Open Door Forum offers little for providers
It was "hugs and kisses" all around for CMS officials during a Sept. 3 special Open Door Forum. Of course, the verbal displays of affection were from all the physicians, podiatrists, opticians and other medical professionals who discovered, much to their delight, that they are exempt from accreditation.
Needless to say, HME providers are not excused.
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The forum was held to provide guidance to all DMEPOS providers on the Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act of 2008 (MIPPA).
A new subparagraph (F) added to MIPPA section 154(b) states that "eligible professionals and other persons are exempt from meeting the September 30, 2009 accreditation deadline until CMS determines that the quality standards are specifically designed to apply to such professionals and other persons."
CMS official Sandra Bastinelli added that CMS will also, for the time being, exempt orthotists and prosthetists from the Sept. 30, 2009 deadline but said the agency will be issuing further clarification on the quality standards for O&P "hopefully in the first six months of 2009."
That means orthotists and prosthetists may have to get accredited at some point.
Bastinelli continued her push to get HME providers rolling on accreditation, telling listeners that they need to get their applications in to their accrediting organization no later than Jan. 31, 2009 if they want to be assured of getting accredited in time.