Open Door Forum Recap: CMS Urges Accreditation and NSC Updating for Suppliers

The latest Open Door Forum, hosted by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) didn't necessarily provide answers to such burning questions as when additional information will be forthcoming on competitive bidding รน but DME suppliers may finally be springing into action when it comes to getting accredited.

In other news to come out of the March 14 meeting and teleconference, CMS reminded attendees that the clock is ticking on the public comment period for the new Advanced Beneficiary Notice (ABN).

Said CMS' Elizabeth Carmody, "A notice was published in the Federal Register on Feb. 23 on the revised version of the general ABN, which is form number CMS-R-131. Public comments are requested during the 60-day comment period, which ends on April 24 at 5 p.m., and they will be considered as part of finalizing the revised ABN." Carmody added that until the new ABN is finalized and approved, providers should continue to use the existing ABN.

To read the proposed ABN revision and to get information on submitting comments, go to www.gpoaccess.gov/fr/advanced.html, enter the date of the announcement (Feb. 23) and the name of the form (CMS-R-131).

In competitive bidding news, CMS' Joel Kaiser urged suppliers to update their information at the National Supplier Clearinghouse (NSC) and to start the accreditation process, particularly "those (suppliers) in the larger metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs)." Competitive bidding will be operating in 80 of the largest MSAs within the next few years. No further information, including the identities of the first 10 MSAs to participate in competitive bidding, was announced.

Sandra Bastinelli of CMS reported the 10 deemed accreditation organizations are "very busy answering some of the suppliers' calls. They're a little bit busier, which is good news, than they have been in the past." At the last Open Door Forum on Jan. 30, CMS representatives voiced concern that the accrediting organizations had said relatively few suppliers had started the accreditation process. DME suppliers will eventually need to be accredited if they want to bill Medicare.

Nearly 500 people took part in the Open Door Forum, either in person or by phone. The next Open Door Forum is scheduled for Wednesday, April 25.

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