Medicare prepares for HME accreditation

Monday, February 28, 2005

WASHINGTON - Medicare intends to finalize quality standards for DME providers this fall and to implement them through an accreditation process conducted by one or more accreditation bodies to be designated at a later time, CMS stated in a February release.

As mandated by the Medicare Modernization Act, CMS is developing quality and consumer standards for all suppliers of durable medical equipment, prosthetics, orthotics, and supplies (DMEPOS), as well as standards for specific product lines, including power mobility devices.

These standards will implement strong quality controls for suppliers who play a key role in ensuring that a particular piece of equipment is appropriate for the individual beneficiary and that it will be usable in the home setting, CMS stated.

CMS plans in the near future to publish a regulation implementing provisions in the MMA affecting power mobility equipment. The regulation will remove the current requirement that only certain specialists can prescribe a power scooter. In addition, the regulation will require a face-to-face meeting between the prescribing professional and the beneficiary before a scooter or wheelchair can be ordered and delivered.