Sec1847[42 U.S.C. 1395w–3] (a) Establishment of Competitive Acquisition Programs.—

(1) Implementation of programs.—

(A) In general.—The Secretary shall establish and implement programs under which competitive acquisition areas are established throughout the United States for contract award purposes for the furnishing under this part of competitively priced items and services (described in paragraph (2)) for which payment is made under this part. Such areas may differ for different items and services.

(B) Phased-in implementation.—The programs—

(i) shall be phased in among competitive acquisition areas in a manner consistent with subparagraph (D) so that the competition under the programs occurs in—

(I) 10 of the largest metropolitan statistical areas in 2007;

(II) an additional 91of the largest metropolitan statistical areas in 2011; and

(III) additional areas after 2011 (or, in the case of national mail order for items and services, after 2010); and

(ii) may be phased in first among the highest cost and highest volume items and services or those items and services that the Secretary determines have the largest savings potential.

(C) Waiver of certain provisions.—In carrying out the programs, the Secretary may waive such provisions of the Federal Acquisition Regulation as are necessary for the efficient implementation of this section, other than provisions relating to confidentiality of information and such other provisions as the Secretary determines appropriate.

(D) Changes in competitive acquisition programs.—

(i) Round 1 of competitive acquisition program.—Notwithstanding subparagraph (B)(i)(I) and in implementing the first round of the competitive acquisition programs under this section—

(I) the contracts awarded under this section before the date of the enactment of this subparagraph are terminated, no payment shall be made under this title on or after the date of the enactment of this subparagraph based on such a contract, and, to the extent that any damages may be applicable as a result of the termination of such contracts, such damages shall be payable from the Federal Supplementary Medical Insurance Trust Fund under section 1841;

(II) the Secretary shall conduct the competition for such round in a manner so that it occurs in 2009 with respect to the same items and services and the same areas, except as provided in subclauses (III) and (IV);

(III) the Secretary shall exclude Puerto Rico so that such round of competition covers 9, instead of 10, of the largest metropolitan statistical areas; and

(IV) there shall be excluded negative pressure wound therapy items and services.

Nothing in subclause (I) shall be construed to provide an independent cause of action or right to administrative or judicial review with regard to the termination provided under such subclause.

(ii) Round 2 of competitive acquisition program.—In implementing the second round of the competitive acquisition programs under this section described in subparagraph (B)(i)(II)—

(I) the metropolitan statistical areas to be included shall be those metropolitan statistical areas selected by the Secretary for such round as of June 1, 2008;

(II) the Secretary shall include the next 21 largest metropolitan statistical areas by total population (after those selected under subclause (I)) for such round; and

(III) the Secretary may subdivide metropolitan statistical areas with populations (based upon the most recent data from the Census Bureau) of at least 8,000,000 into separate areas for competitive acquisition purposes.

(iii) Exclusion of certain areas in subsequent rounds of competitive acquisition programs.—In implementing subsequent rounds of the competitive acquisition programs under this section, including under subparagraph (B)(i)(III), for competitions occurring before 2015, the Secretary shall exempt from the competitive acquisition program (other than national mail order) the following:

(I) Rural areas.

(II) Metropolitan statistical areas not selected under round 1 or round 2 with a population of less than 250,000.

(III) Areas with a low population density within a metropolitan statistical area that is otherwise selected, as determined for purposes of paragraph (3)(A).

(E) Verification by oig.—The Inspector General of the Department of Health and Human Services shall, through post-award audit, survey, or otherwise, assess the process used by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to conduct competitive bidding and subsequent pricing determinations under this section that are the basis for pivotal bid amounts and single payment amounts for items and services in competitive bidding areas under rounds 1 and 2 of the competitive acquisition programs under this section and may continue to verify such calculations for subsequent rounds of such programs.

(F) Supplier feedback on missing financial documentation.—

(i) In general.—In the case of a bid where one or more covered documents in connection with such bid have been submitted not later than the covered document review date specified in clause (ii), the Secretary—

(I) shall provide, by not later than 45 days (in the case of the first round of the competitive acquisition programs as described in subparagraph (B)(i)(I)) or 90 days (in the case of a subsequent round of such programs) after the covered document review date, for notice to the bidder of all such documents that are missing as of the covered document review date; and

(II) may not reject the bid on the basis that any covered document is missing or has not been submitted on a timely basis, if all such missing documents identified in the notice provided to the bidder under subclause (I) are submitted to the Secretary not later than 10 business days after the date of such notice.

