On March 9, 2012, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services ("CMS") released a final rule ("Final Rule") that makes various modifications to the durable medical equipment, prosthetics, orthotics, and supplies ("DMEPOS") supplier standards (codified at 42 C.F.R. § 424.57(c)). The Final Rule was published in the Federal Register on March 14, 2012, with an effective date 30 days later (i.e., April 13, 2012).
Among the various changes the Final Rule makes to the supplier standards is one modification that focuses on the marketing of DMEPOS and, specifically, removes a definition of "direct solicitation" of Medicare beneficiaries. CMS indicates that its definition of the phrase "direct solicitation" was not feasible and had been "criticized as being overly broad as it covered some types of marketing activity outside the bounds of what we intended to prohibit under our regulations." As a result, the prohibition on the "direct solicitation" of Medicare beneficiaries has returned to its original limitation on telephonic contact.
DMEPOS suppliers and other providers need to be aware of the Final Rule and its collective effect on the DMEPOS supplier standards, because it may require modifications to suppliers' business practices.
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