Unable to Justify Support for Competitive Bidding, NCHC Declines to Meet with CRE

Unable to Justify Support for Competitive Bidding, NCHC Declines to Meet with
                                     CRE

PR Newswire

WASHINGTON, Dec. 18, 2012

WASHINGTON, Dec. 18, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The National Coalition on
Health Care (NCHC), which describes itself as "America's oldest, most diverse,
and broadest based group working to achieve comprehensive health system
reform" has proposed a major expansion of CMS' competitive bidding program
"to the categories of durable medical equipment not included in the current
program, including items such as nebulizers and ventilators." NCHC also
supports "reducing the rate at which the federal government reimburses state
Medicaid programs for DME" to Medicare levels.

Because the CMS bidding program has been castigated by every independent
expert which has examined it for its "complete lack of transparency," failure
to generate competitive results, and facing "a near certainty of failure,"
Center for Regulatory Effectiveness (CRE) sent NCHC a letter [1] inquiring as
to why they were supporting its expansion. CRE explained that the
organization's response would be printed verbatim on the Competitive Bidding
Interactive Public Docket.

Despite multiple requests from CRE to meet with NCHC to discuss their support
for expansion of competitive bidding, the organization has not agreed to meet
or respond to the CRE letter.

CRE concludes that NCHS has not responded to CRE's letter or agreed to meet
because they have nothing to say – their support cannot be justified. CRE
finds it hard to believe that leading companies which are NCHC Partners, such
as Verizon and CVS Caremark, would be opposed to even discussing the issue.

CRE has explored a number of options for correcting the deficiencies in the
CMS program including: a petition [2] to release the financial standards
bidders are required to meet, testimony before the agency, a request for HHS
review of the program, and litigation.

Now that H.R. 6490, the Market Pricing Program Act, has been introduced to fix
the program's fatal flaws, there is a need to demonstrate to Congress why the
program requires Congressional review and correction. Thus, CRE will be
filing a Data Quality Act petition against CMS' arbitrary and uncompetitive
methodology for selecting bid winners. Since there is no bar to judicial
review of agency DQA decisions, CRE will litigate the agency's actions
regarding the petition if necessary.

[1]
http://www.thecre.com/blog/2012/11/cre-letter-to-the-national-coalition-on-health-care/

[2]
http://www.thecre.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/cms-financial-standards-disclosure-petition-f.pdf

SOURCE Center for Regulatory Effectiveness

Website: http://thecre.com/
Contact: Jim Tozzi, +1-202-265-2383, btozzi1@cox.net