Face-to-face exams for all DME, supplies

Sunday, April 30, 2006

COLUMBUS, Ohio - At an April 6 meeting, the Ohio Association of Medical Equipment Services (OAMES) and state officials finally agreed on a proposal that requires physician face-to-face exams for all DME and supplies.
"We're to the point where we believe this is the best we can do," said Kamela Yuricich, the association's executive director.
The two groups have gone back-and-forth for the better part of a year, with the state battling to establish a standard of care and the association lobbying to prevent what it believed was "overkill," Yuricich said.
As it's now written, the proposal requires face-to-face exams for all DME and supplies--but with an important caveat. Additional exams aren't needed for other DME and supplies prescribed based on the original diagnoses, as long as a physician writes the prescriptions within 12 months of the face-to-face exam.
For example, if a patient has diabetes and his original face-to-face exam results in a prescription for test strips, he doesn't need to return for an additional exam if, due to his condition, he also needs a walker.
A legislative committee was slated to go over the legality of the proposal at an April 24 hearing. Now that OAMES and the state have agreed on the proposal, it should easily pass muster.
The state plans to implement the proposal July 1, Yuricich said.
In March, OAMES succeeded in convincing legislators that there was enough concern over the proposal to pull it from a hearing scheduled for that month. In the following weeks, the association and the state shaped the proposal into its current form.