CHIROPRACTORS AS DME SUPPLIERS
By: Albert R. Meyer, JD, MHA
Many of our chiropractor clients have assumed that they can provide and sell durable medical equipment (DME) to their patients and bill Medicare for such devices without having to meet the conditions of participation for a Durable Medical Equipment, Prosthetics, Orthotics and Supplies (“DMEPOS”) supplier. Unfortunately, as all of you chiropractors know, Medicare’s chiropractic coverage is strictly limited to manipulation of the spine to correct a subluxation. No other chiropractic services or products will be paid by Medicare.
All is not lost though. Chiropractors may enroll as DMEPOS suppliers, but they are not afforded any special exemptions that are extended to your medical doctor counterparts. In order to become a DMEPOS supplier in the Medicare program, Chiropractors must apply as a DMEPOS provider, acquire accreditation from a CMS recognized accrediting body and obtain a surety bond in an amount not less than $50,000. Additionally, CMS also requires that a Chiropractor comply with with any state licensure or registration requirements applicable to DMEPOS suppliers.
More good news. If an MD is a partner in a group with a Chiropractor, the exemptions from accreditation and surety bond requirements apply. If an MD is merely an employee of the group owned by a chiropractor, the group is not eligible for the exemption.
Prior to initiating the Medicare enrollment process, it may be wise to consult with a qualified consultant, accountant or attorney with extensive experience in health care to advise on the best way to structure your business to provide DME in the most cost effective manner and without running afoul and state and federal laws and regulations.
Here is the link for a list of CMS approved accrediting organizations. You can copy and paste it on to your web browser.
Mr. Meyer is an attorney with over 20 years’ experience in health care law focusing on regulatory and transactional matters. His clients include physicians, medical equipment companies, surgery centers and diagnostic centers. Mr. Meyer works with chiropractors and other similar professionals throughout the country in integrating their practices. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.