Pharmacy concerned about CMS' proposed surety bond rule

August 20, 2007

CMS has proposed a rule that would require durable medical equipment suppliers to obtain a surety bond.

Sandra Canally, R.N., president of The Compliance Team Inc., one of about a dozen organizations approved by CMS to provide DMEPOS accreditation, said, "Although the amount due by the providers to get a $65,000 bond is not significant, it is just another hit to the DME industry. Over the past nine years we have evaluated and accredited providers around the country who were all decent, hard-working, honest, caring professionals dedicated to serving their patients and earning a living. Each time the government takes more away or adds costs to these providers, the industry as a whole takes a hit."

Joel Zive, B.S., Pharm.D., owner of Zive Pharmacy, Bronx, N.Y., contends, "The pharmacist who pays that bond should be reimbursed at a higher rate. Those who don't want to pay the bond should get reimbursed at one rate, and those who show a commitment to the program should be reimbursed at a higher rate."

On a positive note, the proposed rule seeks comments on establishing an exception to the surety bond requirement for licensed pharmacists and large, publicly traded chain suppliers of DMEPOS.

In the meantime, CMS has extended the bid submission, registration, and accreditation deadlines. Suppliers interested in bidding must first register and receive a user password before they can access the Internet-based bid submission system. All bids are due by 9:00 P.M. Eastern Time on Sept. 25. The registration deadline is Aug. 27. The accreditation deadline is Oct. 31.

Comments on the proposed rule may be sent to http://www.cms.hhs.gov/eRulemaking/ no later than 5:00 P.M. on Oct. 1. For more information, visit www. http://dmecompetitivebid.com/.

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