(a)General rule. The rules set forth in this section govern the evaluation and selection of suppliers for contract award purposes under a competitive bidding program.
(b)Basic supplier eligibility.
(1) Each supplier must meet the enrollment standards specified in § 424.57(c) of this chapter.
(2) Each supplier must disclose information about any prior or current legal actions, sanctions, revocations from the Medicare program, program-related convictions as defined in section 1128(a)(1) through (a)(4) of the Act, exclusions or debarments imposed against it, or against any members of the board of directors, chief corporate officers, high-level employees, affiliated companies, or subcontractors, by any Federal, State, or local agency. The supplier must certify in its bid that this information is completed and accurate.
(3) Each supplier must have all State and local licenses required to perform the services identified in the request for bids.
(4) Each supplier must submit a bona fide bid that complies with all the terms and conditions contained in the request for bids.
(5) Each network must meet the requirements specified in § 414.418.
(c)Quality standards and accreditation. Each supplier furnishing items and services directly or as a subcontractor must meet applicable quality standards developed by CMS in accordance with section 1834(a)(20) of the Act and be accredited by a CMS-approved organization that meets the requirements of § 424.58 of this subchapter, unless a grace period is specified by CMS.
(1)General rule. Each supplier must submit along with its bid the applicable covered documents (as defined in § 414.402) specified in the request for bids.
(2)Process for reviewing covered documents.
(i)Submission of covered documents for CMS review. To receive notification of whether there are missing covered documents, the supplier must submit its applicable covered documents by the later of the following covered document review dates:
(A) The date that is 30 days before the final date for the closing of the bid window; or
(B) The date that is 30 days after the opening of the bid window.
(ii)CMS feedback to a supplier with missing covered documents.
(A)For Round 1 bids. CMS has up to 45 days after the covered document review date to review the covered documents and to notify suppliers of any missing documents.
(B)For subsequent Round bids. CMS has 90 days after the covered document review date to notify suppliers of any missing covered documents.
(iii)Submission of missing covered documents. Suppliers notified by CMS of missing covered documents have 10 business days after the date of such notice to submit the missing documents. CMS does not reject the supplier's bid on the basis that the covered documents are late or missing if all the applicable missing covered documents identified in the notice are submitted to CMS not later than 10 business days after the date of such notice.
(e)Evaluation of bids. CMS evaluates bids submitted for items within a product category by—
(1) Calculating the expected beneficiary demand in the CBA for the items in the product category;
(2) Calculating the total supplier capacity that would be sufficient to meet the expected beneficiary demand in the CBA for the items in the product category;
(3) Establishing a composite bid for each supplier and network that submitted a bid for the product category.
(4) Arraying the composite bids from the lowest composite bid price to the highest composite bid price;
(5) Calculating the pivotal bid for the product category;
(6) Selecting all suppliers and networks whose composite bids are less than or equal to the pivotal bid for that product category, and that meet the requirements in paragraphs (b) through (d) of this section.
(f)Expected savings. A contract is not awarded under this subpart unless CMS determines that the amounts to be paid to contract suppliers for an item under a competitive bidding program are expected to be less than the amounts that would otherwise be paid for the same item under subpart C or subpart D.
(g)Special rules for small suppliers—
(1)Target for small supplier participation. CMS ensures that small suppliers have the opportunity to participate in a competitive bidding program by taking the following steps:
(i) Setting a target number for small supplier participation by multiplying 30 percent by the number of suppliers that meet the requirements in paragraphs (b) through (d) of this section and whose composite bids are equal to or lower than the pivotal bid calculated for the product category;
(ii) Identifying the number of qualified small suppliers whose composite bids are at or below the pivotal bid for the product category;
(iii) Selecting additional small suppliers whose composite bids are above the pivotal bid for the product category in ascending order based on the proximity of each small supplier's composite bid to the pivotal bid, until the number calculated in paragraph (g)(1)(i) of this section is reached or there are no more composite bids submitted by small suppliers for the product category.
(2) The bids by small suppliers that are selected under paragraph (g)(1)(iii) of this section are not used to calculate the single payment amounts for any items under § 414.416 of this subpart.
(h)Sufficient number of suppliers.
(1) Except as provided in paragraph (h)(3) of this section. CMS will award at least five contracts, if there are five suppliers satisfying the requirements in paragraphs (b) through (f) of this section; or
(2) CMS will award at least two contracts, if there are less than five suppliers meeting these requirements and the suppliers satisfying these requirements have sufficient capacity to satisfy beneficiary demand for the product category calculated under paragraph (e)(1) of this section.
(3) The provisions of paragraph (h)(1) of this section do not apply to regional or nationwide mail order CBAs under § 414.410(d)(2) of this subpart.
(i)Selection of new suppliers after bidding.
(1) Subsequent to the awarding of contracts under this subpart, CMS may award additional contracts if it determines that additional contract suppliers are needed to meet beneficiary demand for items under a competitive bidding program. CMS selects additional contract suppliers by—
(i) Referring to the arrayed list of suppliers that submitted bids for the product category included in the competitive bidding program for which beneficiary demand is not being met; and
(ii) Beginning with the supplier whose composite bid is the first composite bid above the pivotal bid for that product category, determining if that supplier is willing to become a contract supplier under the same terms and conditions that apply to other contract suppliers in the CBA.
(2) Before CMS awards additional contracts under paragraph (i)(1) of this section, a supplier must submit updated information demonstrating that the supplier meets the requirements under paragraphs (b) through (d) of this section.