CMS Responds to Congress
CMS Adminitrator Berwick has responded to a letter from over 130 members of Congress asking the agency to release the names of the DME provides who won contracts in the Round 1 Rebid. As the lawmakers explained, ““Without knowing the identity as well as the appropriate overall qualifications of these providers, we cannot evaluate the program’s impact in terms of quality and access to care for seniors we represent.”
In his response, Dr. Berwick declined to release the names of the winning suppliers stating that, “we believe that providing a series of interim lists of suppliers would result in beneficiary confusion, undermining the orderly and effective implementation of the program.”
Moreover, CMS stated that “the premature release of information may jeopardize the procurement process itself. … standard procurement rules prohibit disclosing the identities of bidders until after contracts are final. Under the DMEPOS competitive bidding program, the contracting process is not complete and contracts are not awarded until CMS signs the contracts, and CMS does not sign the contracts until all of the contract suppliers have signed.”
CMS did state that they would be willing to provide Congress with a detailed briefing when the agency makes their announcemet of contract awards.
See letter to Congress http://thecre.com/pdf/CMS%20Response%20to%20Congress.pdf.
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