(ii) Covered document review date.—The covered document review date specified in this clause with respect to a competitive acquisition program is the later of—

(I) the date that is 30 days before the final date specified by the Secretary for submission of bids under such program; or

(II) the date that is 30 days after the first date specified by the Secretary for submission of bids under such program.

(iii) Limitations of process.—The process provided under this subparagraph—

(I) applies only to the timely submission of covered documents;

(II) does not apply to any determination as to the accuracy or completeness of covered documents submitted or whether such documents meet applicable requirements;

(III) shall not prevent the Secretary from rejecting a bid based on any basis not described in clause (i)(II); and

(IV) shall not be construed as permitting a bidder to change bidding amounts or to make other changes in a bid submission.

(iv) Covered document defined.—In this subparagraph, the term “covered document” means a financial, tax, or other document required to be submitted by a bidder as part of an original bid submission under a competitive acquisition program in order to meet required financial standards. Such term does not include other documents, such as the bid itself or accreditation documentation.

(2) Items and services described.—The items and services referred to in paragraph (1) are the following:

(A) Durable medical equipment and medical supplies.—Covered items (as defined in section 1834(a)(13)) for which payment would otherwise be made under section 1834(a), including items used in infusion and drugs (other than inhalation drugs) and supplies used in conjunction with durable medical equipment, but excluding class III devices under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act[167] and excluding certain complex rehabilitative power wheelchairs recognized by the Secretary as classified within group 3 or higher (and related accessories when furnished in connection with such wheelchairs).

(B) Other equipment and supplies.—Items and services described in section 1842(s)(2)(D), other than parenteral nutrients, equipment, and supplies.

(C) Off-the-shelf orthotics.—Orthotics described in section 1861(s)(9) for which payment would otherwise be made under section 1834(h) which require minimal self-adjustment for appropriate use and do not require expertise in trimming, bending, molding, assembling, or customizing to fit to the individual.

(3) Exception authority.—In carrying out the programs under this section, the Secretary may exempt—

(A) rural areas and areas with low population density within urban areas that are not competitive, unless there is a significant national market through mail order for a particular item or service; and

(B) items and services for which the application of competitive acquisition is not likely to result in significant savings.

(4) Special rule for certain rented items of durable medical equipment and oxygen.—In the case of a covered item for which payment is made on a rental basis under section 1834(a) and in the case of payment for oxygen under section 1834(a)(5), the Secretary shall establish a process by which rental agreements for the covered items and supply arrangements with oxygen suppliers entered into before the application of the competitive acquisition program under this section for the item may be continued notwithstanding this section. In the case of any such continuation, the supplier involved shall provide for appropriate servicing and replacement, as required under section 1834(a).

(5) Physician authorization.—

(A) In general.—With respect to items or services included within a particular HCPCS code, the Secretary may establish a process for certain items and services under which a physician may prescribe a particular brand or mode of delivery of an item or service within such code if the physician determines that use of the particular item or service would avoid an adverse medical outcome on the individual, as determined by the Secretary.

(B) No effect on payment amount.—A prescription under subparagraph (A) shall not affect the amount of payment otherwise applicable for the item or service under the code involved.

(6) Application.—For each competitive acquisition area in which the program is implemented under this subsection with respect to items and services, the payment basis determined under the competition conducted under subsection (b) shall be substituted for the payment basis otherwise applied under section 1834(a), section 1834(h), or section 1842(s), as appropriate.

(7) Exemption from competitive acquisition.—The programs under this section shall not apply to the following:

(A) Certain off-the-shelf orthotics.—Items and services described in paragraph (2)(C) if furnished—

(i) by a physician or other practitioner (as defined by the Secretary) to the physician’s or practitioner’s own patients as part of the physician’s or practitioner’s professional service; or

(ii) by a hospital to the hospital’s own patients during an admission or on the date of discharge.

(B) Certain durable medical equipment.—Those items and services described in paragraph (2)(A)—

(i) that are furnished by a hospital to the hospital’s own patients during an admission or on the date of discharge; and

(ii) to which such programs would not apply, as specified by the Secretary, if furnished by a physician to the physician’s own patients as part of the physician’s professional service.

