Medical suppliers who wish to distribute durable medical equipment, prosthetics, orthotics, and supplies (DMEPOS) must apply for and receive accreditation that verifies the supplier meets the quality standards set forth by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. Medicare and Medicaid are both health care programs that provide goods and services to the elderly, the disabled, and those who can’t afford their own medical coverage.
How to Receive DMEPOS Accreditation: 5 Steps
Step 1: Select an accreditation organization approved by CMS
When seeking accreditation, the first step is to select an accreditation organization approved by CMS to guide the applicant through the process. Accreditation organizations will also verify whether or not applicants meet the standards required the CMS.
Standards to be met by applicants include compliance with federal and state licensure requirements and providing complete and accurate information on the DMEPOS supplier application. A complete list of standards can be found here.
Step 2: Submit application and required documents to the organization
Once any necessary changes have been made to the application materials, the applicant must submit their application and required documents to the organization. The accreditation organization will look over the submission and verify that all credentials are properly in place. This part of the application process may take 4 to 6 months.
Step 3: Pass the survey conducted at applicant’s place of operation
After reviewing the application and any additional materials, the accreditation organization will visit the applicant’s place of operation unannounced to conduct a survey. A surveyor from the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy will visit the applicant to determine whether they meet all required standards. Assuming all standards are met, the accreditation organization will report the supplier’s accreditation to the National Supplier Clearinghouse, which is the organization that issues and revokes billing privileges for DMEPOS suppliers. If the company complies with all required standards, they will receive accreditation. If it does not meet the standards, or falsified information is found on the application, accreditation will be denied.
Step 4: Complete Medicare enrollment forms with the CMS
After obtaining accreditation, suppliers need to complete the Medicare enrollment with the CMS. Depending on what service the DMEPOS supplier is offering, a form from the CMS website will need to be filled out and submitted.
Step 5: Purchase a DMEPOS surety bond
Suppliers must also purchase a DMEPOS surety bond to become a fully functioning supplier of durable medical equipment. Suppliers must obtain a $50,000 bond for each location at which they operate, and the bonds must be submitted to the Supplier Clearinghouse. DMEPOS bonds protect individuals who purchase medical supplies from getting taken advantage of by suppliers. It guarantees the legitimacy of claims submitted to Medicaid, thus cracking down on fraud on the part of the supplier. The bond also guarantees money is available to any parties harmed by the supplier’s failure to adhere to all rules and regulations.
Visit the CMS website on exemptions for this bond.
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Take a look at the graphic below for the 5 steps needed to achieve DMEPOS accreditation.