In brief: CMS notifies beneficiaries; NCB registration to close

Saturday, October 31, 2009

BALTIMORE - CMS has begun sending notification letters to Medicare beneficiaries who may need to change providers because their current provider has not met accreditation and surety bond requirements. The letter encourages beneficiaries to check with their providers to ensure they meet the requirements, and it offers instructions on finding a new provider if necessary. There are reports, including one from the Midwest Association for Medical Equipment Services (MAMES), that patients of providers who have met the requirements are receiving letters erroneously. To read the letter:

Competitive bidding: CMS to host forum, close registration

BALTIMORE - CMS will hold its eighth and final Special Open Door Forum on national competitive bidding on Wednesday, Nov. 4, from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. EST. During the forum, officials will respond to questions about the bidding process. To participate, call 800-837-1935 and use the ID 23045924. In other competitive bidding news, CMS reminded providers last week that registration closes for authorized officials (AOs), backup authorized officials (BAOs) and end users (EUs) on Wednesday, Nov. 4, at 9 p.m. EST. Providers that do not register by this time can't bid. To register, go to the Competitive Bidding Implementation Contractor (CBIC) Web site:

PECOS: Tool extracts unlisted physicians

COLUMBIA, S.C. - MiraVista and ClaraVista have developed a tool to help HME providers identify which doctors aren't listed on Medicare's Provider Enrollment Chain and Ownership System (PECOS). On Jan. 4, 2010, Medicare will begin rejecting claims submitted by providers that list the name and NPI number of unlisted physicians. In October, the agency began sending providers "informational messages" to alert them of such claims. The tool, called the PECOS Warning Extractor or PWE, creates a work list of claims that have received informational messages, so staff can access them through Notepad or Excel, sort them and analyze them. Then staff can begin calling physicians. For more info, go to

Providers add to PR coffers

ATLANTA - AAHomecare's fifth Stand Up for Homecare event, held at Medtrade on Oct. 13, raised $60,000 for its public awareness campaign. Nearly 300 providers attended the event at the Georgia Aquarium. Stand Up for Homecare began in 2007 as a way to educate the general pubic, media and Congress about the value of home care. For more information:

Consumer group calls for participation

ROCKVILLE, Md. - The National Spinal Cord Injury Association (NSCIA) has begun polling wheelchair users on their ability to access appropriate complex rehab products and services. Providers can direct their patients to take the survey, which has been endorsed by AAHomecare, NCART and NRRTS, at NSCIA will present the results of the survey to policymakers on Capitol Hill and at CMS "in an effort to address the fact that Medicare has limited or no coverage and payment for many such items that impede consumers' abilities to fully engage in their communities and realize their highest possible quality of life," the group stated in a release.