(b) Program Requirements.—

(1) In general.—The Secretary shall conduct a competition among entities supplying items and services described in subsection (a)(2) for each competitive acquisition area in which the program is implemented under subsection (a) with respect to such items and services.

(2) Conditions for awarding contract.—

(A) In general.—The Secretary may not award a contract to any entity under the competition conducted in an competitive acquisition area pursuant to paragraph (1) to furnish such items or services unless the Secretary finds all of the following:

(i) The entity meets applicable quality standards specified by the Secretary under section 1834(a)(20).

(ii) The entity meets applicable financial standards specified by the Secretary, taking into account the needs of small providers.

(iii) The total amounts to be paid to contractors in a competitive acquisition area are expected to be less than the total amounts that would otherwise be paid.

(iv) Access of individuals to a choice of multiple suppliers in the area is maintained.

(B) Timely implementation of program.—Any delay in the implementation of quality standards under section 1834(a)(20) or delay in the receipt of advice from the program oversight committee established under subsection (c) shall not delay the implementation of the competitive acquisition program under this section.

(3) Contents of contract.—

(A) In general.—A contract entered into with an entity under the competition conducted pursuant to paragraph (1) is subject to terms and conditions that the Secretary may specify.

(B) Term of contracts.—The Secretary shall recompete contracts under this section not less often than once every 3 years.

(C) Disclosure of subcontractors.—

(i) Initial disclosure.—Not later than 10 days after the date a supplier enters into a contract with the Secretary under this section, such supplier shall disclose to the Secretary, in a form and manner specified by the Secretary, the information on—

(I) each subcontracting relationship that such supplier has in furnishing items and services under the contract; and

(II) whether each such subcontractor meets the requirement of section 1834(a)(20)(F)(i), if applicable to such subcontractor.

(ii) Subsequent disclosure.—Not later than 10 days after such a supplier subsequently enters into a subcontracting relationship described in clause (i)(II), such supplier shall disclose to the Secretary, in such form and manner, the information described in subclauses (I) and (II) of clause (i).

(4) Limit on number of contractors.—

(A) In general.—The Secretary may limit the number of contractors in a competitive acquisition area to the number needed to meet projected demand for items and services covered under the contracts. In awarding contracts, the Secretary shall take into account the ability of bidding entities to furnish items or services in sufficient quantities to meet the anticipated needs of individuals for such items or services in the geographic area covered under the contract on a timely basis.

(B) Multiple winners.—The Secretary shall award contracts to multiple entities submitting bids in each area for an item or service.

(5) Payment.—

(A) In general.—Payment under this part for competitively priced items and services described in subsection (a)(2) shall be based on bids submitted and accepted under this section for such items and services. Based on such bids the Secretary shall determine a single payment amount for each item or service in each competitive acquisition area.

(B) Reduced beneficiary cost-sharing.—

(i) Application of coinsurance.—Payment under this section for items and services shall be in an amount equal to 80 percent of the payment basis described in subparagraph (A).

(ii) Application of deductible.—Before applying clause (i), the individual shall be required to meet the deductible described in section 1833(b).

(C) Payment on assignment-related basis.—Payment for any item or service furnished by the entity may only be made under this section on an assignment-related basis.

(D) Construction.—Nothing in this section shall be construed as precluding the use of an advanced beneficiary notice with respect to a competitively priced item and service.

(6) Participating contractors.—

(A) In general.—Except as provided in subsection (a)(4), payment shall not be made for items and services described in subsection (a)(2) furnished by a contractor and for which competition is conducted under this section unless—

(i) the contractor has submitted a bid for such items and services under this section; and

(ii) the Secretary has awarded a contract to the contractor for such items and services under this section.

(B) Bid defined.—In this section, the term “bid” means an offer to furnish an item or service for a particular price and time period that includes, where appropriate, any services that are attendant to the furnishing of the item or service.

(C) Rules for mergers and acquisitions.—In applying subparagraph (A) to a contractor, the contractor shall include a successor entity in the case of a merger or acquisition, if the successor entity assumes such contract along with any liabilities that may have occurred thereunder.

(D) Protection of small suppliers.—In developing procedures relating to bids and the awarding of contracts under this section, the Secretary shall take appropriate steps to ensure that small suppliers of items and services have an opportunity to be considered for participation in the program under this section.

