Ohio’s congressional delegation has asked the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to suspend its competitive bidding program for durable medical equipment, often provided by home care agencies.
The state legislature sought respite from the program through a letter to CMS citing violations of the rules on behalf of unlicensed providers.
“We request that CMS suspend the July 1 implementation of this program so that Congress can examine the full extent of these flaws and develop an appropriate solution,” the letter, signed by 14 House members from Ohio, reads.
A separate letter written by Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) states the senator is “concerned about the impact of allowing unlicensed/non-registered firms to provide products and services to Medicare beneficiaries in the state of Ohio.”
The program is scheduled to take effect in 91 new geographic regions after an initial roll out in test markets, which later revealed unlicensed bidders were awarded contracts in some states, including Ohio.
“CMS clearly states in the ‘Request for Bids,’ a document that spells out the rules for suppliers to initially compete, that ‘every supplier location is responsible for having all applicable licenses for each state in which it provides services,’” the congressmen wrote
CMS has stated it does not intend to delay the implementation of the July 1 expansion, despite opposition from 227 members of Congress who have signed a bill supporting the rule’s delay.
A separate lawsuit has been filed against CMS regarding the expansion of the program.
Written by Elizabeth Ecker