AAFP hears back from CMS on diabetes supplies
WASHINGTON – The American Academy of Family Physicians has sent CMS a steady stream of letters outlining its concerns with the prescribing process for diabetic testing supplies. Finally, CMS has written back. The academy, which represents nearly 121,000 physicians, says the agency has asked for additional background information and requested further collaboration. The AAFP believes that physicians should be allowed to write prescriptions for diabetic supplies—including syringes, needles, test strips, lancets and glucose testing machines—that are good for the patient’s lifetime. While CMS pointed out in the letter that syringes and needles are not covered by the DME benefit and that itemized information is needed to support payment, it agreed to meet with the AAFP to discuss ways to “minimize documentation requirements, while maintaining the integrity of the Medicare Trust Fund.” CMS also addressed the AAFP’s concerns about unsolicited calls to beneficiaries by DME providers, and the efficacy of “unbranded” testing supplies being used by some providers. The agency asked the AAFP to report information about such calls and any products being used that don’t meet regulations.