Changes Possible to DMEPOS Accreditation Requirements- CMS Open Door Forum Scheduled 9/3/08
The American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA), together with a coalition of similarly affected provider organizations, requested in an official letter to the Centers for Medicaid & Medicare Services (CMS) that Medicare exempt physicians and licensed health care professionals from durable medical equipment, orthotics, prosthetics, and supplies (DMEPOS) accreditation requirements in the future due to the licensing, accreditation, and other mandatory requirements already satisfied by these practitioners. Physicians and licensed health care professionals are viewed as “suppliers” because they provide DMEPOS integral to their patients’ ongoing care. The Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act of 2008 (MIPPA) was enacted July 15, 2008, with several provisions retroactively effective on June 30, 2008. These provisions affect the administration of Medicare’s DMEPOS benefit. Coalition organizations believe the intent of MIPPA was to exempt suppliers such as occupational therapists providing orthotics as part of ongoing patient care, or at the very least suspend current DMEPOS accreditation requirements pending a review of DMEPOS quality standards. As a result of the letter, CMS invited Coalition organizations for a meeting on August 27, 2008.
AOTA and other health care organizations met with CMS officials on Wednesday, August 27th to discuss accreditation requirements for health care professionals. AOTA is seeking full exemption from accreditation requirements for occupational therapists. CMS officials were receptive to AOTA’s concerns and stated that they will announce a decision during the September 3rd Special Open Door Forum (see below for details to participate in the Open Door Forum). CMS indicated that they are still conducting internal meetings and discussions about this issue and will decide in the coming days whether to fully exempt otherwise licensed health care professionals, or create new quality standards for them. Watch the AOTA Web site for further updates.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is hosting a Special Open Door Forum regarding “DMEPOS Accreditation – MIPPA 2008 Guidance” on Wednesday, September 3rd. The conference call is scheduled for 2:00–3:30 p.m. E.D.T.
The purpose of this Special Open Door Forum is to provide guidance to DMEPOS providers on the MIPPA legislation. MIPPA section 154(b) added a new subparagraph (F). This subparagraph states that eligible professionals and other persons are exempt from meeting the September 30, 2009 accreditation deadline until CMS determines that the quality standards are specifically designed to apply to such professionals and other persons. MIPPA also states that CMS may exempt such professionals and persons from the quality standards based on their licensing, accreditation or other mandatory quality requirements that may apply.
To participate in the Open Door Forum, dial: 1-800-837-1935. The Reference Conference ID is: 61231070. The call is open to the public and no advance registration is required.
An audio recording of this Special Forum will be posted to the Special Open Door Forum Web site and will be accessible for downloading beginning September 10, 2008.