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Accreditation/Compliance: Check those licensure requirements

Accreditation/Compliance: Check those licensure requirements

ConwayQ. Am I able to ship refills or supplies to my current patients if they temporarily relocate out of my service area for the summer or winter?  

A. You can only ship items to patients where you have a state issued license for DME. Your clients who temporarily relocate may need to get refills, but unless you have an out-of-state license in that state, you cannot ship their refills to them.  

You can avoid this problem by asking the client if they have someone who is forwarding their mail to them from their permanent address, and you can ship the supplies to that address—which is their address on file with Medicare—and have them forward the supplies to them out of state. This is a big reason why there are so many mail-order DMEs.  

Be sure to consult the Palmetto GBA website. Open to see the national map showing requirements by product for DME services in every state and US territory. Some states require a DME license and others require a wholesale distributor license. Pennsylvania and Texas do not have a licensure requirement at all, but there is a requirement in all other states and even the US territories like Guam and the Virgin Islands. Some applications are extensive and others are not. In addition, some require that you have a Registered Agent in the state to file for licensure. If your patient permanently relocates, having a state license in those states will be helpful as well. 

Mary Ellen Conway is a nurse-health care consultant and president of Capital Healthcare Group. She can be reached at 


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