“MAMES has been hearing from suppliers and consultants on what appears to be added delays,” reads the association’s Feb. 2 bulletin.
CMS began phasing in fingerprint-based background checks for HME and home health providers last year. Initially, it’s requiring the checks for newly enrolling and other high-risk providers. Eventually, however, it will require fingerprinting for all individuals with a 5% or greater ownership in an HME or home health company.
MAMES reports that during a recent meeting of the National Supplier Clearinghouse Advisory Committee (NSCAC) and the National Supplier Clearinghouse, the following questions about the delays were addressed:
Question: Can you please provide an outline of the process from when the CMS855S application is received to when a fingerprint is initiated by CMS to when it is returned to the NSC?
Answer: Once fingerprints are reviewed by CMS, the NSC receives ‘pass’ or ‘fail’ notification. Application processing will not begin until the NSC receives CMS notification.
Question: What are the percentages of applications that are going for fingerprinting and what is the average time added to processing the applications because of this?
Answer: All new applicants are subject to fingerprinting. Response time of the practitioner, quality of fingerprints or discrepancies can cause delays in processing. No official timeframe has been determined.
Question: Is it possible to proactively submit fingerprinting prior to being asked for this by the NSC?
Answer: As Accurate Biometrics is processing in response to the individuals identified by CMS, fingerprints should only be submitted when requested.
Question: Several states—one example is Florida—require fingerprints for state licensure and for Medicaid. If a provider has these fingerprints on file, is there any reciprocity with CMS?
Answer: The NSC is not able to use fingerprints for Medicaid or any other entity for Medicare application processing.