CMS addresses contractor swap

Sunday, August 17, 2008

BALTIMORE - CMS officials walked providers through the transition from SADMERC (Statistical Analysis DME Regional Carrier) to PDAC (Pricing, Data Analysis and Coding Contractor) at last week's Open Door Forum. Noridian Administrative Services officially takes the reigns from Palmetto GBA today.

The HME industry is crossing its fingers that the transition will go smoothly. In July 2006, when Noridian took over as the DME MAC for Jurisdiction D, the result was a backlog of claims caused by system errors and staffing shortages.

CMS officials assured listeners that the SADMERC has handed over all requests for code verifications to the PDAC. The PDAC, like the SADMERC, will review products and decide how they will be coded.

"You will receive a letter from the PDAC notifying you that the code verification request is in their office," a CMS official said.

CMS officials told listeners that those with current coding verification letters from the SADMERC do not need a new letter from the PDAC.

If providers or manufacturers have concerns, they can call the PDAC contact center, which has the same phone number (877-735-1326) as the SADMERC contact center, CMS officials said.

Also during the forum, listeners attempted to get answers from CMS about compensation for providers who won contracts as part of the the now-delayed national competitive bidding program.

"My concern is not only with the suppliers who contracted with Medicare, but also the suppliers that might have entered into other contracts with outsourcing or with warehouses to stock inventory, (thinking of) greater business or market share," said Eric Sokol, director of the Power Mobility Coalition.

With limited staff present to answer questions, CMS officials advised Sokol and several other callers to e-mail their questions to

The next Open Door Forum: Sept. 17.