DMEPOS Replacement Rules Relaxed During COVID-19

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The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has permitted waivers regarding replacement of Durable Medical Equipment Prosthetics, Orthotics, and Supplies (DMEPOS) to help Medicare beneficiaries impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak and quarantines receive prompt care. CMS issued the following guidance: "Where [DMEPOS] is lost, destroyed, irreparably damaged, or otherwise rendered unusable or unavailable, contractors have the flexibility to waive replacements requirements such that the face-to-face requirement, a new physician's order, and new medical necessity documentation." The documentation waiver is retroactive to dates of service on or after March 1.

The American Orthotic and Prosthetic Association (AOPA) said it has been in contact with the Durable Medical Equipment Medicare Administrative Contractors (DME MACs) to discuss actions that they will take to implement the provisions of the emergency-based waivers. While the DME MACs await specific guidance from CMS on how to properly implement the provisions, AOPA said practitioners should continue to make every effort to obtain appropriate documentation.

For more information about the waivers, visit the CMS website.