Home Care Advocates Question DMEPOS Access

The country is down approximately 15,600 durable medical equipment, prosthetics, and supplies (DMEPOS) providers since the new accreditation and surety bond requirements went into effect, HomeCare magazine reports. As a result, some providers have expressed their concern for patients getting the home health care supplies they need.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) required DMEPOS providers to be accredited by Oct. 1, 2009 (pharmacies were given until Dec. 31, 2009) and to post a $50,000 surety bond per National Provider Identifier (NPI) number by Oct. 2, 2009 or forfeit their right to bill Medicare.

Since then, CMS says about 11,000 DMEPOS providers have had their Medicare numbers revoked, 3,400 voluntarily terminated their agreements with Medicare, and 1,200 deactivated their numbers, HomeCare reports. And these are just preliminary numbers as some cases are in limbo and others are in appeals.

CMS reportedly estimates that when competitive bidding is fully implemented, only half of the 105, 000 DME providers existing at its outset will remain.

Round 1 bidding is set to go live January 2011 in nine cities. Round 2 could expand the bid to an additional 91 cities should a provision in the Senate’s health care reform bill become law.

HomeCare magazine has the rest of the story.

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