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CMS Safeguards Rural and Non-Contiguous Patient Access to Certain Medical Equipment and Services

Posted on Monday, May 14, 2018 12:32 PM

On the heels of the Rural Health Strategy released, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued an interim final rule with comment period (IFC) to increase the fee schedule rates from June 1, 2018, through December 31, 2018, for certain durable medical equipment (DME) items and services and enteral nutrition furnished in rural and non-contiguous areas (Alaska, Hawaii, and U.S. territories) of the country not subject to the Durable Medical Equipment, Prosthetics, Orthotics, and Supplies (DMEPOS) Competitive Bidding Program (CBP).

The action aims to protect access to needed durable medical equipment in rural and non-contiguous areas that are not subject to the DMEPOS CBP, helping beneficiaries to maintain their health, mobility, and overall quality of life. Stakeholders have raised concerns about significant financial challenges the current adjusted DME fee schedule rates pose for suppliers, including many small businesses, and that the number of suppliers in certain areas continues to decline.

“This action will help Medicare beneficiaries in rural areas continue to access life-sustaining durable medical equipment, like oxygen equipment,” said CMS Administrator Seema Verma.

Click here for the full press release.

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