Accreditation help on the way, CMS says

Sunday, January 13, 2008

BALTIMORE – CMS will hold quarterly conference calls to address questions and concerns about accreditation, officials announced during last week’s Open Door Forum.

The agency will hold the first conference call Jan. 22 from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. EST. Providers who wish to participate in the call must register beforehand at

All existing providers must be accredited by Sept. 30, 2009. New providers who submit enrollment applications to the National Supplier Clearinghouse before March 1, 2008, must be accredited by Jan. 1, 2009.

On or after March 1, 2008, new providers must be accredited before they submit an application to the NSC.

One listener who asked CMS officials a question about accreditation was told to listen to the Jan. 22 conference call.

Also at the forum:

• NPI: CMS officials reminded providers that they now have to use National Provider Identifier (NPI) numbers on claims (the 837I and the UB-04). Officials suggested that providers still using both NPI and legacy numbers, which is allowed until May 23, 2008, should try submitting small batches of claims with only NPI numbers “to see if they flow through the system successfully.”

Additionally, a CMS official said: “If you’re submitting claims without the NPI numbers in the primary field, you’re probably not seeing claim rejects yet. Some of you may have seen some, but for the most part, the bulk of those rejections will start coming about early next week.”

• NCB: CMS officials told listeners that the agency would release additional details on the second round—including applicable zip codes within the 70 metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) and HCPC codes within the eight product categories—sometime this spring.

“We’re not quite there yet,” Joel Kaiser said. “The important thing is that we need to have suppliers begin getting accredited in the 70 MSAs, and we need them to start being aware that this is where we’re going, so that they can start getting their businesses ready and start making decisions.”