How important is DME Accreditation to independent pharmacy owners?
It’s hard to believe, but it’s already time for renew your DME Accreditation. It may seem a bit early, but per CMS, your Accrediting Organization needs your application around six months prior to your expiration date to ensure you can be surveyed prior to the expiration of your current accreditation.
You may be asking yourself, should I stay accredited?
The answer is –
Why? Well, there are three interrelated factors to consider.
Let’s go over them now:
No matter how long you have owned your pharmacy and how successful you have been, you know what is going on in the industry – drug reimbursements are going down. In most cases this is not true for DME, they continue to have a higher profit rate than drugs.
Another item I am sure you are becoming more keenly aware of lately is the number of Medicare audits that are occurring across the country, clawing back billions of dollars annually from providers and suppliers. These audits are made easier when your pharmacy is accredited. And Accreditation provides you with a solid intake process that will help you and your employees better understand and comply with the Medicare Documentation Requirements and the Supplier standards.
Pharmacists have been one of the top respected professions for decades. This puts us in a unique position to care for our patients across the health spectrum, from drugs, DME and even education.
One of the areas that pharmacies have not taken advantage of in the past when it comes to DME, is the potential for cash and add-on opportunities to increase the patients quality of life, especially with your basic Mobility patients (including walker, canes, crutches and wheelchair patients). In many cases, these patients or their caregivers do not know what kind of items are available to them to make their lives simpler and more importantly safer.
No one is sure what will happen in the future, the exemption could go away.
But what we do know, several insurers, both private and state funded, have been in the process of requiring accreditation for DME.
Some of the insurers doing this recently have been:
- Security Blue (Pennsylvania)
- Maryland Medicaid
- two New Jersey Medicaid HMOs.
This will begin happening more and more, and we could see even our diabetic patients being pulled from us to get their testing supplies from an accredited pharmacy. Will they take their prescriptions with them?