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CMS Proposes to Add More Face-to-Face Requirements as a Condition of Payment

On July 6, 2012, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a 765 page proposed rule addressing changes to the physician fee schedule, payments for Part B drugs, and other Medicare Part B payment policies. (To view the proposed rule please click here .) Of particular interest to providers, CMS implemented face-to-face requirements as a condition of payment for certain durable medical equipment (DME) items.

Face-to-face encounters are required for those items that:

1) currently require a written order prior to delivery per instructions in [CMS’] Program Integrity Manual; 2) cost more than $1,000; 3) [CMS believes] are particularly susceptible to fraud, waste, and abuse; and 4) [CMS believes are] vulnerable to fraud, waste, and abuse based on reports of the HHS Office of Inspector General, Government Accountability Office, or other oversight entities.

CMS explained that it added the face-to-face requirement for certain DMEs because, after empirical study, billed DMEs of the above four characteristics often failed to meet coverage criteria.

The proposed rules are expected to be formally published July 30, 2012. Until then, the public is free to offer commentary.

If you are concerned with, or have questions about, the effect this proposed rule could have on your practice, please call an experienced healthcare attorney at Wachler & Associates at 248-544-0888.