(7) Consideration in determining categories for bids.—The Secretary may consider the clinical efficiency and value of specific items within codes, including whether some items have a greater therapeutic advantage to individuals.

(8) Authority to contract for education, monitoring, outreach, and complaint services.—The Secretary may enter into contracts with appropriate entities to address complaints from individuals who receive items and services from an entity with a contract under this section and to conduct appropriate education of and outreach to such individuals and monitoring quality of services with respect to the program.

(9) Authority to contract for implementation.—The Secretary may contract with appropriate entities to implement the competitive bidding program under this section.

(10) Special rule in case of competition for diabetic testing strips.—

(A) In general.—With respect to the competitive acquisition program for diabetic testing strips conducted after the first round of the competitive acquisition programs, if an entity does not demonstrate to the Secretary that its bid covers types of diabetic testing strip products that, in the aggregate and taking into account volume for the different products, cover 50 percent (or such higher percentage as the Secretary may specify) of all such types of products, the Secretary shall reject such bid. The volume for such types of products may be determined in accordance with such data (which may be market based data) as the Secretary recognizes.

(B) Study of types of testing strip products.—Before 2011, the Inspector General of the Department of Health and Human Services shall conduct a study to determine the types of diabetic testing strip products by volume that could be used to make determinations pursuant to subparagraph (A) for the first competition under the competitive acquisition program described in such subparagraph and submit to the Secretary a report on the results of the study. The Inspector General shall also conduct such a study and submit such a report before the Secretary conducts a subsequent competitive acquistion[168] program described in subparagraph (A).

(11) No administrative or judicial review.—There shall be no administrative or judicial review under section 1869, section 1878, or otherwise, of—

(A) the establishment of payment amounts under paragraph (5);

(B) the awarding of contracts under this section;

(C) the designation of competitive acquisition areas under subsection (a)(1)(A) and the identification of areas under subsection (a)(1)(D)(iii);

(D) the phased-in implementation under subsection (a)(1)(B) and implementation of subsection (a)(1)(D);

(E) the selection of items and services for competitive acquisition under subsection (a)(2);

(F) the bidding structure and number of contractors selected under this section; or

(G) the implementation of the special rule described in paragraph (10).

(c) Program Advisory and Oversight Committee.—

(1) Establishment.—The Secretary shall establish a Program Advisory and Oversight Committee (hereinafter in this section referred to as the “Committee”).

(2) Membership; terms.—The Committee shall consist of such members as the Secretary may appoint who shall serve for such term as the Secretary may specify.

(3) Duties.—

(A) Advice.—The Committee shall provide advice to the Secretary with respect to the following functions:

(i) The implementation of the program under this section.

(ii) The establishment of financial standards for purposes of subsection (b)(2)(A)(ii).

(iii) The establishment of requirements for collection of data for the efficient management of the program.

(iv) The development of proposals for efficient interaction among manufacturers, providers of services, suppliers (as defined in section 1861(d)), and individuals.

(v) The establishment of quality standards under section 1834(a)(20).

(B) Additional duties.—The Committee shall perform such additional functions to assist the Secretary in carrying out this section as the Secretary may specify.

(4) Inapplicability of faca.—The provisions of the Federal Advisory Committee Act (5 U.S.C. App.) shall not apply.

(5) Termination.—The Committee shall terminate on December 31, 2011.

(d) Report.—Not later than July 1, 2011, the Secretary shall submit to Congress a report on the programs under this section. The report shall include information on savings, reductions in cost-sharing, access to and quality of items and services, and satisfaction of individuals.

(e) [Stricken.[169]]

(f) Competitive Acquisition Ombudsman.—The Secretary shall provide for a competitive acquisition ombudsman within the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services in order to respond to complaints and inquiries made by suppliers and individuals relating to the application of the competitive acquisition program under this section. The ombudsman may be within the office of the Medicare Beneficiary Ombudsman appointed under section 1808(c). The ombudsman shall submit to Congress an annual report on the activities under this subsection, which report shall be coordinated with the report provided under section 1808(c)(2)(C).

[167]  P.L. 75-717.

[168]  As in original. Should be “acquisition”.

[169]  P.L. 110-275, §145(a)(1); 122 Stat. 2547.