It does not take a rocket scientist

Thanks for your action on this looming deadline. It makes no sense that CMS did not stagger the deadline in the first place.

Why on earth would you make every single HME/DME in the country have the same deadline date? There were suggestions made to CMS by several credible groups and individuals that having a single deadline would result in huge congestion and disruption that was totally unnecessary. States do not have all Drivers Licenses expire on the same date do they? Only CMS would wonder why….or maybe they hoped that the crush would eliminate lots of pesky small businesses?

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to discover that this problem could be easily avoided at no cost and without endangering the end goal of getting all suppliers accredited by a certain date. They just wouldn’t listen and here we are exactly where it was predicted we would be……

10 Responses to “It does not take a rocket scientist”

  1. Anonymous said:

    Sep 10, 09 at 7:50 pm

    Our organization busted our tails to get accredited on time. We accomplished it and feel good about the effort. It is not as if we found out about the requirements last month. This has been the topic of discussion for well over a year but it fell on deaf ears. I think that this is a case of procrastination. With all that is at stake with this process it is irresponsible for a company to wait until the last minute to squeak this in.
    I get tired of getting black eyes from unscrupulous suppliers. This accreditation process will flush many of them out if Medicare sticks to its guns and then we can move forward as an industry that has some credibility. Until we clean up our act as a collective group we will continue being a target for Medicare cuts. I get tired of doing it right and getting stabbed in the back by another provider that fraudulently fleeces Medicare dollars. Think about it, would you have confidence in your Doctor, Dentist or Hospital if they did not have some standards they had to meet. We are the same way. People have to trust us before they will stand up and say “Hey, leave these guys alone. They are helping not hurting the situation”
    Exception: The only exception that should be allowed is for a company that has had a site visit and was unable to pass the first time. These folks should be given a 3-4 month grace period to have a second visit to pass. They should be given priority by the accrediting bodies. If they don’t pass the second site survey, then it’s over. Getting accredited is not rocket science, it’s hard work, but not unreasonable.

  2. Anonymous said:

    Sep 11, 09 at 9:45 am

    In response to Anonymous I do agree in part. Companies that have waited untill the 11 hour to even start should face the consequences;however, there are hundreds of companies who busted their tails like the above mentioned and have been waiting for 4-5 months for a site survey. My company is one of those still waiting. We signed up August of 2008 and were very diligent in the guidelines that were required of us (75% we already had in place. Now with 3 weeks left we have no choice but to wait on the backlog of the AO’s. As for Anonymous’s statement re: peoples trust in MD’s, lets make them go through this same process since some believe they are untouchables. Has anyone ever thought for one moment that the majority of fraud might extend from MD’s and Hospitals.My company has been in business for 7 years, I have been in industry for over 20. We have always held ourselves to the highest standards and it sickens me when those in our industry abuse the system. I have been reassured that we will be seen before the deadline, but as each day ticks by I have to figure out my next plan of action at the expense of my employees and most importantly our patients.

  3. Anonymous said:

    Sep 11, 09 at 10:02 am

    SORRY CHARLIE, YOU,VE HAD PLENTY OF TIME JUST LIKE THE REST OF US !!

  4. Anonymous said:

    Sep 11, 09 at 1:30 pm

    I am an independant dealer who has 5 full time employees counting myself. I have been ready for my survey for 3 months. Because of the small size of my company, I did all of the policy manual revisions myself. I didn’t have the luxury of assigning it out, or paying for a “Cliff Notes” manual. I was done in plenty of time, but the accreditation companies are overwhelmed. I’ve been working on this for over a year as fast as I could.
    I agree with all of the reasons for getting it done, but I’ve done my part and it still looks like it will not be soon enough.

  5. Anonymous said:

    Sep 11, 09 at 4:13 pm

    The deadline should be pushed back. We can argue a million and one reasons why it would not be fair to those who met the deadline. But the truth of the matter is that our industry is not prepared and the patients will suffer. It seems to me that the focus needs to be put back on Patient Care. What is this going to do to the people in which this very industry is built around.

  6. Anonymous said:

    Sep 11, 09 at 5:47 pm

    Accreditation is a joke. I’ve heard patients stories who have dealt with accredited suppliers. Compliance programs are only as good as the employees who enforce them. What is on paper is not necessarily what is done. And the people who want to fraud the government are always going to find a way because the government does not practice due diligence. I get customers all the time who are amazed when I start telling them guidelines in detail. They tell me no one else has told them what I’ve told them and didn’t take the time I did with them. (note the suppliers they spoke of are accredited and have been for a while) For that matter I am always having to correct 1800MEDICARE misinformation. I’ve had customers get mad and yell at me and say “Medicare said I could get it”. I have to explain that yes if you meet guidelines they will but….. I love helping people get the equipment they need, period. That is why I do what I do. No amount of accreditation is going to make an employee who doesn’t genuinely want to do their job do it better.

  7. Anonymous said:

    Sep 11, 09 at 5:55 pm

    To the post at 7:50pm. Accreditation doesn’t mean trust. Compliance manuals don’t mean trust. Step outside the DME box and you would see that we are going to be a target no matter what we do. Someone has to be the scapegoat and we are it. Look at the billions of dollars fined to the drugmaker recently. They just slap their wrist,collect the money and let them continue to do business as usual. Fraud is rampant in our society from the lowest level to the highest level and no amount of accreditation is going to change that. Pray for change.

