Important Info ! July 1st Deadline (next Monday)
As you most of know, on July 1, new Medicare rules will come into effect placing onerous restrictions on NPs who order durable medical equipment for their patients. Although it is already required patients have face to face encounter with their medical provider within 6 months or the order, the new rule will require physician certification of the visit if it was with an NP. This is even if the NP is the primary provider and physician is not directly involved. AANP is strongly encouraging all Nurse Practitioners to contact their Senators and Representatives to urge them to take action against this restriction. This is the link to AANP's Advocacy Center when you can conveniently email your legislators (even if you are not sure who they are!):
This is an important issue for NP practice. Even if an NP does not currently order DME, I hope they will take the time to support their colleagues and patients on this issue.
Face-to-Face Requirements for DME - Medicare Change Effective 7-1-13
Scheduled to become effective for prescriptions written on or after 7-1-2013 Medicare is requiring a physician to have a face-to-face encounter with a patient within 6 months prior to writing an order for specific DME equipment (it cannot occur after the ordering date). The face-to-face encounter may be conducted by a physician, physician assistant, nurse practitioner, or clinical nurse specialist; however the physician must cosign the portion of the medical record which documents the encounter if it is not conducted by the physician. The documentation in the medical record must clearly show that the practitioner conducting the encounter evaluated the patient for the medical condition that supports the need for the medical equipment being ordered. The documentation should also detail the justification for the equipment being ordered.
This change also includes a written order requirement for all DME requiring the face-to-face. A written order must be provided to the DME provider before they can dispense the product. At a minimum, the written order must include the following five components: patient’s name, DME item being ordered, physician’s NPI, date of the order, and the signature of the prescribing physician.
Some of the equipment that will be affected by this change is listed below.
- Hospital Beds and Accessories
- Nebulizer Compressors
- Seat Lift Mechanisms
- Manual Wheelchairs