Indy HMEs slow to file for licensure

Sunday, April 30, 2006

INDIANAPOLIS - The Indiana Board of Pharmacy has given HME providers who need to be licensed under a bill that passed in late 2005 a few extra months to comply. Under S.B. 206, providers who rent medical or rehab equipment must be licensed by the board. Providers have until July 1, 2006, to file applications, but the board has extended the inspection period until Dec. 31, 2006.
The Association of Indiana Home Medical Equipment Services (AIHMES) has been trying to spread the word about licensing with seminars, e-mail alerts and newsletters but most providers still don't know about the new requirement, said George Kucka, past president of the AIHMES.
"I would estimate that 200 entities will need to be licensed," said Kucka. "Last I heard there were 10 applications."
Part of the problem stems from lack of a comprehensive list of providers with an HME specialty code, which Kucka has been trying to obtain from Medicaid. With that information, AIHMES can extend its outreach beyond its 55 members. HME
One holdup may be that the licensing requirement will create two classes of HME providers. Providers who just sell equipment don't need to be licensed if there are no ongoing patient relationships, such as with infusion providers. Therefore, Medicaid must establish a second specialty class that will cover pharmacies and HMEs who just sell equipment.
One benefit to all this is that AIHMES expects to see its membership increase.