Adding Durable Medical Equipment Prosthetics & Orthotics Supplies (“DMEPOS”) to a Chiropractic Practice is a great way to not only increase revenues, but most importantly it is a great way to increase overall patient satisfaction and care.
Providing patients with easy access to DMEPOS allows for more comprehensive care, enabling providers to help further stabilize injuries, maximize patient recoveries, and minimize patient down time. Many existing patients are already buying and utilizing DMEPOS such as back braces, so there is an opportunity to provide that additional supervision and care through an existing practice.
Examples of DMEPOS that would complement a Chiropractic Practice and which patients are likely already using:
- Traction Equipment;
- Infared Heating Pad;
- TENS Unit;
- Orthopedic Braces; and
- Canes, Crutches, and Walkers.
As with any type of practice in the healthcare industry, it all starts with proper licensure. There are different licensure requirements for DMEPOS, which vary depending on the state and the type of supplies you wish to offer through your practice. There is a great tool offered by the National Supplier Clearinghouse (“NSC”) that allows the user to conduct a state-by-state licensure analysis at the product level. The NSC is the single organizational entity responsible for issuing or revoking Medicare supplier billing privileges for suppliers of DMEPOS. The NSC state licensure analysis tool is a great way to get an idea as to what the different licensure requirements are by product and how those requirements may vary by state.
To access this useful tool, CLICK HERE.
From there, click on the “View your DMEPOS State License Directory” hyperlink on the bottom – BUT FIRST- be sure to read the instructions and heed the disclaimer’s warning:
This licensure directory is only a guide. The various state boards or regulating agencies have the final determination as to what license is or is not required. It is the supplier’s responsibility to ensure they are in compliance with all state and federal laws and regulations.
DMEPOS licensure is regulated at the state level and as such it is the state that has the final say on what license(s) may be required. This tool will point you to the appropriate state regulatory agency for the type of DMEPOS you are inquiring about – directly contact the state regulatory agency indicated to confirm that the information yielded by the tool is up to date and accurate. Failing to have the requisite state licensure in place prior to providing DMEPOS, even solely on a cash basis, can result in severe consequences to an existing practice. As such, it is imperative that thorough due diligence is done prior to disseminating any DMEPOS.
After obtaining the requisite state licensure applicable to the specific DMEPOS you wish to offer, barring any additional regulations that may be imposed by the state (e.g. accreditation) you are now only in a position to offer ‘cash’ sales to the general public. DMEPOS is covered by Medicare Part B and many private insurance companies. As many are likely aware from their existing practice, it can be very difficult to become an in-network provider to many of the private insurance companies. A great open network to become a supplier to patients with its coverage is Medicare. While there is a longstanding regulation that items and services ordered by chiropractors are statutorily prohibited from Medicare coverage, chiropractors can act as suppliers of DMEPOS reimbursable by Medicare Part B.
So long as providers comply with the appropriate rules, regulations and licensure requirements specific to their operations, adding DMEPOS to their arsenal of treatment options is a great way to quickly add major benefits to a practice and its patients.
Join me for a follow up to this blog entitled “DMEPOS Medicare Coverage & Reimbursement” where I will discuss the next steps that your practice must take, after having obtained the requisite state licensure, to become a DMEPOS supplier to your patients that are Medicare Part B beneficiaries.