CMS Announces DME Information Following Hurricane Idalia
- By Laurie Watanabe
- Sep 05, 2023
Following Hurricane Idalia’s arrival last week in the southeastern United States, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has issued information for DMEPOS suppliers and beneficiaries.
In a Sept. 1 announcement, CMS said it was altering the time requirements for subcontracting suppliers. While DMEPOS competitive bidding suppliers are normally required to notify CMS within 10 business days of entering a subcontracting agreement, the agency said it is “temporarily extending the deadline to provide notification of any subcontracting arrangement. During the temporary extension period, affected contract suppliers will have 30 business days to provide notice of any subcontracting arrangements. CMS will notify contract suppliers via email when this temporary extension expires. All other DMEPOS CBP [competitive bidding program] requirements remain in force.”
For Medicare beneficiaries who live in a competitive bidding area and need a competitively bid product replaced, “the replacement item must be furnished by a contract supplier,” the announcement said. It referred suppliers to the Medicare Claims Processing Manual’s section on emergency or disaster claims. For billing information, CMS directed suppliers to the Emergency Q&As section.
Additionally, on Aug. 31, CMS announced “additional resources and flexibilities” for Medicare beneficiaries in Florida.
“CMS waivers are available to providers in the state of Florida who have been affected by Hurricane Idalia,” the announcement said. “Healthcare providers who need additional flexibilities specific to the effects resulting from Hurricane Ian can submit a request to CMS.”
CMS also announced “special enrollment periods” for eligible beneficiaries to enroll in coverage through the Federal Health Insurance Exchange. “This gives people impacted by the hurricane the opportunity to enroll in coverage if they miss their original special enrollment period,” CMS said.
CMS encouraged beneficiaries to call (800) MEDICARE if their DMEPOS equipment was lost or damaged by Idalia. “CMS will permit people with Medicare who have lost or realized damage to their durable medical equipment, prosthetics, orthotics, and supplies as a result of the hurricane to receive replacements of such items and services,” the announcement said. “This will help to ensure beneficiaries can continue to access the needed medical equipment and supplies they rely on each day.”
Laurie Watanabe is the editor of Mobility Management. She can be reached at email@example.com.