If you’re considering becoming a durable medical equipment (DME) supplier, there are several requirements you must meet. First, it’s important to note that you’ll want to become a DME supplier for Medicare since most patients who need DME equipment use health insurance Medicare. Additionally, if you’re considering selling durable medical equipment, prosthetics, orthotics, and supplies (DMEPOS) items, there are additional requirements you’ll need to meet.
Continue reading to learn the difference between DME and DMEPOS supplies and how to become an accredited DME and DMEPOS supplier for Medicare.
The Difference Between DME and DMEPOS Supplies
As mentioned above, there are additional steps if you sell both DME and DMEPOS items. So, how do you know which items you’d want to sell? First, review the lists of DME and DMEPOS items below.
Examples of DME Supplies
- Blood sugar meters and test strips
- Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) devices
- Dialysis supplies
- Enteral or parenteral nutrition supplies
Examples of DMEPOS Supplies
- Arm, leg, back, and neck braces (orthotics)
- Artificial limbs and eyes
- Ostomy bags
- Urological supplies
Steps on How to Become a DME Supplier for Medicare
It’s important to note that state and federal laws govern DME suppliers. In order to gain a valid license, you’ll need to complete an application, show proof of insurance, pay the necessary fees, and complete an inspection. Once you receive a license, Medicare will reimburse you for the various DME items (depending on the type of equipment).
3 Steps Towards Becoming a DME Supplier
If you only want to sell DME equipment, there are three steps you’ll need to follow to become an accredited supplier. You can also review the information on the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) website.
*Please read the next section if you want to come as a DMEPOS supplier. *
Step 1: Apply for a National Providers Identification (NPI) Number
This number identifies your practice with CMS. If you’re starting a new practice, make sure you obtain a number. Apply for your NPI from the National Plan & Provider Enumeration System here.
Step 2: Complete the Medicare Enrollment Application
Use the Medicare enrollment system called PECOS to complete your application.
Step 3: Work with a Your Medicare Administrative Contractor (MAC)
Working with a MAC during your application will help the process to run smoothly and make it easier to provide additional information if needed. The MAC you’ll work with will depend on the region of your practice.
Operating without a Valid License
You could be subject to civil and criminal penalties if you try to supply DME without a valid license. You must also ensure your employees are licensed to set up and install any equipment. If not, there are additional fines you’ll be responsible for paying.
Steps on Becoming a Medicare DMEPOS Supplier
To become a Medicare DMEPOS supplier, you’ll need to follow the steps below. You can also review the information on the CMS website.
Step 1: Obtain a DMEPOS accreditation for a CMS-approved company.
Step 2: Make sure to have an NPI for each practice location.
Step 3: Complete the PECOS online Medicare enrollment system.
Step 4: Pay the Medicare application fee (for 2022, the cost is $631).
Step 5: Work with the National Supplier Clearinghouse MAC for any additional information you might need to provide.
Step 6: Post a $50,000 surety bond for each NPI you maintain. A surety bond helps guarantee that you’ll follow the law when supplying and billing DMEPOS items (this includes the DMEPOS fee schedule and supplier standards).
One Additional Step Towards Becoming a DMEPOS Supplier
When you decide to supply DMEPOS, you must verify that your practice will meet CMS’ quality standards on Medicare billing. This ensures you’ll follow:
- Billing standards
- Patient intake and diagnosis procedures
- Proper equipment set-up and delivery
- Product Safety
- And more
Learn How Medbill Can Assist with Your DME Business
As a full-service DME billing company, we can assist you with all your billing needs once you become a licensed supplier. Our services include document review, claims submission, AR collection, and more.