulatory policy for the HME community at the Federal and state level. Learn more at:

Council for Quality Respiratory Care
The CQRC is a coalition of the nation’s seven leading home oxygen therapy provider and manufacturing companies with the mission to protect access to the home respiratory care benefits in the Medicare program. Learn more at:

Healthcare Nutrition Council
The Healthcare Nutrition Council is an organization representing the manufacturers of enteral nutrition formulas, parenteral nutrition solutions, supplies and equipment. HNC is committed to improving health by advancing policies that address and raise awareness of nutrition and its impact on patient outcomes and healthcare costs. Learn more at:

About VGM & Associates
VGM & Associates is a member service organization committed to providing business solutions to community-based DMEPOS providers throughout the U.S. For more than 30 years, VGM has provided its members with access to products, services and support to enable them to do business better in an ever-changing business landscape. Learn more at
Ellen Almond