Center for Medicare Advocacy, Inc. v. Department of Health & Human Services (No. 10-cv-645)
No. 10-cv-645 (D.Conn.), filed April 27, 2010
Last Update: May 30, 2012
Issue: Whether a request under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. § 552, about how Medicare’s Improvement Standard is explained to employees of CMS and its contractors, had to be answered in a timely fashion.
Relief Sought: Full and timely responses to plaintiff’s FOIA request.
Status: Plaintiff had sought information as to how the Improvement Standard is imparted to CMS employees and the employees of CMS contractors. When defendant could offer no idea as to when documents might be produced, plaintiff filed the complaint. Defendant then provided about 140 pages of documents.
When plaintiff objected that the meager production of documents suggested an inadequate search, the defendant agency made another effort, directed at obtaining documents from its Part A and B contractors. That produced almost 6000 more pages of documents. Defendant refused to make the same effort with the Part C plans, however, on the ground that Part C plans were not similarly situated to contractors in their relationship with CMS. The parties were therefore unable to resolve the case. After full briefing on cross-motions for summary judgment and oral argument, the court granted the government’s motion and denied plaintiff’s on May 26, 2011. 2011 WL 2119226. The court rejected plaintiff’s contention that the Secretary should treat Part C plans as part of CMS for FOIA purposes and therefore agreed with the Secretary that she had no obligation to force Part C plans to turn over the relevant documents. The parties agreed to a payment of fees for the successful portion of plaintiff’s case, and, with the payment of the fees, the case has ended.