Skilled Nursing Facilities (SNFs) and Nursing Facilities (NFs) Fact Sheet

On April 9, 2020, the non-invasive ventilators product category was removed from Round 2021 due to the novel COVID-19 pandemic. On October 27, 2020, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced the single payment amounts and began offering contracts for the off-the-shelf (OTS) back braces and OTS knee braces product categories. All other product categories were removed from Round 2021. Please see the CMS announcement for additional information.

Skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) and nursing facilities (NFs) are subject to the Medicare Durable Medical Equipment, Prosthetics, Orthotics, and Supplies (DMEPOS) Competitive Bidding Program to the extent that competitively bid items and services are furnished to their residents under Medicare Part B. The items in the enteral nutrition product category are the only Round 2021 items that can be covered under Medicare Part B when furnished to SNF or NF residents. A SNF or NF located in a competitive bidding area (CBA) must submit a bid and be awarded a contract to continue to furnish enteral nutrition under Part B when competitive bidding contracts become effective.

SNFs and NFs that decide to bid have two options when bidding; they can:

  1. Submit a bid(s) to become a "specialty supplier" that furnishes item(s) in the enteral nutrition product category only to its own residents, or
  2. Submit a bid(s) to become a regular contract supplier that furnishes item(s) in the enteral nutrition product category to beneficiaries throughout the entire CBA. 

If a SNF or NF does not submit a bid or is not awarded a contract as a specialty supplier or as a regular contract supplier, it must use a contract supplier for the CBA to furnish items in the enteral nutrition product category to its residents.

SNFs and NFs that elect to bid as "specialty suppliers" must check "Yes" to the question, "Is your organization a skilled nursing facility (SNF) or a nursing facility (NF) that plans to only furnish enteral nutrition to its own residents?" in Form A in the DMEPOS Bidding System, DBidS. SNFs and NFs that become specialty suppliers may not furnish items and services in the enteral nutrition product category to Medicare beneficiaries outside their facilities.

It is important to know that SNFs and NFs are the only entities that can bid to become "specialty suppliers." Suppliers that are affiliated with SNFs or NFs but are not enrolled in Medicare as a SNF or NF do not qualify for this option. CMS will verify the Medicare enrollment record of each bidder that indicates it is a SNF or a NF and is bidding to become a "specialty supplier." If the information on the Medicare enrollment record does not indicate that the bidder is in fact a SNF or a NF, the bidder will not be offered a contract. 

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Updated: 10/27/2020