No sooner had I heard that CMS had sent out letters to providers asking them to review their bids as part of the Round 2 re-compete had I started hearing of issues.
The letters prompt providers to verify with the applicable organizations that they have met requirements required for submitting bids. The reaction started on twitter.
One provider tweeted me, “My analysis shows a BIG disconnect between CBIC/NSC and accrediting bodies.” His emphasis, not mine. A few tweets back and forth and the provider tweeted me again, “As we speak (tweet), the CBIC sent out a notice to disregard our prelim report as it was in error.”
The next day, another tweet: “Looks like new preliminary reports are out. On a Saturday no less. Just got the email.” Any difference between this report and the first report? Not as far as this provider can tell. “The accrediting organization info seems to be ignored.”
Then I got an email from a provider saying CMS wasn’t showing that he was licensed and that he needed to check with the NSC. Before doing that, the provider checked PECOS and sure enough it showed he was licensed. So he called the CBIC and they still told him to call the NSC. So he called the NSC and they told him his licensure is valid and current, and it was valid and current prior to March 26 when the CBIC pulled the info. They told him to call the CBIC.
You can probably guess where this is going. I’ll let the provider explain:
“I just spoke to the CBIC and they told me that if the NSC says it is there than it is OK. However, she couldn’t confirm anything on the CBIC side and she told me to only go by what the NSC told me. I asked how this could have even not showed in there in the first place and she just said that PECOS was back logged and it might not have been in there when it was pulled on March 26. The call ended with me just saying, ‘It is really hard for me to trust what I’m being told since everything was in there before and you didn’t show it so now my company and livelihood is at the hands of something that didn’t work in the first place.’ All she said was she was sorry and that if the NSC stated it was on there, then I was OK.”
The provider's email ended with: “Ughhh.”
I realize that running a program as large and complicated as competitive bidding is probably no easy task but, since we’re talking about the Round 2 re-compete, this isn’t CMS’s first rodeo.
With the added emphasis on meeting licensure requirements thanks to a provision in the recently passed “doc fix” bill, CMS has every incentive to get it right. Everyone's watching this time.