Maryland: Lawmakers cut providers some slack

Friday, May 24, 2013

ANNAPOLIS, Md. – The state legislature in April passed an emergency bill exempting HME providers from a rule requiring they have a full-time pharmacist on staff. 

With Round 2 of competitive bidding set to start July 1, however, the Maryland National Capital Homecare Association (MNCHA) and the Maryland Board of Pharmacy are now in a full-on race to write new regulations.

“Because this is intersecting with Round 2, we’re trying to expedite the process of creating regulations that are manageable and reasonable for providers,” said Ann Horton, executive director of MNCHA.

Gov. Martin O’Malley signed the bill into law on May 2.

Stakeholders expected a new application for a waiver permit for HME providers to be available May 15. Horton advises providers to fill out and submit the application and have proof on hand that they’ve done so. 

“If Medicare shows up at their door, at least they have documentation that they’re trying to obtain the waiver permit,” she said.

Providers must still pay new pharmacy licensing fees of $700 for the first year and $600 every year thereafter.