NGS Issues Reminder About Soliciting Phone Calls to Beneficiaries

Such phone calls are restricted under the Social Security Act

National Government Services, the Jurisdiction B DME MAC, has issued a reminder warning DME suppliers about the rules regarding soliciting beneficiaries by phone for Medicare-covered equipment.

Saying that its clinical education department "has received many referrals regarding suppliers soliciting beneficiaries via telephone," NGS noted, "It is very important for suppliers to be aware that they are prohibited under section 1834 (a) (17) (a) of the Social Security Act against unsolicited telephone contacts by suppliers."

In essence, NGS' bulletin says, suppliers are not allowed to make such phone calls to Medicare beneficiaries unless a previous, recent or ongoing relationship already exists.

That section of the Social Security Act says, "A supplier of a covered item under this subsection may not contact an individual enrolled under this part by telephone regarding the furnishing of a covered item to the individual unless one of the following applies:

  • The individual has given written permission to the supplier to make contact by telephone regarding the furnishing of a covered item.
  • The supplier has furnished a covered item to the individual and the supplier is contacting the individual only regarding the furnishing of such covered item.
  • If the contact is regarding the furnishing of a covered item other than a covered item already furnished to the individual, the supplier has furnished at least one covered item to the individual during the 15-month period preceding the date on which the supplier makes such contact."

About the Author

Laurie Watanabe is the editor of Mobility Management. She can be reached at lwatanabe@1105media.com.

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