CHA News Article

CMS Suspends DMEPOS Competitive Bidding Program
Also updates ESRD payments for 2019

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) last week finalized a rule that suspends the Durable Medical Equipment, Prosthetics, Orthotics, and Supplies (DMEPOS) Competitive Bidding Program beginning Jan. 1. CMS expects that the program will be suspended until at least Dec. 31, 2020.

In a fact sheet issued with the rule, CMS noted that during this temporary gap period Medicare beneficiaries will be able to receive DMEPOS from any Medicare-enrolled supplier. In addition, CMS finalized CHA-supported payment adjustments under the DMEPOS fee schedule. CHA continues to advocate for broader short- and long-term policy changes, beyond payment reforms, to improve access to DMEPOS for Medicare beneficiaries.

The final rule also updates the end-stage renal disease (ESRD) prospective payment system for calendar year (CY) 2019. The final CY 2019 ESRD prospective payment system base rate is $235.27. CMS projects that the updates for CY 2019 will increase total payments to ESRD facilities by 1.6 percent compared with CY 2018. For hospital-based ESRD facilities, CMS projects an increase in total payments of 1.7 percent. For freestanding facilities, the projected increase in total payments is 1.6 percent. Additional information is available in a CMS fact sheet.