Editor’s Note:  The following is the verbatim communication received from a health care provider.  CRE thanks the writer for their insights and their commitiment to caring for Medicare beneficiaries despite CMS’ policies that harm the quality of care.  The legal issue raised by the reader should be addressed by HHS/CMS.

To Whom It May Concern,

Thank you for your continuing coverage of this incredibly difficult issue. Not being a legal expert, When I saw the additional 2% reduction announcement I immediately began to question the legality of it. How can it be legal to offer, and receive an accepted contract with a specific fee schedule and then suddenly alter that fee schedule? Would that not be a breach of contract in some fashion? I am seriously concerned that this sets a very dangerous precedent. If the Fed can alter an accepted contract at will, sequester or not, does that not give them the power to make changes, at will, to any and all other contracts? I would be very interested to hear a legal experts opinion about this.

I feel that Competitive Bidding is massively flawed. This additional cut only adds insult to injury. In the end, my challenge is to provide the best quality care and service that I can to people with real needs. CMS seems intent on doing something far different. It is shameful.

Thank you for your time. I look forward to reading more from your organization.