CMS ready to release revised standards

Sunday, October 19, 2008

BALTIMORE - Industry stakeholders expected CMS to release revised quality standards for home medical equipment some time on Friday. They anticipated minimal changes.

Last week, during a teleconference on the quality standards for non-accredited providers, CMS's Sandra Bastinelli said the agency would release the standards before the end of the week. Bastinelli indicated that the standards would not be significantly different than those released earlier this year, according to listeners to the conference.

Industry stakeholders who have seen the revised standards say they contain two small changes that will affect providers of power wheelchairs and diabetic shoes.

Power wheelchairs: On April 1, providers had to begin using ATSs to supply certain complex power wheelchairs, those categorized as Group 2 or above. CMS allowed ATSs to be on-staff or contracted employees. Under the revised standards, they must be on-staff employees.

Diabetic shoes: The revised standards contain more in-depth guidance for providers and pharmacists on proper fittings.

"All other changes are slight," said Sandra Canally, president of The Compliance Team, an accrediting organization. "They shouldn't affect day-to-day operations for providers that are already accredited."

CMS will post the revised standards to: