Friday, December 12, 2014

State Licensure

You are aware that in other health care programs, in order to provide services, the company must demonstrate they are competent and understand everything required. But HME/DME has still has not prepared the correct regulations to participate. There is NO license required! Accreditation is a giant step forward; however, I still see many practitioners who should not be allowed to participate in Medicare or Medicaid.

I believe each state must issue a license to show the company is capable to provide the many things involved. This must come from the State Board of Pharmacy or its equivalent. If you only want to drive a vehicle, you have to get a permit from the State Board of Motor Vehicles. Some kind of proof that you have learned all that is required to function in DME/HME.

To become a registered pharmacist, I had to acquire a degree in pharmacy. The next step was to pass very strict board exams by the State Board of Pharmacy. When I wanted to open my pharmacy, there were other rules and regulations. The same applies for other health care services; one must prove they are a professional in order to do business!

But why not the same for DME/HME? The principal earns their license and then the location, prior to opening, is inspected to be sure every “i” is dotted and every “t” is crossed. Then permission to become a dealer and be allowed to bill Medicare, etc., for services rendered should be earned. All this is the responsibility of the State Board of Pharmacy or its equivalent. I am comfortable in feeling that the same inspectors can monitor DME/HME along with Pharmacy,

The key to this is that a license can be revoked or suspended when found in violation of any rules and regulations. Without a doubt, most DME/HME providers and dealers run very legitimate operations. State licensure for DME/HME will keep out many companies and undesirables who do not meet the standards.

I would like to see a congressman introduce this legislation to be passed with HR 1717- Medicare Market Pricing Program Act of 2013, HR 4920- Medicare Competitive Bidding Act Improvement Act of 2014, and HR 5083- Medicare Audit Improvement and Reform Act of 2014.

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