Accreditation Exemption Is Not Permanent

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While the January 31, 2009, accreditation application deadline has come and gone, confusion remains about which healthcare professionala are exempt from the accreditation requirement and, for those who are exempt, whether or not the exemption is permanent or a delay. EDGE Direct asked the American Board for Certification in Orthotics, Prosthetics & Pedorthics (ABC) to help clarify the issue.

On September 3, 2008, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that professionals, including physicians, physical therapists, occupational therapists, qualified speech therapists, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, nurse midwives, orthotists, prosthetists, podiatrists, optometrists, and opticians are exempt from the September 30, 2009, mandatory accreditation deadline. CMS has clarified this language to mean that the exempt professional is providing services that are usual and customary for their credential.

CMS also announced that this action is only a delay in accreditation requirements and quality standards and that revised standards for Durable Medical Equipment, Prosthetics, Orthotics and Supplies (DMEPOS) will be issued sometime in 2009.

Currently, ABC and other accrediting organizations are working on accrediting the facilities that are not exempt from the mandatory accreditation deadline of September 30, 2009, which at this time includes post-mastectomy and pedorthic facilities.

If your post-mastectomy or pedorthic facility is currently billing Medicare and has not submitted an application to ABC or another accrediting organization, there is time to apply. Your facility will still receive an onsite survey and be an applicant for accreditation; however, you may not be guaranteed to achieve facility accreditation by September 30. The sooner you submit your application, the more likely it is that you will get through the process at or close to the accreditation deadline.

For more information, contact Christine Michael, Tammi Richards, or Scott Williamson at 703.836.7114.