CMS Announces Deemed Accreditation Organizations

On Wednesday, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced the names of 11 national accreditation organizations that will accredit suppliers of durable medical equipment, prosthetics, orthotics and supplies (DMEPOS) as meeting new quality standards under Medicare Part B.

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 requirement that CMS-approved accreditation organizations apply quality standards to DMEPOS suppliers was enacted as part of the Medicare Modernization Act of 2003. The Medicare Modernization Act also requires CMS to implement competitive bidding for certain items of DMEPOS.

"Today's announcement represents the next step in CMS' effort to ensure that Medicare beneficiaries have access to high quality items of durable medical equipment, prosthetics and orthotics at the right price, and that they receive high quality service from the suppliers of these items," said Leslie V. Norwalk, Esq., CMS acting administrator, in a news release. "This is part of a larger vision set out in CMS' Strategic Action Plan to foster a health care system that ensures quality care for all persons with Medicare."

CMS hopes to minimize the burden on suppliers by having the accreditation organizations consider during the survey process the previous accreditation, Medicare certification and licensure that would indicate that the quality standards are being met. In addition, CMS will instruct accrediting organizations to focus first on suppliers in the initial group of Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs) chosen for the competitive bidding program.

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

This article originally appeared in the November 2006 issue of HME Business.

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