Second delay for face-to-face rule

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

BALTIMORE – Just weeks before it began enforcing a new face-to-face rule, CMS has announced that it has pushed back its plans until some time in 2014.

CMS, which made the announcement Sept. 9, says the delay is needed to give providers and healthcare practitioners time to establish necessary protocols to fully comply with the rule. It’s the second delay for the rule. In a June 27 letter to Congress that delayed enforcement of the rule until Oct. 1, the Office of Legislation at CMS cited similar concerns.

The face-to-face requirement was originally slated to take effect July 1, 201—the same day that Round 2 of competitive bidding kicked off in 91 MSAs across the country. The rule requires patients to meet with their physician or other healthcare provider within six months of getting a prescription for home medical equipment.

Stakeholders and HME providers have criticized the lack of education on CMS’s part and also fear that the rule places burdens on certain patients, such as the homebound. The July HME NewsPoll found that 95% of respondents at that time said they worried that the requirement will reduce patient access.

CMS said it will address industry questions and provide updated information at