Compliance: Check and check again

Q. What are the best practices for educating referral sources on the FTF documentation requirements?
Monday, July 27, 2015

A. The role of the DME provider is not only to deliver equipment and aid in a better quality of living, but also to educate the treating practitioners about Medicare and other insurance guidelines for power mobility. DME providers should turn education into an opportunity to increase referrals. 

The most common methods of educating physicians include: mailing the Medicare “Dear Physician” letters; emailing CMS newsletters; and conducting in-person visits.

The provider who uses a combination of all three methods to educate practitioners has proven to be most successful. We have found the best results in educating the practitioner have been in-person presentations by DME providers and printed leave behinds.

We have also found that practitioners are proficient technology users. An online electronic template that prompts the practitioner to ask specific coverage questions while conducting a face-to-face visit is the way of the future. Standardized online collection tools prompt the practitioner to ask questions regarding social, environmental and past history of the patient. SOCs require the practitioner to include pertinent tests related to the physical exam, such as manual muscle testing of the upper and lower extremities. SOCs compare all the information with Medicare’s coverage criteria to determine medical necessity.

If DME providers approach their referral sources with an online program that takes the guesswork out of the FTF documentation requirements, they will increase their chances of future referrals. Just like DME providers, practitioners are interested in business solutions that save them time and money.

Jamie Loper, ATP, is chief compliance officer at She can be reached at or 800-986-9368.