Informational Requirements Associated with Organizational Conflicts of Interest in Healthcare Related Contracts

Guest Author: Rodney L. Benson, Attorney, Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC In recent solicitations, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has required offerors to provide an increased amount of information for CMS’s evaluation of potential organizational conflicts of interest (OCI). For many years, CMS has been extremely vigilant in identifying and resolving potential OCIs. The agency has a myriad of statutory contracting authorities. Pursuant to these authorities, CMS utilizes contractor services to perform virtually all major functions and activities, including paying Medicare claims, identifying and investigating fraud and abuse and auditing and recovering improper payments. Because contractors act in a fiduciary capacity for the United States, and otherwise perform functions that require that they be free of financial interests that might impair their … Continue reading

A Steady Drumbeat?

In every Organizational Conflict of Interest (OCI) bid protest decision, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) says that it will defer to the Contracting Officer (CO) – i.e., that it “will review the reasonableness of a contracting officer’s OCI investigation and, where an agency has given meaningful consideration to whether a significant conflict of interest exists, . . . will not substitute our judgment for the agency’s, absent clear evidence that the agency’s conclusion is unreasonable.” In past years, however, several GAO decisions raised doubt as to whether GAO was merely paying lip service to the deference standard.  In each of these cases, involving all three types of OCI’s, GAO reversed a CO’s determination made after what seemed to be a serious and reasonable investigation and … Continue reading