Qualifications for Artificial Limb Suppliers, After Only 16 Years

Bill Clinton was President when Congress enacted a law requiring CMS to come up with qualifications for those who make or supply artificial limbs to Medicare patients.  It was January 11, 2017, when CMS finally unveiled the proposed qualifications.  And, having taken over 16 years to produce the proposal, CMS has granted the public 60 days to comment on it.

Actually, the proposal covers not only artificial limbs, but all “prosthetics” and “custom-fabricated orthotics”– terms that also include leg, arm, back, and neck braces, as well as eyes.  The proposal sets out licensure, certification, and accreditation requirements to be met by practitioners and suppliers serving Medicare patients.

Two of the proposal’s more noteworthy provisions are removal of the exemption from DMEPOS (i.e., durable medical equipment orthotics, and supplies) accreditation requirements currently enjoyed by physicians and other licensed professionals and imposition of a requirement of board certification in prosthetics and orthotics.

The 58-page proposal, titled “Medicare Program; Establishment of Special Payment Provisions and Requirements for Qualified Practitioners and Qualified Suppliers of Prosthetics and Custom-Fabricated Orthotics,” is RIN 0938-AR84.  The deadline for comments is 5 p.m. March 13.

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