While the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced the names of 11 national accreditation organizations that will accredit suppliers of durable medical equipment as meeting new quality standards under Medicare Part B, CMS also expressed disappointment in the low numbers of providers currently seeking accreditation.
While many providers say they are waiting for CMS to issue the final rule on competitive bidding including the 10 metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs), there are many benefits for providers to start the accreditation process now.
Many industry experts are expecting the final rule on competitive bidding to be issued this week, and providers located in the first wave of 10 MSAs will need to be accredited later this year in order to bill Medicare. By 2009, the number of cities that will be involved in competitive bidding will jump to a total of 80. Without accreditation, providers won’t be able to bill Medicare.
Benefits to Accreditation
- Get accredited before you have to wait in line. Once the final rule is issued, there may be a rush of providers seeking accreditation.
- If you are located in one of the anticipated 10 MSAs you need to get a jump start on accreditation in order to be ready when competitive bidding begins late this year.
- Creates a better business plan and model.
- Develops stronger risk management strategies.
- Reduces incidents.
- Enhances team awareness.
- Develops greater customer trust.
- Establishes a credible framework for reviewing policies and procedures.
- Reduces liability issues.
- Identifies and highlights capabilities and competence.
- Improves employee morale.
- Creates a solid foundation for future growth.
- Improves methods for providing service.
- Improves access and credibility to more payers.
- Improves efficiency.
- Increases professionalism.
- Ability to market accredited status.
DMEPOS suppliers will have to meet new quality standards in order to be able to bill the Medicare Part B program for durable medical equipment, prosthetics, orthotics or prosthetic devices, such as walkers, wheelchairs and hospital beds, furnished to Medicare beneficiaries.
The following organizations have been recognized as national accreditation organizations and have been given deeming authority to accredit DMEPOS suppliers seeking to participate in the Medicare program:
- Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations
- Community Health Accreditation Program
- Healthcare Quality Association on Accreditation
- National Board of Accreditation for Orthotic Suppliers
- Board of Certification in Pedorthics
- Accreditation Commission for Healthcare Inc.
- Board for Orthotist/Prosthetist Certification
- National Association of Boards of Pharmacy
- Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities
- American Board for Certification in Orthotics and Prosthetics Inc.
- The Compliance Team Inc.
Most of the accreditation organizations are authorized to accredit all major supplier types, and most will be able to accredit both national and local suppliers, as well as mail order companies. Information about the types of suppliers each accrediting organization is approved to accredit and how to contact a deemed accrediting organization is posted on the CMS Web site at www.cms.hhs.gov/CompetitiveAcqforDMEPOS/.
- Choose an accrediting agency and buy its manual.
- Spend time (most likely months) reviewing the manual and making sure all policies and procedures are up to speed.
- Submit documentation to the accrediting body.
- Wait for an on-site survey.