Is the NSC backlog easing up?

 - 
03/31/2010

The call came in around 3 this afternoon.

"Theresa, do you remember me?" asked the caller. "I just got my billing number reinstated, but only to March 27. What about all those other months of rental on my equipment?"

That provider's lawmaker had written a letter on his behalf and within two weeks he had his number back, although he is still seeking to bill retroactively the date he relinquished it.

Meanwhile, the volume of calls to the National Supplier Clearinghouse Advisory Committee has dwindled, said Rose Schafhauser, operations administration for the committee.

"Hopefully--hopefully--the worst is over," she said. "I think the backlog was so large and you had so many people that were voluntarily suspending their number (they couldn't keep up)."

Well....the NSC should have planned better. I can imagine what would happen if I took five  months to write a story. Or pay a bill.

Needless to say, but I'll say it anyway, the whole experience has left a bitter taste in providers' mouths.

"Eth," who got her (his?) number today reinstated today, posted this comment to a blog I wrote in February.

"For the first five months, our application was in the mail room in a pile. In January, it was changed to a pile on someone's desk. Unbelievable! Sixty days as advertised turned into eight months--wish my creditors had the same timeline."

Congrats to these to providers on their perseverance. Shame on CMS and the NSC.

Theresa Flaherty