To reduce spending on durable medical equipment (DME) and related items, under federal law the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is phasing in, with several rounds of bidding, a competitive bidding program (CBP) for certain DME and other items. Because of numerous concerns, the Medicare Improvements for Patient and Providers Act of 2008 (MIPPA) terminated the CBP round 1 supplier contracts and required CMS to repeat the CBP round 1, the rebid that began in 2009. In November 2009, GAO issued the report Medicare: CMS Working to Address Problems from Round 1 of the Durable Medical Equipment Competitive Bidding Program (GAO-10-27) that documented problems in CMS's implementation of CBP round 1. This statement discusses some of the problems GAO identified and how CMS has or plans to address them in the ongoing CBP rebid bidding process, particularly (1) the bid submission information provided to suppliers, (2) the electronic bid submission system, and (3) the bid disqualification notification process. For the 2009 report, GAO reviewed data provided by CMS and relevant laws and regulations, and interviewed CMS officials. For this statement, GAO also obtained select information on how CMS addressed the CBP round 1 problems identified in GAO's report by reviewing agency documents and interviewing CMS officials in August and September 2010.
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