The HHS Office of Inspector General (OIG) inspected durable medical equipment, prosthetics, orthotics and supplies (DMEPOS) providers in South Florida in late 2006 and found nearly half were not in compliance with certain Medicare standards.
OIG worked with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the National Supplier Clearinghouse (NSC) to conduct unannounced visits at 1,581 DMEPOS suppliers in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties.
The inspections focused on three supplier standards that could be quickly verified. These standards include five requirements:
The supplier must maintain a physical facility;
The facility must be accessible during business hours;
The facility must have a visible sign;
The supplier's hours of operation must be posted; and
The supplier must maintain a primary business telephone number listed under the name of the business.
According to data from the NSC, which the CMS contracts with to manage supplier enrollment, Florida had the most allegations nationwide of supplier noncompliance with Medicare standards during the last two quarters of 2005.
The OIG report can be viewed at: oig.hhs.gov/oei/reports/oei-03-07-00150.pdf ( http://oig.hhs.gov/oei/reports/oei-03-07-00150.pdf ).
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