By Ronda Buhrmester, U.S. Rehab
Has the National Supplier Clearinghouse been knocking on your door?
The NSC is required to revalidate suppliers every three years. You will know when it’s your time for revalidation because you will receive a letter in the mail in a colored envelope, usually yellow. Make sure whomever receives the mail in the office is aware of this important piece and knows who in the office gets it (the owner, office manager, compliance officer, etc.) to make sure that it’s completed by the deadline and the payment is made.
Suppliers may complete revalidate via the Internet with PECOS or by using the 855S form. The process also includes a site visit that is unannounced. The site inspections are conducted by a contracted company. The inspector should have a copy of the letter from the NSC and a photo ID. Do not be afraid to ask for the letter and to check their badge. During the site visit, the inspector will ask for a list of items that are listed below and will take pictures of the storefront and inventory. If you didn’t have the information readily available, you have 48 hours to provide the information to the NSC.
It’s recommended that all necessary and required information is compiled in a book so it’s readily available and the visit will go smoothly.
The key to being ready is knowing the 30 supplier standards that a DMEPOS must abide by. The site inspector could ask for the following information:
- Capped rental letter
- Inexpensive/routine purchase letter
- Proof of warranty (see below for more on the warranty)
- Hours of operation posted
- Comprehensive liability insurance
- Documentation for written instruction/information on beneficiary use/maintenance of equipment
- Beneficiary copy of supplier standards
- Complaint log and resolution protocol
- Accreditation information
- Surety bond agreement
- Listing of all management/owners including name/title
- Credit agreement or invoices
- The standard is six months of invoices from top manufacturers, but three months is acceptable
- License of oxygen supplier/distributor/wholesaler
- Required licenses such as bedding, pharmacy, DME, respiratory therapy, ATPs, etc., as applicable
- Return policy
The warranty form has been a key issue that I have heard about from some suppliers going through the site inspection. According to the supplier standard #6:
“The supplier must provide, upon request, documentation that it has provided beneficiaries with information about Medicare covered items covered under warranty, in the form of copies of letters, logs, or signed notices.'
This means do not have the beneficiaries initial a section on the delivery ticket. The warranty form needs to be a separate document that is signed by the beneficiary. Know the warranty on your equipment/products provided so you can honor the proper warranty.
If the NSC has not knocked on your door yet, they may be coming soon, so be prepared. A copy of the supplier standards, warranty form, capped rental, inexpensive/routinely purchased letter are included.
To visit the NSC website, go to www.palmettogba.com/medicare
. The site also lists the licensure/certificates required in each state.
Below are some additional resources.
Capped Rental Letter
Inexpensive Routinely Purchased Items
Ronda Buhrmester, CRT
Respiratory, general DME, NSC
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