CMS Releases Mandatory Accreditation Deadline

On Dec. 19, 2007, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced Sept. 30, 2009 as the deadline for accreditation for all O&P facilities that supply durable medical equipment, prosthetics, orthotics and supplies (DMEPOS) products or services.

As stated during the Dec. 19 teleconference, those O&P facilities required to implement the quality standards include all suppliers that furnish DME prosthetic devices, and prosthetic or orthotic items or services.

“All suppliers that furnish DME prosthetic devices, prosthetic or orthotic items or services must comply with the quality standards in order to receive Medicare Part B payment and to retain a supplier billing number,” Sandra Bastinelli, director of the division of medical review and education for CMS’s Office of Financial Management, told callers participating in the conference.

CMS will revoke billing privileges for any existing supplier not obtaining accreditation by or before this date.

Tom Derrick, director of public relations, marketing and professional discipline for the American Board for Certification in Orthotics, Prosthetics and Pedorthics (ABC), stressed the significance of this announcement.

“Owners and practice-managers of non-accredited patient care businesses must recognize the importance of this deadline and begin the process of becoming accredited as soon as possible,” Derrick said.

Although he noted that currently accredited businesses must stay accredited, he confirmed that no action is necessary for those businesses accredited in 2007.

“ABC facilities accredited prior to 2007 and in good standing will receive information from ABC regarding an update on their regular renewal cycle and survey,” Derrick told O&P Business News.

For new facilities that have not yet entered the Medicare billing program, CMS also will issue guidelines to establish the date when accreditation will be required.

According to Jim Bossenmeyer, director in the division of provider and supplier enrollment, CMS will establish these and any additional accreditation requirements through a change request process.

“Effective March 1, all claims will have to have a national provider identifier (NPI) on the claim form,” Bossenmeyer said during the conference. “If you have not obtained an NPI, you should do so. If you are having any claims using your NPI, I certainly encourage you to keep doing so and to figure that as part of the testing process.”

Bastinelli also provided information regarding an educational series of teleconferences for both new and existing suppliers. These sessions will highlight the accreditation process, the reasoning behind the decision to mandate accreditation and the quality standards that provide the backbone of this resolution. As of press time, the first of these conferences was scheduled for Jan. 22, with further sessions offered throughout the year.

Additional information and support for suppliers will become available as the 2009 deadline approaches.

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Stephanie Z. Pavlou is a staff writer for O&P Business News.

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