  8. Travis said:

    Sep 11, 09 at 7:26 pm

    Can anyone recall their parents telling them that it is good to be a little early to things? I remember my folks getting us to church 20 minutes early and I thought they were crazy. But as I paid attention, I noticed that 20 minutes was a great time to affiliate with other members of the congregation and settle our minds to worship.
    Is there anything wrong with getting things done early?
    OK, how much of a delay would we like here? 3 months? 6 months? 12 months? 2 years? Whatever delay we put in place I would bet we would go to a blog like this and hear the same thing again. “We just are not ready. We need more time. The AO’s can’t get to us in time.” And with each delay the cost of this to the tax payer goes up.
    I would agree that it was foolish of MC to assume that human nature to procrastinate would vanish as HME suppliers worked on this process. A few simple changes to stagger the completion would have been helpful. But we can’t rely on government employees to think of such things. We as business owners/managers should learn from this – Government does not a good business plan make.

    For those out there that are trying to do it right my sympathy goes out to you. I hope that some help is available. However, for the suppliers that are making our industry look like a bunch of crooks, good riddance.

  9. Anonymous said:

    Sep 16, 09 at 5:23 pm

    I guess the sad thing is is that our industry is sooo divided, instead of working together we are totally against each other.

    One hand looks at it – so sad, shame on you, you horrible companies that aren’t accredited yet, you must definately be fraudulent!

    On the other hand you must understand that this has come to the point that when a provider is ready, has been ready and has done their due diligence to become surveyed….it becomes another problem entirely!

    Thats like a custom rehab provider saying to an oxygen provider thats upset about the oxygen caps….well so sad for you – you decided to provide oxygen for your business – suck it up…its just the way it is….don’t cry to me because you are getting capped.

    SERIOUSLY…what good does that do for the industry?

    To state that if a company is not accredited yet they must be an unscrupulous bunch of crooks is pure ignorance!

    I can promise you right now with everything I have, I can point out accredited companies that #1 are ridiculously FRAUDULENT, #2 CROOKED and BEYOND, #3 could care less about their clients…and hmmm…how many times have I heard….”WE WILL JUST BILL FOR IT AND TAKE OUR CHANCES AND PAY IT BACK IF WE GET AUDITED”

    Honestly, being accredited doesn’t justify an upright company just because they wrote some manuals and have a plaque on their wall.

    The ignorance falls far beyond our precious government…its really disheartening.

    WHAT DOES IT SERVE THOSE HAVING MET ACCREDITATION TO WRITE ON HERE AND BASH THOSE OF US TRULY SEEKING A REPRIEVE?

  10. Anonymous said:

    Sep 28, 09 at 7:51 pm

    I’m an industry consultant, and we have helped hundreds of DMEs through the accreditation process. We know what we are doing and all of our clients pass, and we also don’t gouge people. We didn’t raise our prices when accreditation became mandatory. We have worked with every accredting body on CMS approved list.

    I’m not going to use my name here, because I don’t want anyone mad at me. But here is the real deal as I see it, from both sides — the DME provider side, and the CMS side.

    1. The industry as a whole has known this requirement was coming for 3 years. It was well publicized. If a DME company did NOT apply to their chosen accrediting body prior to Jan 31, 2008, they probably don’t have much of any excuse for not getting accredited in time. HOWEVER….

    2. Their have been plenty of problems with the accrediting bodies themselves. Here are just a few I have seen first hand among my clients:

    A. Document submission procceses overseen by truly unqualified individuals who have no idea what they are looking at or looking for. Impossible to believe some of these folks have ever worked in the DME industry.

    B. Document submission requirements that are so cumbersome you could have applied by Jan 31st, as suggested, and still not complete the document process by the AO’s deadline in order to be surveyed on time.

    C. Very poor customer service with some of the newer AOs that were entirely unprepared for the number of applicants they received. Not acknowledging receipt of application, not sending a decision letter even months after the survey occured. Giving provisional accreditation and never following up with information about steps to be taken for full accreditation (this has happened over and over again).

    D. Frankly, some of the surveyors are just very poor. I suppose that is to be expected, but at one point we had to proactively tell our clients not to get upset at some of the outrageous things they were told during their on-site survey, because the AOs board would not let those things into the final report. And they didn’t, but they some of the less than experienced surveyors sure got a lot of folks worked up for no reason.

    3. ABCOPP, a CMS approved accrediting body has been accrediting those they could not get to in time without a site visit. Naturally, this is completely unfair to folks waiting for the required survey with other AOs. What I am hearing is that CMS is claiming this is okay because ABCOPP’s document submission process is so rigourous. To that I say an unqualified “BALONEY!” It is no different than any of the other approved accrediting bodies document submission processes. And we work with all of them, so again, baloney. ABCOPP must have a friend at CMS.

    So those of you still waiting for a site survey from one of the other AOs should be raising holy hell with CMS / NSC. Ask them if you can just switch to ABCOPP and get the special deal their providers got — “grandfathered in” without having to get a survey. Maybe ABCOPP can take 29K applications this week from all the unaccredited providers so those providers can stay in business.

    This list could go on and on, but the bottom line is that CMS has done a very, very poor job of holding the AOs accountable for having a standard process, and has not provided even a mimimum of oversight of the AOs.

    One other thing I should mention — the experienced accrediting bodies (ACHC, CHAP, and Joint Commission) did a good job during this process. Their surveyors are well trained, with few exceptions, very professional, and they did get their surveys done on time for folks that applied by the suggested deadline. We have not seen more than a trickle of problems with our clients that choose the experienced AOs. Just a heads up for next time.


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