CMS underestimates paperwork burden

Monday, October 31, 2005

WASHINGTON - CMS's claim that it takes only minutes to gather documentation for power wheelchair and scooter claims is pure fantasy, according to a rehab industry survey released in late September.
CMS estimated recently that it takes providers only 12 minutes to process a claim. But on average, it takes more than three hours, according to the Restore Access to Mobility Partnership.
RAMP, a coalition of providers and manufacturers, conducted the survey to bolster its argument that CMS underestimates the paperwork burden on providers. Under the agency's proposed new rule, that burden would only increase, with providers required to collect prescriptions and keep medical records on file.
Other results of the survey: More than 75% of claims required at least one follow-up to obtain proper documentation, and almost 70% of claims required more than 10 pages of documentation.
"The message we take out of this is that it takes a lot of time," said Don Clayback, who heads up The MED Group's National Rehab Network, a member of RAMP. "It has taken repeat phone calls and follow-up, and at the end of the day, you end up with six sheets of paper to support these claims."
More than 100 companies took the RAMP survey, which was distributed to members of The MED Group's rehab network and the National Registry of Rehabilitation Technology Suppliers (NRRTS).