CMS says it costs suppliers $5 to $8 to process CMN

Sunday, October 3, 2004

October 4, 2004

WASHINGTON - As CMS prepares to perform complex medical review on between 0.5% and 1% of all oxygen claims filed in FY 2003, the agency is calling for comments on its estimate of the paperwork burden imposed by its revisions to the oxygen CMN.
Last year, the DMERCs processed about 10.3 million claims from approximately 11,000 unique supplier numbers for oxygen. CMS estimates suppliers are now serving about 1.2 million Medicare oxygen beneficiaries.
Merely to complete a CMN, CMS estimates that its takes respondents a total of 12 minutes -  10 minutes for clerical work and two minutes for the doctor to do his part. At a rate of $11.94 per hour for clerical work, and $75 per hour for the physician’s time, CMS calculates the cost of the CMN at $4.49 “at the most.”
“Adding copying, postage, and other administrative costs, we estimate the total cost per CMN to be between $4.50 - $8.00,” CMS writes in its report. (See
For document review, CMS based its estimate on one source who said it takes five hours to review a document request, find and review the file (either from the supplier’s own records or through the ordering physician’s office), and make copies. Per claim, the cost is $59.
CMS expects that the total cost-burden on suppliers during the medical review will be $3 million.