Thousands of HMEs abandon Medicare
BALTIMORE - The number of active DMEPOS providers who bill Medicare dropped from 106,707 on Sept. 1, 2009, to 92,629 on Dec. 1, 2009. That's a 13.2% reduction and most likely reflects the number of providers who gave up their supplier numbers rather than become accredited by Medicare's Sept. 30, 2009, deadline.
HME News solicited the data from CMS in early December via a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request. Industry watchers surmised that thousands of providers would give up their supplier numbers rather than become accredited. This data appears to confirm that suspicion.
Most likely, the newly inactive supplier numbers belonged to HME companies and not pharmacies. That's because pharmacies had until Jan. 1, 2010, to become accredited.
Here's the change in active DMEPOS supplier numbers by region between Sept. 1, 2009, and Dec. 1, 2009:
- Jurisdiction A: 22,318 to 19,275 (-13.6%)
- Jurisdiction B: 21,791 to 19,077 (-12.5%)
- Jurisdiction C: 39,094 to 34,038 (-12.9%)
- Jurisdiction D: 23,504 to 20,239 (-13.9%)
- Nationally: 106,797 to 92,629 (-13.2%)
Here's the number of providers who voluntarily terminated their numbers before the Sept. 30 deadline (providers in this group can reinstate their supplier numbers once they become accredited):
- Jurisdiction A: 181
- Jurisdiction B: 326
- Jurisdiction C: 708
- Jurisdiction D: 337