U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., has scheduled a hearing for Thursday, June 27 to consider a request for a temporary restraining order against the scheduled July 1 expansion of the Medicare competitive bidding program (CBP) for durable medical equipment (DME) due to serious licensing irregularities and the failure of CMS to abide by its own bid rules.
The lawsuit names Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius as the defendant. HHS oversees the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), which designed and implemented the controversial bidding program that provides oxygen therapy, power wheelchairs, respiratory assistance, hospital beds, diabetic testing supplies, and other critical home medical equipment to Medicare beneficiaries.
In the lawsuit, AAHomecare maintains that CMS violated the rules governing the bidding program by allowing providers without the proper state and local licenses required to service Medicare beneficiaries in those jurisdictions to submit bids and later awarded contracts to those same companies. Furthermore, the suit maintains that bids by these unlicensed providers were wrongly used in calculating the Medicare payment amounts for DME products and services and thus the payment amounts should be invalidated.