Bidding FAQs

How far away from a competitive bidding area (CBA) can a supplier's location be to still be considered for a contract?

Location is not a requirement for bidding unless the state the CBA is located in has such a requirement in order to furnish items and services to beneficiaries residing in that state. A contract supplier must furnish all competitively bid items under its contract to any beneficiary who maintains a permanent residence in or visits a CBA and requests a competitive bidding item(s) from a contract supplier. Please review the Eligibility Requirements fact sheet for additional information.

Many different items are included in a product category. How will the quality of the item be measured during bid evaluation? How do you ensure the beneficiary is obtaining a quality product?

Contracts are awarded to eligible bidders who meet the requirements outlined in the Request for Bids (RFB) Instructions, including being accredited by a Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) approved accrediting organization and licensed by the state as applicable, and whose bid amounts fall at or below the pivotal bid*. Like any Medicare-enrolled supplier, bidders who are awarded contracts are expected to comply with the Durable Medical Equipment, Prosthetics, Orthotics, and Supplies (DMEPOS) Supplier Standards and the DMEPOS Quality Standards. In addition, contract suppliers must comply with the terms of their competitive bidding contract throughout the contract period of performance. Please see the Contract Supplier Obligations, Monitoring, and Education fact sheet for additional information.

* Pivotal Bid - The lowest bid for the lead item in the product category based on bids submitted by suppliers for a product category in a CBA (competition) that includes a sufficient number of suppliers to meet the projected beneficiary demand for the items in that competition.

My business is moving to a new location in about a month. Will this be a problem?

To be eligible for a contract offer, you must have an active billing number. The National Supplier Clearinghouse (NSC) also requires your billing number to be active. Therefore, if you are moving to a new location you must notify the NSC of your change of address within 30 days of the change. Additionally, all information associated with the move must be communicated to the NSC and updated in the Provider Enrollment, Chain, and Ownership System (PECOS). For additional information, please contact the NSC at 866-238-9652 or visit the NSC’s website.

PECOS information is used to determine if a bidder meets all enrollment requirements (outlined in the Request for Bids (RFB) Instructions). Therefore, as long as the new enrollment information is communicated to NSC timely and updated in PECOS by the close of the bid window, your bid(s) should not be impacted by the move. Please note that if you are opening a new location that has not been previously enrolled, it could take approximately six to eight months for a new location to be enrolled and assigned a billing number or Provider Transaction Access Number (PTAN) by the NSC. The new location must be properly licensed, accredited, etc., which are also requirements a bidder must meet to be eligible for a contract offer(s).

My competitive bidding area (CBA) is an entire county, which is approximately 3000 square miles. If I accept the contract offer, am I required to service the entire CBA?

Yes. A contract supplier must furnish all competitively bid items under its contract to any beneficiary who maintains a permanent residence in or visits a CBA and requests a competitively bid item(s) from the contract supplier. If the contract supplier is physically located outside the CBA, the contract supplier is still required to service the entire CBA. More information can be found in the Contract Supplier Obligations, Monitoring, and Education fact sheet.

Can I log out of the Durable Medical Equipment, Prosthetics, Orthotics, and Supplies (DMEPOS) Bidding System, DBidS, while in the middle of entering my bid, then return to DBidS at a later date and finish the bid where I left off?

Yes. You can complete either Form A or Form B over a period of time and go back and make changes before the bid window closes. It’s very important to save what you’ve entered and once finished, to view the status page to ensure all information is complete (i.e., Form A is certified, and Form B is approved).

Can I upload multiple bid surety bonds for multiple competitive bidding areas (CBAs) at the same time?

No. When uploading bid surety bonds in Connexion, the Durable Medical Equipment, Prosthetics, Orthotics, and Supplies (DMEPOS) Competitive Bidding Program’s secure portal, you must upload each bid surety bond individually and assign it to the applicable CBA. 42 CFR §414.412(g) requires each CBA on your bid to have its own, unique bid surety bond.

Can I upload my applicable state licenses in Connexion, the Durable Medical Equipment, Prosthetics, Orthotics, and Supplies (DMEPOS) Competitive Bidding Program's secure portal, or do I upload the licenses in the Provider Enrollment, Chain, and Ownership System (PECOS)?

Licenses should not be uploaded in Connexion. You must have current, non-expired state licenses reflected in PECOS for each supplier location included on your bid by the close of the bid window on September 18, 2019. In addition, please make sure your licenses are maintained and reflected in PECOS throughout the bid evaluation period. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) cannot award contracts with locations that are not properly licensed. A DMEPOS State License Directory is located on the National Supplier Clearinghouse (NSC) website.

Does each financial document need to be uploaded separately in Connexion, the Durable Medical Equipment, Prosthetics, Orthotics, and Supplies (DMEPOS) Competitive Bidding Program's secure portal, or can they be consolidated into one file?

You can upload one consolidated PDF containing financial documents for each bidder number as long as the document size is less than 50 MB.

Does the contact person I provided on Form A in the Durable Medical Equipment, Prosthetics, Orthotics, and Supplies (DMEPOS) Bidding System, DBidS, have to be an authorized official (AO) or a backup authorized official (BAO)?

No, the contact person you assign in DBidS on Form A does not have to be an AO or BAO. However, we will not speak to anyone regarding your bid without approval from an AO or BAO.

