Additional Time to Establish Protocols for Newly Required Face-to-Face Encounters for DME
Due to concerns that some providers and suppliers may need additional time to establish operational protocols necessary to comply with face-to-face encounter requirements mandated by the Affordable Care Act (ACA) for certain items of Durable Medical Equipment (DME), CMS will start actively enforcing and will expect full compliance with the DME face-to-face requirements beginning on October 1, 2013.
Section 6407 of the ACA established a face-to-face encounter requirement for certain items of DME. The law requires that a physician must document that a physician, nurse practitioner, physician assistant, or clinical nurse specialist has had a face-to-face encounter with the patient. The encounter must occur within the 6 months before the order is written for the DME.
Although many DME suppliers and physicians are aware of and are able to comply with this policy, CMS is concerned that some may need additional time to establish operational protocols necessary to comply with this new law. As such, CMS expects that during the next several months, suppliers and physicians who order certain DME items will continue to collaborate and establish internal processes to ensure compliance with the face-to-face requirement. CMS expects durable medical equipment suppliers to have fully established such internal processes and have appropriate documentation of required encounters by October 1, 2013.