The Alliance of Wound Care Stakeholders is pleased to alert you that CMS’ Durable Medical Equipment Medicare Administrative Contractors (DMEMACs) recently updated a key Surgical Dressings policy. CMS will now allow “Alginate and/or other Fiber Gelling Dressings” to be covered (and paid for) as both primary and secondary dressings for Medicare patients. This change was made on October 15, 2020 in the published Policy Article update (A54563) to “Local Coverage Article: Surgical Dressings.”


The impact: Prior to this month’s policy update, alginate and other fiber gelling dressings could only be billed under Medicare as primary dressings, limiting healthcare providers’ discretion and choices in properly treating their wound patients.


This update is a direct result of the Alliance’s advocacy in partnership with WOCN, months of conversations, and negotiations with the DMEMAC medical directors as well as our submission of specific policy language for inclusion. This is a terrific illustration of how stakeholder voices joined together through the Alliance can change regulations and protect access to products and services for people with wounds and practitioners who treat them. WOCN is an active member of the Alliance and was a key collaborator in this advocacy win.


Click here to read a brief “advocacy update” news release summarizing the policy change.