The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has published a final rule for standards regarding Durable Medical Equipment, Prosthetics, Orthotics, and Supplies (DMEPOS) suppliers. The rule, published March 14, 2012 in the Federal Register, revises and specifies the definition of "direct solicitation" as it applies to DMEPOS suppliers. The rule also eliminates the requirement that DMEPOS suppliers comply with local zoning ordinances. In the official comments, CMS indicated that all zoning issues are better left to the states.
The rule limits the contact a DMEPOS supplier can make with a beneficiary. Previously, "direct solicitation" had been broadly defined as telephonic contact. The August 27, 2010 final rule broadened the definition of "direct solicitation" to include not only telephonic contact, but also in-person contact, email, and instant messaging. The new adopted rule, which will be effective April 13, 2012, eliminates the prohibition on "direct solicitation" and only restricts direct contact with the beneficiary by telephone. The new adopted rule further requires that a DMEPOS supplier must have written permission from the beneficiary to contact the beneficiary by telephone.
The new rule also allows DMEPOS suppliers to contract with a third party to provide licensed services, provided the third party is appropriately licensed under applicable state laws. The prior rule prohibited DMEPOS suppliers from contracting licensed services.
DMEPOS suppliers should be aware of all restrictions on beneficiary contact. If you have any questions about contact limitations, or need a compliance plan, please contact Wachler & Associates at 248-544-0888 to speak with an experienced healthcare attorney.