Suppliers of durable medical equipment, prosthetics, orthotics and supplies (DMEPOS) have a standard set of regulations that was established in 2009 by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). Although dentists do not directly supply the materials used in their practice, they are now facing the same standards as official suppliers of equipment. While certain professions are exempt from the requirements, most dentists purchase items from suppliers outside of their practice and therefore must follow the same set of regulations laid out by CMS.
Suppliers must be accredited by an independent accreditation organization recognized and approved by CMS and they must abide by the all standards set by 42 CFR §424.57 (c), including purchasing a $50,000 surety bond to cover any liabilities. A supplier of durable medical equipment, prosthetics, orthotics, and supplies can refer to an entity or individual engaging in the sale or rental of the items referred to in Part B of Medicare beneficiaries.
DMEPOS Accreditation Process
To become an accredited supplier of Durable Medical Equipment, Prosthetics, Orthotics, and Supplies to Medicare beneficiaries, all suppliers must obtain accreditation through an independent national Accreditation Organization (AO) previously approved by CMS. Becoming accredited is a three-step process that must be followed by all suppliers.
In the pre-application process, the supplier will need to select one of the 9 accreditation organizations recognized by CMS and contact them to find out more information about that specific organization’s process. The accreditation organization will determine what, if any, changes the supplier needs to make to receive accreditation. Once any necessary changes have been made, the supplier will submit an application, along with all appropriate documentation, to the accredited organization. The review process for an application typically takes 4 to 6 months.
In the third and final step of the process, the accreditation organization will conduct an unannounced on-site visit. Additional unannounced visits will be conducted at least once every 3 years after the initial inspection. Official accreditation will be determined based off of the on-site survey results and data submitted by the accredited organization.
Exceptions to DMEPOS Requirements:
Although dentists are now among those required to meet DMEPOS accreditation standards, individuals and businesses who meet the following are exempt from DMEPOS registration:
- If the supplier has provided CMS with a comparable surety bond under State law, government-operated DMEPOS supplies are exempt. Additionally, all Indian Health facilities not fully owned and operated by a tribe are exempt from the regulations.
- State-licensed orthotic and prosthetic personnel in private practice making custom-made orthotics and prosthetics are exempt from regulations if the business is solely-owned and operated by the orthotic and prosthetic personnel, and the business is only billing for orthotics, prosthetics, and supplies or if only orthotic, prosthetics, and supplies are sold by the entity.
Ways to Lose DMEPOS Accreditation
Suppliers may be stripped of their accreditation if any of the following DMEPOS Supplier Standards are violated:
- A Medicare-imposed revocation of any Medicare billing privileges
- Suspension or revocation of a license to provide health care by any State licensing authority
- Revocation for failure to meet DMEPOS quality standards
- A conviction of a Federal or State felony offense (as defined in §424.535(a)(3)(i) within the last 10 years preceding enrollment, revalidation, or re-enrollment
- An exclusion or debarment from participation in a Federal or State health care program
DMEPOS Surety Bond Requirements
CMS regulates that all suppliers of durable medical equipment, prosthetics, orthotics and suppliers must follow the following set of guidelines when obtaining a $50,000 surety bond:
- The surety will be in effect within 30 days of receiving written notice from CMS containing sufficient evidence to establish the surety’s liability under the bond
- The entity guaranteeing the surety is liable for any unpaid claims made against the supplier
- Actions under the bond may be brought by CMS or by CMS contractors
- The surety’s contact information including name, street address or post office box number, city, state, and zip code
- Identification of the DMEPOS supplier being used by the dentist as the principal, CMS as the Obligee, and the surety supplying the required bond
Dentists who must now obtain a surety bond will receive a notification in writing 60 days prior to when the must be in effect. For more information on the cost of these bonds and why they are required of suppliers, please visit our page on DMEPOS surety bonds.
Need a surety bond to meet DMEPOS requirements?
Although the requirement for dentists to be bonded is new, the experts at SuretyBonds.com have years of experience issuing DMEPOS bonds nationwide, meaning they know what it takes to get you bonded quickly and easily. For a free, no obligation quote on your surety bond, visit SuretyBonds.com or call today at 1 (800) 308-4358.