The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued its final rule Monday, December 30, implementing a requirement that mandates home medical equipment providers to furnish CMS with a $50,000 surety bond in order to participate in the Medicare program. This rule implements provisions included in the Balanced Budget Act of 1997.
In its analysis of the rule, CMS states that HME provider costs for securing a bond will be approximately $1,500 per year. The Agency also estimates that as many as 25,188 DMEPOS providers will exit Medicare due to the combined costs of the surety bond and accreditation requirements.
"We are concerned that overly burdensome requirements applying a one-size-fits-all approach will harm legitimate homecare providers," American Association for Homecare President Tyler J. Wilson, told the Associated Press in an article about the surety bond changes that was printed in Forbes and other newspapers across the nation.
The Association has been on record as supporting effective methods to eliminate fraud in the DMEPOS arena and has developed a 13-point plan targeting Medicare waste, fraud and abuse. The Association’s proposal targets efforts at the most vulnerable aspects of the program such as requiring mandatory site inspections for all new home medical equipment providers, requiring a six-month trial period for new homecare providers, and establishing real-time auditing to identify aberrant Medicare billing as it is occurring. The Association’s proposal can be viewed at www.aahomecare.org.
To view the Associated Press article visit: http://www.forbes.com/feeds/ap/2008/12/31/ap5871847.html.