How the Cleveland Clinic won a competitive bidding contract

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01/14/2011

Here's an interesting competitive bidding story:

I got a call yesterday from a provider who was upset that Cleveland Clinic Respiratory Therapy at Home, which initially did not win a Round 1 rebid in the Cleveland CBA, was belatedly awarded a bid by CMS. In a letter to staff dated Dec. 20, the company stated: "Great News! At noon today, we received word from CMS that we were unjustly denied a winning status and were granted as bid winners for Oxygen and Enteral. Simply put, we can continue to accept all Medicare oxygen patients after December 31 as a winning bidder."

Some providers reportedly are upset about this, that some funny business occurred that let the clinic snag a bid. As far as I can tell, that is not the case. CMS announced the winning bidders Nov. 3, and all losing providers had until Nov. 19 to question CMS about why they lost the bid. That's apparently what happened here.

It the letter, the company stated: "We had been informed that the reason we were denied was not due to our bid price, but due to the Clinic's overall low credit rating. Although our bond rating is one of the highest you can obtain, they did not consider that when making their decision. Because of our ability to purchase large amounts of equipment at a time and our high bond rating, we appealed the decision."

I think that is the end of this story, but now I'm curious: How many providers who were denied a bid appealed and ultimately received a bid.

I'm going to contact CMS and see if I can find out. Stay tuned.

Mike Moran