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Accreditation: Rely on AOs to guide you

Accreditation: Rely on AOs to guide you

Matt GruskinQ. How do I prepare for my accreditation site survey? 

A. Once you’ve applied for DMEPOS accreditation, the next step is your site survey. This is how you demonstrate compliance with federal, state and local laws, and CMS regulations.  

While the accreditation site survey process might seem intimidating, an accrediting organization (AO) that is invested in your success will guide you through with exceptional customer service. Here are some tips for how to prepare: 

Document your business practices. Related reviews during the survey include:

• Analyzing your corporate structure.

• Confirming your accounting practices and billing procedures.

• Inspecting your employee files and training documentation.

• Examining documentation regarding proper exchange of information with physicians, as well as proof of delivery to patients.

• Reviewing your quality improvement plan.

• Confirming compliance with patient information privacy and HIPAA protocols.

Prepare your staff. Make certain your staff knows and understands your policies and procedures and can locate important documents.

Prepare your documentation. Documents to have on-hand include:

• Employee handbook

• Policies and procedures

• State licenses

• Proof of liability insurance

• Business license and permits

• At least five patient files

• Well-ordered employee files

Remain open and available during posted business hours. Your unannounced site survey will occur during posted business hours. A staff member with high-level accountability must be present and have authority to access everything requested by the surveyor.  

In addition to following these suggestions, rely on your AO to guide you. Although timing varies among the AOs, some offer expedited surveys within as few as 30 days. Also, during the COVID-19 pandemic, CMS approved AOs to conduct virtual surveys for businesses unable to allow in-person visitors. If you require this arrangement, ask your AO for more information. 

Matt Gruskin is the credentialing director for BOC. Reach him at [email protected]

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