List of Accrediting Organizations Expected Soon: CMS Open Door Forum

In Wednesday's Open Door Forum, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that it would soon provide a list of the approved accrediting bodies for the National Competitive Acquisition program.

Sandra Bastinelli, a spokeswoman for the CMS office of financial management, said she hoped the decision would be posted on the CMS Web site by Wednesday of this week. In addition to the accreditation organizations, the site ( will include contact information for the accreditation organizations and what each accreditation organization is approved to accredit.

"(The Web site) will also have what the accrediting organization is approved or deemed to accredit," said Bastinelli. "Meaning that, just because they were approved to accredit you, they are not approved to accredit you for every single thing. Meaning, not everyone is going to be approved to accredit you for every supply or every orthotic or prosthetic."

No other details about competitive bidding were released. Participants questioned when CMS would identify the 10 MSAs to no avail. According to CMS, that information will be determined in the final rule, though no one could say when the final rule would be released.

In addition, the Open Door Forum shed little light on the new power mobility codes. A spokesman said CMS is still reviewing comments received regarding power mobility codes, with regards to specific codes, specific products and the calculation method for the fee schedule. Though the comments are under review, the implementation date stands as Nov. 15. CMS plans to post any changes as soon as possible to the CMS Web site. (Check out the new PMD allowables published last week at

Another item on the agenda — the final rule on oxygen, oxygen equipment and capped rental — served only as announcement that the changes had been released. (For more information on the final rule, read CMS Issues Final Rule on Oxygen.)

Also during the forum, several callers expressed concern about the lack of a database to look up physician NPI numbers. One participant said that the only way to find an NPI number is to call an RHI line. The line limits the number of NPI numbers a provider can inquire about to three or four a day — a problem for those who must look up more than 300. The deadline to obtain NPIs is May 23, 2007, though CMS encouraged providers to obtain those numbers now.

In total, 379 participants dialed into the forum. The next Open Door Forum is scheduled for Dec. 20.

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

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