And…notice soliciting accreditation organizations will be published August 16
CMS has published new quality standards for suppliers of Durable Medical Equipment, Prosthetics, Orthotics, and Supplies (DMEPOS). "Issuing these new quality standards is an important step in our ongoing efforts to ensure that Medicare beneficiaries receive quality healthcare services."
From the CMS Website
Section 302(a) (1) of the Medicare Modernization Act (MMA) requires the Secretary to establish and implement quality standards for suppliers to be applied by recognized independent accreditation organizations. Suppliers must comply with the quality standards in order to furnish any Durable Medical Equipment (DME), prosthetic device, prosthetic, or orthotic item or service for which Part B makes payment, and also in order to receive or retain a provider or supplier billing number used to submit claims for reimbursement for any such item or service for which payment can be made by Medicare.
The MMA explicitly authorizes the Secretary to establish the quality standards by program instruction or otherwise after consultation with representatives of relevant parties. CMS conducted a wide variety of activities to involve stakeholders and the public in development of these standards:
We conducted focus groups early in the development process to provide small suppliers with an opportunity to share concerns about the impact quality standards would have on their businesses.
We consulted with various stakeholders, including small supplier business owners, physicians, homecare association members, trade association members, accreditation organizations, clinical experts, and industry attorneys. We presented draft quality standards to the Program Advisory and Oversight Committee, a special committee authorized by the MMA to provide advice on the Medicare DMEPOS Competitive Bidding Program and quality standards.
* On September 26, 2005 we posted the draft standards on our website for a 60-day public comment period that ended November 28, 2005.
* We held a special Open Door Forum to explain the draft quality standards and solicit comments.
CMS received more than 5,600 comments on the draft quality standards. Based on these public comments, we have made significant revisions to reduce burden on small suppliers and ensure quality services for Medicare beneficiaries. The new quality standards reflect basic good business practices and product specific services. We expect that many suppliers already comply with the quality standards and have incorporated these practices into their daily operations. Examples of key revisions include:
* We have eliminated unnecessary specificity and redundant information and reduced the standards from 104 pages to 14 pages.
* We have modified overly-prescriptive requirements to focus more clearly on providing reliable quality service to beneficiaries. For example, we have eliminated the requirement to be open for 40 hours per week and replaced it with a requirement to maintain posted business hours.
* We have clarified requirements for performance management to allow suppliers flexibility in determining indicators related to their products and services.
* We consolidated and incorporated certain product specific standards into the general product-specific service standards, reducing the number of product specific standards from 15 to 3. The product specific standards are designed to ensure that beneficiaries receive the right equipment, training, and education to meet their needs.
We will be posting on our website a document that responds in more detail to all of the comments we received on the draft quality standards. The quality standards will be used as part of the accreditation organization selection process.
To access the 14 page document "New Quality Standards for Suppliers of Durable Medical Equipment, Prosthetics, Orthotics, and Supplies [PDF, 90KB] – posted 8/15/06", please click here.