CMS Releases Final Quality Standards

Tuesday, October 21, CMS issues the revised Quality Standards

Last week the agency held a 4 1/2-hour conference directed to DMEPOS providers that had not yet obtained accreditation. The Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act of 2008 (MIPPA) requires all DMEPOS suppliers to meet quality standards for Medicare accreditation by September 30, 2009.
These final standards (not to be confused with CMS’ 25 Supplier Standards, which are released, yet to become effective.) are essentially similar to the draft standards issued back in February.

For complex rehab providers, Appendix B lists the standards for manual wheelchairs, power mobility devices and complex rehabilitative wheelchairs and assistive technology.

The final standards specify that manual wheelchairs include standard recliners, heavy-duty wheelchairs, standard lightweight and hemi wheelchairs, armrests, legrests, footplates, anti-tipping devices, and other Medicare approved accessories.

CMS continues to define complex rehab wheelchairs as Group 2 power wheelchairs with power options, Group 3 and higher power wheelchairs and manual wheelchairs that can accommodate rehabilitative accessories and features (e.g., tilt in space).
Two important changes are outlined as follows:
1- Instead of permitting the Rehabilitative Technology Supplier (RTS) to be a contract employee as originally proposed, the new quality standards require the RTS to be a W-2 employee. These final standards also recognize the new RESNA credential of the Assistive Technology Professional (AT) effective 1/1/2009.

2- The new standards also now require the supplier to “verify that seating, positioning and specialty assistive technology needs have been evaluated and documented in the beneficiary’s record.”

Click here to view the recently published standards.