How do I delete a document that has been uploaded in Connexion, the Durable Medical Equipment, Prosthetics, Orthotics, and Supplies (DMEPOS) Competitive Bidding Program's secure portal?

Once uploaded in Connexion, documents cannot be deleted. However, you may upload a revised document, and both documents will be reviewed. The document that best meets the criteria outlined in the Request for Bids (RFB) Instructions will be considered during bid evaluation.

If I already submitted my bid(s), will I be able to make changes or remove the bid(s) before the bid window closes?

Yes. You have until the close of the bid window to add, change, or delete your bid(s) in the Durable Medical Equipment, Prosthetics, Orthotics, and Supplies (DMEPOS) Bidding System, DBidS. Please be aware if any changes are made to Form A or Form B after either form has been approved or certified, the authorized official (AO) or a backup authorized official (BAO) must then re-approve Form A and/or re-certify Form B. If the AO or a BAO does not re-approve or re-certify the form(s), your bid will be incomplete and cannot be further evaluated.

Our facility may be moving to a new location during the bidding process. Is this going to be a problem?

If a location included on your bid moves, you must still follow the same requirement to notify the National Supplier Clearinghouse (NSC) within 30 calendar days of the location move. For more information, please contact the NSC at 866-238-9652 or visit the NSC website. The billing number for the location(s) on your bid must remain active throughout the bid evaluation period.

Where do I complete and submit Form A and Form B?

You will find Form A and Form B in the Durable Medical Equipment, Prosthetics, Orthotics, and Supplies (DMEPOS) Bidding System, DBidS. To enter DBidS, go to the Competitive Bidding Implementation Contractor (CBIC) website and select the Portals tab at the top of the page. You can also click on Bidding in the left menu on the Round 2021 page of the CBIC website, and then choose DBidS: DMEPOS Bidding System. Then, click the "Bid Now in DBidS" button.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Enterprise Portal System Use Notification page will appear. Read and agree to the terms and conditions by clicking "Accept." The CMS Enterprise Portal User ID page will appear. Enter your user ID and click "Next." You will then see the CMS Enterprise Portal Password page. Enter your password and click "Log In." Click "Enter DBidS" on the DMEPOS Bidding System (DBidS) Welcome page.

Several Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System codes are not used anymore (i.e., E0472 and E0130). Under these circumstances it is very difficult or impossible to procure these items at a price that would be considered bona fide. How are the obscure items expected to be bona fide?

We encourage you to use the Lead Item Pricing Calculator, which is designed to help you determine your bid amount for the lead item in the product category and its impact on the non-lead items’ potential single payment amounts (SPAs). Also, you may want to review the Utilization Report. The report indicates the ratios relative to the lead item that will be used to calculate the SPAs for the non-lead items. The Utilization Report also provides 2017 and 2018 allowed amounts for the lead and non-lead items in each product category. Historic and anticipated utilization of the non-lead items are also factors to consider when developing your bid amount for the lead item. 

If requested to substantiate your bid amount for the lead item, you should provide an explanation that describes how you arrived at the amount, including factors such as anticipated costs (i.e., direct and indirect) for the lead and non-lead items and desired profit.

What criteria will be used to account for indirect costs?

Bid amounts for the lead item will be evaluated to ensure you can acquire the item at realistic and feasible costs based on the submitted documentation. To determine whether a bid is bona fide, the bid amount for each lead item will be evaluated and compared to all other bidders' bid amounts submitted for the same lead item throughout all competitive bidding areas. When calculating your bid amount for the lead item, you should consider any indirect costs, such as overhead.

If requested to substantiate your bid amount for the lead item, you should provide an explanation that describes how you arrived at the amount including factors such as anticipated costs (i.e., direct and indirect) for the lead and non-lead items, historic and anticipated utilization of the non-lead items, and desired profit. We encourage you to use the tools such as the Bid Preparation Worksheets, Utilization Report, and the Lead Item Pricing Calculator, to assist you with preparing your bid(s).

What criteria will be used to evaluate appropriate gross margins?

Bid amounts for the lead item will be evaluated to ensure you can acquire the item at realistic and feasible costs based on the submitted documentation. To determine whether a bid is bona fide, the bid amount for each lead item will be evaluated and compared to all other bidders’ bid amounts submitted for the same lead item throughout all competitive bidding areas. When calculating the bid amount for the lead item, you should determine if its gross profit margin is sustainable for furnishing all items in the product category.

Will it be acceptable to have a non-lead item with a single payment amount (SPA) lower than our acquisition cost? If so, how should this be justified in the narrative? Can you provide an example?

When determining your bid amount for the lead item, you should consider the impact on the potential SPAs for the non-lead items in the product category. It is your business’ decision how you determined the bid amount for the lead item. We encourage you to use the tools, such as the Bid Preparation Worksheets, Utilization Report, and the Lead Item Pricing Calculator, to assist you with preparing your bid(s).

If requested to substantiate your bid amount for the lead item, you should provide an explanation that describes how you arrived at the amount including factors such as anticipated costs (i.e., direct and indirect) for the lead and non-lead items, historic and anticipated utilization of the non-lead items, and desired profit.

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Updated: 08/07/2019