Helping you navigate the DMEPOS Competitive Bidding Program
Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act of 2008 (MIPPA)
Through Section 154(b)(3) of MIPPA, Congress amended Section 1847 of the Social Security Act to mandate the creation of the Competitive Acquisition Ombudsman (CAO) within the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to respond to inquiries and complaints made by suppliers and individuals relating to the application of the Durable Medical Equipment, Prosthetics, Orthotics, and Supplies (DMEPOS) Competitive Bidding Program and to submit an Annual Report to Congress on its activities. To view Section 154 and MIPPA in its entirety, please click here
What is the role of the Competitive Acquisition Ombudsman?
Section 154(b)(3) of the Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act of 2008 (MIPPA) amended Section 1847 of the Social Security Act to create the Competitive Acquisition Ombudsman (CAO). The role of the CAO is to respond to inquiries and complaints made by suppliers and individuals relating to the application of the DMEPOS Competitive Bidding Program. The CAO program falls within the Office of the Medicare Beneficiary Ombudsman, which is responsible for providing assistance with respect to inquiries and complaints about the Medicare program.
The CAO works closely with CMS components and its contractors, as well as with external partners, to:
- Respond to suppliers' and individuals' inquiries and complaints;
- Assist CMS in ensuring that issues are resolved; and
- Assist CMS in ensuring that a comprehensive process for timely responses to suppliers and individuals is in place.
The CAO may assist CMS in ensuring that individuals and suppliers can get the most up-to-date information about the DMEPOS Competitive Bidding Program. This information is available through a range of communication tools, including the www.cms.gov and www.medicare.gov websites, mailings, and Listserv notices.
When should I make an inquiry or complaint?
If you have an inquiry or complaint about the DMEPOS Competitive Bidding Program, including issues about the quality of medical equipment received from a contract supplier or grandfathered supplier, service provided by a contract supplier or grandfathered supplier, or if you are not satisfied with the response or resolution to such inquiries or complaints, the CAO can work with you to coordinate a resolution.
How do I file an inquiry or complaint? You have several options.
Work with your supplier.
To file an inquiry or complaint, you should first contact your supplier. Your supplier must provide regular business hours and after-hour access telephone number(s) for customer service, and for information about equipment repair and emergency coverage. If you need contact information for a supplier or need to choose a supplier, please click here for the Medicare Supplier Directory.
If your issue is not resolved by your supplier, call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227). TTY users should call 1-877-486-2048. CMS has trained customer services representatives to help answer your inquiry or to help resolve your complaint.
Contact your local counseling support.
The State Health Insurance Assistance Program, or SHIP, offers free local one-on-one counseling and assistance via telephone or face-to face for people with Medicare. To contact your local SHIP for assistance with issues regarding the DMEPOS Competitive Bidding Program, please click on the link below to locate a SHIP near you.
State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) Fact Sheet
Locate a SHIP by State
DMEPOS Competitive Bidding Publications