CMS Disqualifies some Contract Suppliers in Tennessee

CMS has disqualified about one-third of the contract suppliers that planned to serve Medicare beneficiaries in Tennessee as part of competitive bidding because they don’t meet state licensure requirements, according to the Tennessean.

CMS Administrator Marilyn Tavenner notified lawmakers of the disqualification of out-of-state suppliers in a letter. In late May, a group of lawmakers had sent her a letter expressing their concerns about contract suppliers not meeting requirements like having a physical location in the state.

Despite the disqualifications, Tavenner told lawmakers she’s confident beneficiaries will continue to have access to equipment and services, though she acknowledged that CMS may award new contracts in the future, according to the newspaper.

The move comes just weeks before Round 2 is set to kick off in Nashville, Memphis, Knoxville, Chattanooga and dozens of other cities across the country.

Industry stakeholders have also documented licensure issues in Maryland. A CMS spokeswoman told the newspaper that it is reviewing the situation there to determine the appropriate action to take.

The issues are so widespread that Reps. Glenn Thompson, R-Pa., and Bruce Braley, D-Iowa, sent a letter to Tavenner signed by 227 representatives calling for CMS to delay and review the program.

Thompson has also introduced H.R. 2375, a bill to delay and review the program. It currently has six co-sponsors: Reps. Braley; Lou Barletta, R-Pa.; Bill Posey, R-Fla.; Thomas Rooney, R-Fla.; Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla.; and C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger, D-Md.

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