Senate to Vote 4/15/15 on DME Physician Signature Requirement - Contact your Senator Today!
Tuesday, April 14, 2015
Posted by: Becky Dryden
Don't miss your chance to have the physician signature requirement for ordering durable medical equipment (DME) permanently removed. The vote is tomorrow, 4/15/15, so we urge you to please contact your member of the Senate and ask that they support H.R. 2, the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015. The House has already passed this legislation and it now awaits a vote in the Senate, if the Senate passes this legislation the MD sign off requirement for DME will be repealed. Contact your member of the Senate here!
As you are undoubtedly aware the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has altered how nurses can order DME products for their patients. A provision of the ACA requires a physician to document that the physician, PA, NP or CNS has had a face-to-face encounter examination with a beneficiary in the six months prior to the written order for certain items of DME. The face-to-face encounter conducted by the physician, PA, NP, or CNS must document that the beneficiary was evaluated and/or treated for a condition that supports the item(s) of DME ordered. In the case of a DME ordered by a PA, NP, or CNS, a physician (MD or DO) must document the occurrence of a face-to-face encounter by signing/co-signing and dating the pertinent portion of the medical record. Failure to meet any of the requirements will result in denial of the claim. The nursing community, including the WOCN Society, has been opposed to the implementation of this provision over concerns that the M.D. oversight requirement is unnecessary and will reduce patient access to DME products. Since 1997, both NPs and CNS' have been authorized by CMS to order DME. Ordering DME for patients is clearly an activity that is within the scope of practice of APRNs. This burden would inhibit a patient's ability to receive timely and quality care, especially in parts of the country that are already designated as a health professional shortage area.
The nursing community has been pushing Congress to eliminate this provision and H.R. 2 is our opportunity to get it done. Please contact your member of the Senate today and ask that they support H.R. 2.
The WOCN Society National Office