Some contract suppliers may not meet requirements

Friday, May 10, 2013

YARMOUTH, Maine – As HME stakeholders continue to pore over the list of Round 2 contract suppliers, it’s become more and more clear that some may not meet various licensing requirements—a condition of winning a contract.

“How are they granted awards if they didn’t meet state qualifications for licensure?” asked Jeff Mastej, director of compliance and audits for Dearborn, Mich.-based Wright & Filippis.

In Tennessee, for example, out-of-state contract suppliers received a letter from the competitive bidding implementation contractor (CBIC) on April 16 reminding them that they must “comply with all state and local laws, including applicable licensure requirements.” For Tennessee, that means providers must have a physical location within the state. The letter states that contract suppliers have until July 1 to meet the licensure requirements.

“That’s just not going to happen,” said James Herren, executive director of the Association for Tennessee Home Oxygen & Medical Equipment Services. “The state licensure department is overwhelmed with phone calls from people saying, ‘I didn’t know.’”

Herren said the state has told him it is investigating as many as 50 companies.

Even the July 1 deadline cited in the letter appears to be in conflict with CMS’s own bidding rules, which state that providers must have met licensure requirements by May 1, 2012, with a copy on file with the National Supplier Clearinghouse, stakeholders say.

“Our licensure law has been in effect for about 13 years,” said Herren. “For either CMS or bidders to say they didn’t know you had to have a license is laughable. Those bids should be invalid.”

Another example: In the Detroit CBA, providers of hospital beds must have a “bedding and furniture permit,” according to stakeholders.

“There is an issue of whether or not CMS actually checked state and local licenses for various bidders,” said Barry Cargill, executive director of the Michigan Association for Home Care. “I think many people involved in the bidding process were not even aware that this was there.”

The big question now: What happens if contract suppliers were awarded contracts when, technically, they should not have been? The letter to suppliers in Tennessee states that failure to comply with licensure requirements or any other requirement outlined in the contract will result in a breach of all of a supplier’s contracts.


Why don't these so called associations let these contract winners be. Stop trying to find every single flaw available to destroy the hard work people put in to win these bids. While I think the bid amounts are low and CMS is very evil in the way they conduct business, the program is here and we just have to make the best of it. Where were these associations before this unfortunate event went into place. They should've stopped it from going into effect in the first place. Is t that why people pay association fees?

Yes, CMS has these rules in place but they must also give grace period to be in compliance. In the case where CMS does not give grace period, that means if your license expired by 1 day then you must be kicked out of the program. That is not very realistic.

The true issues where are patients right to choose. All choice has been taken away. When a family member need a peice of equipment and your not able to provide I hope you can sleep at night. The other issue think about the people that will be without jobs. I am very proud to be in the DME business and provide service people in our community. It time to think as an industry not an all for me.

Don't you understand the government is attempting to get rid of the small businessman. How many honest hard working people are out of a job now? Just because government wants to run their lives. This could have been done very easily. If you don't stand up for your rights and express them. Very soon you want have any. just look around and see how things have already changed. I have been in this business for over 40 years. unfortunately in the last 2 years I have seen more people go out of business than in those 40. The patient should have the right to say where they are allowed to receive their supplies and equipment. Everyone has to stand up for their rights! Quit having blinders on and do something. Why don't you look at the list who won the bid and see how many aren't meeting the requirements for the bid. It is very long and no explanation just excuses.