Invacare's final analysis: Many bid winners financially unfit

Thursday, December 2, 2010

ELYRIA, Ohio - Invacare has completed an analysis of the HME providers who won bids in the Round 1 rebid of competitive bidding and the picture's not pretty, the company announced last week.

"This is part of our effort to point out to Congress that this program is fundamentally flawed," said Cara Bachenheimer, Invacare's senior vice president of government relations.

Invacare released its final analysis of the winners on Dec. 2. The data shows that of the 359 contract winners, 20.6% (73) have limited ability to purchase products from Invacare for the following reasons:

- 8.5% have credit limits with Invacare of less than $10,000;

- 5.4% are on credit hold with Invacare, meaning they cannot purchase product from the company; and

- 6.7% are so far behind on their payments with Invacare that their accounts have been turned over for collections or legal action.

In addition to the 73 firms above, 50 (14%) have no account with Invacare. That means they are either not Invacare customers, or they are new to the industry and, potentially, have limited financial resources, Bachenheimer said.

In analyzing the winners, Invacare reviewed two years of audited financial statements. In contrast, CMS required only one year of un-audited financial statements from bidders.

As part of the industry's efforts to delay or eliminate competitive bidding, Invacare began sharing the preliminary data with members of Congress last week and will continue to do so, Bachenheimer said.

"This raises questions about CMS's ability to ensure that every single contractor stands ready to fulfill their three-year contract," she said.