Providers (not bennies) must file claims for glucose supplies

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Thursday, January 31, 2002

Providers (not bennies) must file claims for glucose supplies
WASHINGTON - An advisory that Medicare will no longer accept claims filed by beneficiaries for glucose supplies and test strips starting April 1 should serve only as a reminder to most HME providers.

But for pharmacies selling the supplies, having to file claims on behalf of beneficiaries may spell trouble, according to Nancy Burma, president of the Minneapolis-based Alternative Billing Solutions.

"Every HME provider I know is already doing it, and it's not anything new," she said. "It's the pharmacy that has a few supplies here and there. They're under the impression, even if they have Medicare numbers, that because they're not an 'HME provider,' they don't have to file claims."

Smaller pharmacies or large chain stores with pharmacies could be affected, Burma said.

"It could be a big deal for them," she said. "They'll have to submit claims, and they might not know how. We all know this kind of paperwork can be a hassle."

Burma said she doesn't know why glucose supplies and test strips have been singled out. But of all the home medical equipment beneficiaries buy, glucose supplies and test strips are probably the most common HME bought from pharmacies over providers, she said.

"The word's out that Medicare sees a fair amount of claims where beneficiaries are filing for these supplies," Burma said.

In April, providers must begin filing claims for glucose supplies and test strips for dates of service on or after Oct. 1, 2001. HME

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