(a) A network may be comprised of at least 2 but not more than 20 small suppliers.
(b) The following rules apply to networks that seek contracts under this subpart:
(1) Each network must form a single legal entity that acts as the bidder and submits the bid. Any agreement entered into for purposes of forming a network must be submitted to CMS. The network must identify itself as a network and identify all of its members.
(2) Each member of the network must satisfy the requirements in § 414.414(b) through (d).
(3) A small supplier may join one or more networks but cannot submit an individual bid to furnish the same product category in the same CBA as any network in which it is a member. A small supplier may not be a member of more than one network if those networks submit bids to furnish the same product category in the same CBA.
(4) The network cannot be anticompetitive, and this section does not supersede any Federal law or regulation that regulates anticompetitive behavior.
(5) A bid submitted by a network must include a statement from each network member certifying that the network member joined the network because it is unable independently to furnish all of the items in the product category for which the network is submitting a bid to beneficiaries throughout the entire geographic area of the CBA.
(6) At the time that a network submits a bid, the network's total market share for each product category that is the subject of the network's bid cannot exceed 20 percent of the Medicare demand for that product category in the CBA.
(c) If the network is awarded a contract, each supplier must submit its own claims and will receive payment directly from Medicare for the items that it furnishes under the competitive bidding program.