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OIG 2013 Work Plan Includes Reviews of DME Suppliers

Editor’s Note: This is part of a week long series exploring the impact of the OIG 2013 Work Plan on different types of providers and organizations.

On October 3, 2012 the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (OIG) released its Work Plan for fiscal year 2013. Among the new issues the Work Plan outlines are issues that will affect Durable Medical Equipment (DME) suppliers. The Work Plan states that the OIG will examine:

Quality Standards–Accreditation of Medical Equipment Suppliers:
The OIG will review accreditation organizations’ procedures for the accreditation of medical equipment suppliers. Medicare has a series of quality standards to which medical equipment suppliers must comply. Accreditation organization procedures must ensure that all medical equipment suppliers they accredit meet the Medicare quality standards. The OIG review will also examine CMS validation surveys which are intended to monitor accreditation organization procedures.

Lower Limb Prostheses–Supplier Compliance with Payment Requirements:
The OIG will examine Medicare payments to medical equipment suppliers for lower limb prosthetics to ensure that Medicare requirements were met. Providers must furnish, upon request, information to determine amounts due. This can include documentation showing that the order was reasonable and necessary. In past reviews, the OIG has found claims submitted by suppliers with deficiencies in documentation, including claims for beneficiaries with no orders from a referring physician.

DME suppliers should also be aware of other issues that appear in the Work Plan. These include:

• Power Mobility Devices–Supplier Compliance With Payment Requirements • Vacuum Erection Systems–Reasonableness of Medicare’s Fee Schedule Amounts Compared to Amounts Paid by Other Payers • Continuous Positive Airway Pressure Supplies–Reasonableness of Medicare’s Replacement of Supplies Compared to That of Other Federal Programs • Diabetes Testing Supplies–Improper Supplier Billing for Test Strips in Competitive Bidding Areas • Diabetes Testing Supplies–Supplier Compliance With Requirements for Non-Mail-Order Claims • Medical Equipment and Supplies–Potential Savings From the Competitive Bidding Program • Medical Equipment and Supplies–Opportunities To Reduce Medicaid Payment Rates for Selected Items

DME suppliers should be prepared that the identification and review of these issues may lead to additional focus by CMS and its contractors. Compliance plans can be effective measures to help DME suppliers to proactively prepare for increased scrutiny from CMS contractors.

If you need assistance creating and implementing a compliance program, or have questions about how the OIG Work Plan could affect you, please contact an experienced Wachler & Associates healthcare attorney at 248-544-0888.