Why a DME Bond is Required
When a patient needs durable medical equipment for their health care, they need it be affordable and from a trustworthy source. Unfortunately, some DME or DMEPOS providers and suppliers can take advantage of the patient’s situation and run up the costs for the patient and for the Medicare program, and could also deliver unsafe items to the patient.
As a result, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), which oversees the Medicare program, requires DME suppliers to obtain a $50,000 surety bond during Medicare enrollment for each location in which they do business. The bond must be submitted to the National Supplier Clearinghouse (NSC) before a provider or supplier can obtain Medicare billing privileges.
DME Providers and Suppliers
DME “providers” include hospitals, universities, nursing facilities, rehabilitation facilities, home health agencies, hospice and other non-profits. DME “suppliers” sell or rent DME equipment, and includes physicians, nurse practitioners, and physical therapists, among others.
Examples of durable medical equipment include prosthetic devices, orthotics, blood sugar monitors, canes, hospital beds, oxygen equipment and supplies, manual wheelchairs and power mobility devices.
When Medicare providers and suppliers are able to furnish their patients with durable medical equipment quickly, the patient benefits by not having to go elsewhere for the medical items they need. By providing this service, DME providers and suppliers also benefit with added revenue.
Medicare only covers DME items if the doctor and supplier are enrolled in the Medicare program, and includes equipment that is:
- Used for medical reasons
- Not useful to someone who isn’t sick or injured
- Used in the home
- Expected to last at least three years
The patient’s cost for DME items depends on:
- Other insurance the patient may have
- Physician’s fees
- If the physician accepts the assignment
- Type of facility
- Where the patient gets a test, item or service
Who is Protected Under a DME Bond
The surety bond protects the obligee (Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services) by:
- Limiting the risk of fraud
- Ensuring that only legitimate suppliers are enrolled in the Medicare program
- Ensuring that the Medicare program recuperates erroneous payments due to fraudulent or malicious billing practices
- Helping patients receive products and services from legitimate suppliers
Providers and suppliers must have a surety bond in place before they can receive or renew a provider number. The premium, or cost that providers and suppliers pay for the bond, is dependent on credit and the number of years’ experience in the medical field.
How to Get a Surety Bond
SuretyGroup.com offers a simplified surety bond program for DME Providers. Our surety bond specialists can give you a free, no-obligation quote that fits your specific situation, and can deliver your bond quickly. Call 844-432-6637, apply online, or email firstname.lastname@example.org to get started.
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