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March 1 was the deadline for Medicare Durable Medical Equipment, Prosthetics, Orthotics and Supplies (DMEPOS) accreditation for any new physician practices or new office locations, including ophthalmologists’ offices that supply post-cataract eyewear. The Academy strongly disagrees with the necessity of such accreditation for any physician practices and met with CMS on April 16, along with the AMA and several other health care provider groups.
CMS agreed that the DMEPOS standards are primarily aimed at larger licensed retail suppliers, and the coalition was offered an opportunity to provide suggestions on how CMS might lessen the burden for physician suppliers. CMS stressed, however, that the law that initiated accreditation for DMEPOS specifically requires physicians and other health care providers to be included. Typically, physician practice accreditation costs about $3,000, a rate that makes it untenable for ophthalmology practices. Existing providers who are currently Medicare enrolled, have their National Provider Information number and have an existing National Supplier Clearinghouse number, have until September 2009 to become accredited.

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