CMS announces drop-dead accreditation deadline

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

BALTIMORE - All existing home medical equipment providers must be accredited by Sept. 30, 2009 to continue billing Medicare Part B, CMS announced today at a long-awaited and somewhat anticlimactic Special Open Door Forum.

"If you are not accredited by Sept. 30, 2009, the National Suppliers Clearinghouse will revoke your billing privileges," said CMS official Sandra Bastinelli.

For callers unclear on what all this means--and there were many callers who were--any provider, whether it's a mom-and-pop, a pharmacy or a podiatrist or physician's office, who supplies HME and bills Medicare Part B must be accredited by one of the 10 deemed accrediting organizations.

CMS officials did not say when new providers would have to become accredited. Also unclear: when providers in the second round of national competitive bidding will have to become accredited. Officials said those dates would be announced "soon."

Providers in the first 10 competitive bidding areas must become accredited by Sept. 30, 2009, even if they are not participating in the program.

Beginning Jan. 22, 2008, CMS will offer a series of educational teleconferences, along with Medlearn Matters articles and other educational resources, to help providers become accredited.

CMS officials reminded listeners that all Medicare claims must include a national provider identifier (NPI) as of March 1, 2008, either by itself or in conjunction with a legacy identifier. Starting May 23, 2008, CMS will only accept NPIs.