Protest in Orlando Against Competitive Bidding
From: AMEPA Newsletter, Dec. 15, 2010
Various news outlets are monitoring this situation and are anxious to print stories. The more media attention we receive the better, as the new congressional representatives are looking for issues of concern and rely upon the media to verify their worth.
Yesterday dozens of providers, gathered on the coldest day of the year in Orlando to demonstrate the complete and utter incompetence of CMS with the implementation of its competitive bidding program for DMEPOS.
The providers gathered as protestors to bring attention to what is coming January 1st, when the first round of the bidding program is fully implemented in four counties around the Orlando Area. The gathering was near the offices of a closed and bankrupt DME company that CMS listed as a bid winner in multiple categories. This quality company was put out of business by ruthless CMS audits and Gestapo tactics some time ago. However, CMS also cerified that the company met their strict financial bidding standards and awarded the bankrupt, closed company multiple contracts to cover the Orlando MSA.
The Corner was packed with People and Trucks
This is not the only case of closed and bankrupt companies awarded contracts by CMS, but it is one of the most flagrant. A second closed and bankrupt bid winner in Orlando filed for bankruptcy, four months before Medicare disclosed their list of bid winners. Industry associations raised the problem to CMS as did Congressmen who mentioned the problem during hearings on bidding, in September. Yet two months later, CMS awarded them a contract anyway. With two weeks to go before the program begins, Medicare still has the two companies listed on their website, as one of the few bid winners that are actually located in the Orlando MSA.
These are only some of the many problems; bidders from out-of-area and out-of-state who set the new rates and then walked away, the forcing of companies to accept pricing much lower than the bids they submitted, the elimination of service based competition, CMS’ lack of transparency, subjectivity and arbitrary rules and price setting, no experience required, and more.The protestors know this and they were trying to expand the understanding that this is a failed program, before it begins.We will continue to raise the issues in every way we can. We thank the dozens of people who turned out for the protest and urge everyone to participate in awareness by contacting their congressional representatives and US Senators, early and often.
Leave a reply