42 USC 1395w3 - Competitive acquisition of certain items and services

(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

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(i) shall be phased in among competitive acquisition areas in a manner so that the competition under the programs occurs in
(I) 10 of the largest metropolitan statistical areas in 2007;
(II) 80 of the largest metropolitan statistical areas in 2009; and
(III) additional areas after 2009; 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.
(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 1395m (a)(13) of this title) for which payment would otherwise be made under section 1395m (a) of this title, 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 [21 U.S.C. 301 et seq.].
(B) Other equipment and supplies 
Items and services described in section 1395u (s)(2)(D) of this title, other than parenteral nutrients, equipment, and supplies.
(C) Off-the-shelf orthotics 
Orthotics described in section 1395x (s)(9) of this title for which payment would otherwise be made under section 1395m (h) of this title 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.

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(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 1395m (a) of this title and in the case of payment for oxygen under section 1395m (a)(5) of this title, 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 1395m (a) of this title.
(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) of this section shall be substituted for the payment basis otherwise applied under section 1395m (a) of this title, section 1395m (h) of this title, or section 1395u (s) of this title, as appropriate.
(b) Program requirements 

(1) In general 
The Secretary shall conduct a competition among entities supplying items and services described in subsection (a)(2) of this section for each competitive acquisition area in which the program is implemented under subsection (a) of this section 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[1] 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 1395m (a)(20) of this title.
(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 1395m (a)(20) of this title or delay in the receipt of advice from the program oversight committee established under subsection (c) of this section 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.
(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) of this section 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 1395l (b) of this title.
(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) of this section, payment shall not be made for items and services described in subsection (a)(2) of this section 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) No administrative or judicial review 
There shall be no administrative or judicial review under section 1395ff of this title, section 1395oo of this title, 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) of this section;
(D) the phased-in implementation under subsection (a)(1)(B) of this section;
(E) the selection of items and services for competitive acquisition under subsection (a)(2) of this section; or
(F) the bidding structure and number of contractors selected under this section.
(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) of this section.
(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 1395x (d) of this title), and individuals.
(v) The establishment of quality standards under section 1395m (a)(20) of this title.
(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, 2009.
(d) Report 
Not later than July 1, 2009, 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) Demonstration project for clinical laboratory services 

(1) In general 
The Secretary shall conduct a demonstration project on the application of competitive acquisition under this section to clinical diagnostic laboratory tests
(A) for which payment would otherwise be made under section 1395l (h) of this title (other than for pap smear laboratory tests under paragraph (7) of such section) or section 1395m (d)(1) of this title (relating to colorectal cancer screening tests); and
(B) which are furnished by entities that did not have a face-to-face encounter with the individual.
(2) Terms and conditions 

(A) In general 
Except as provided in subparagraph (B), such project shall be under the same conditions as are applicable to items and services described in subsection (a)(2) of this section, excluding subsection (b)(5)(B) of this section and other conditions as the Secretary determines to be appropriate.
(B) Application of CLIA quality standards 
The quality standards established by the Secretary under section 263a of this title for clinical diagnostic laboratory tests shall apply to such tests under the demonstration project under this section in lieu of quality standards described in subsection (b)(2)(A)(i) of this section.
(3) Report 
The Secretary shall submit to Congress
(A) an initial report on the project not later than December 31, 2005; and
(B) such progress and final reports on the project after such date as the Secretary determines appropriate.
[1] So in original. Probably should be “a”.