DMEPOS Suppliers Must Post Surety Bond
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a final regulation Dec. 29, 2008 requiring certain suppliers of durable medical equipment, prosthetics, orthotics, and supplies (DMEPOS) to post a $50,000 surety bond.
New suppliers have until May 4 to meet this latest enrollment requirement. Suppliers currently enrolled in the Medicare program have until Oct. 2 to comply.
Physicians and non-physician practioners (NPPs), physical and occupational therapists, state-licensed orthotic and prosthetic personnel, and government-owned suppliers are exempt from this new regulation. Physicians and NPPs can expect CMS to implement extensive pre- and post-payment reviews of claims, more stringent claim validation efforts, and other safeguards.
In addition to the surety bond, CMS recently revoked the billing privileges of more than 1,100 medical equipment suppliers in South Florida and Southern California and suspended payments to home health agencies in the Miami-Dade, Fla. area.
“We know the majority of medical equipment suppliers and health care providers want to improve the health of Medicare beneficiaries, but we also know there are those who look for any opportunity to take advantage of beneficiaries and Medicare,” said CMS Acting Administrator Kerry Weems. “The steps we are taking today provide us with additional oversight of the suppliers who furnish medical equipment to Medicare beneficiaries and those who provide home health services in South Florida.”
The 2007 Medicare error rate report found approximately $1 billion in improper payments for medical equipment and supplies.
For more information regarding this regulation, go to the Press Releases page on the CMS Web site and click on the Dec. 29, 2008 link to “CMS Strengthens Efforts to Fight Medicare Waste, Fraud and Abuse.”