Nurse advocates and secret buyers


When we get started on a new issue, we spend a couple of days calling providers, consultants, attorneys…you name it. Not everything we hear makes it into print, but often what we hear is interesting nonetheless.

Here are a few bits and pieces from my conversations with folks in the past few weeks:

AAHomecare’s Kim Brummett says CMS won’t likely start enforcing the face-to-face requirement until legislation is passed that allows nurse practitioners to conduct exams without having physicians sign off on them. This is something the American Association of Nurse Practitioners has been lobbying for and would be of great benefit to HME providers, especially those in rural areas, where there’s often a dearth of physicians.

Industry attorney Neil Caesar says the CBIC continues to conduct “secret buyer” investigations to verify whether or not contract providers are honoring their competitive bidding contracts in all geographies. Where it’s finding violations, the CBIC is applying pressure, if not corrective action, Caesar says. “We’re not seeing them get nasty about it—they’re not pursuing contract breach activity—but they’re looking into it,” he said.