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Firm Claims Two-Fold Victory for Wisconsin Physicians' Group with Medicare Contracts

February 28, 2012

February 27, 2012 -- In multiple decisions made over the course of several years of activity at the Government Accountability Office (“GAO”), but only recently becoming public, litigators from the Arnold & Porter Government Contracts Group achieved a two-fold victory on behalf of its client Wisconsin Physicians Service Insurance Corporation (WPS) in protests involving two major Medicare claims processing contracts solicited by the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). Collectively, the two contracts are valued at nearly $500 million.

In 2008, WPS protested the award of CMS contracts in Regions J6 (covering Illinois, Wisconsin and Minnesota) and J8 (covering Michigan and Indiana).  CMS withdrew the J6 award prior to the issuance of a GAO decision, while the WPS protest of the J8 award to National Government Services (NGS) was sustained in a written decision by GAO, which remained sealed until last week  (Wisconsin Physicians Service, B-401063). Both of these regions were re-procured in competitions that lasted two years.  In Fall of 2011, new awards were announced, declaring NGS the winner of the J6 contract, and WPS the winner of J8. NGS protested the J8 award, and WPS protested J6. WPS intervened in the J8 protest, and NGS intervened in J6. 

This resulted in a highly unusual situation; Arnold & Porter’s litigators simultaneously argued to GAO (albeit different hearing officers) that one group of CMS evaluators got it right in J8, while another CMS team erred in awarding J6. The result was victory for WPS on both fronts. In January 2012, after extensive litigation of a wide array of issues, including a hearing, the GAO conducted discussion with the parties leading to CMS corrective action in J6, whereby CMS cancelled the award to NGS and announced a new competition. In J8, GAO flatly denied the NGS protest and confirmed that the award to WPS was reasonable (National Government Services, B-401063.4). Thus, in 2008, WPS was on the outside looking in for two contracts valued at over $500 million. Today, WPS is the confirmed awardee of one of these efforts, and in the running for the other. 

The Arnold & Porter team included Steve Diamond, Ron Schechter, Cameron Fogle, Stuart Turner, Emma Broomfield, Lauren Schlanger, and Derrick Williams.

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