Court cases: CMS 5, industry 0

Sunday, July 6, 2008

WASHINGTON - The HME industry is batting zero in its courtroom bid to halt national competitive bidding (NCB).

On June 30, federal judges in Washington, D.C, and Cleveland denied requests for preliminary injunctions in two court cases. The Washington, D.C., suit was filed on June 9 by AAHomecare on behalf of its members.

"While we are disappointed that the court did not grant a preliminary injunction, we are encouraged that the court did not bar our claim on jurisdictional grounds," stated AAHomecare president Tyler Wilson in a release. "The court did not rule on the merits of the case. We believe the law supports our position, and we hope the court will uphold our statutory challenge. In the days and weeks ahead, we will press for a summary judgment from the court."

The Cleveland suit was filed in December on behalf of providers and beneficiaries and paid for by The VGM Group's Last Chance for Patient Choice.

"This has been a national effort across the country and was the last hope for a delay before the July 1 start date," said Michael Jordan, an attorney with Walter & Haverfield, which is handling the case.

The June 30 rulings followed similar rulings issued the previous week in Dallas and Miami. A fifth suit, filed last fall in Washington, D.C., on behalf of two providers challenging the inclusion of mail order diabetes, was dismissed June 18.