30 of 98 Tennessee DME Suppliers Not Properly Licensed

In a letter to CMS, members of Tennessee’s congressional delegation announced that a recent inquiry discovered that 30 of 98 Medicare suppliers were not licensed, and that those contracts will be voided. The inquiry into durable medical equipment (DME) providers found that suppliers who were licensed in their home state, but did not meet aspects of Tennessee licensing requirements at the time of their bid submission, were awarded contracts by CMS. The inquiry was on the heels of a May 2013 letter by the same delegation requesting details of CMS policies that allowed the awarding of Medicare contracts to DME suppliers not licensed in Tennessee, a violation of Tennessee state law and the administration’s bid policy.

The May 2013, letter noted “CMS clearly states in the ‘Request for Bids,’ a document that spells out the rules for suppliers to initially compete, that ‘every supplier location is responsible for having all applicable licenses for each state in which it provides services.” The letter went on to add that CMS nevertheless awarded contracts in Tennessee to suppliers who did not have a Tennessee license.

CMS, in response to that letter, identified the 30 suppliers who were awarded contracts but did not have Tennessee licenses, or meet Tennessee licensing requirements. The agency noted it contracts with qualified DME suppliers, and that suppliers are carefully screened.