DMEPOS Surety Bonds Now Required for Dentists
As of 2019, any dentist service enrolled under a Medicare DME or working with durable medical equipment, prosthetics, orthotics and supplies (DMEPOS) providers has to meet new requirements. Previously, dentists were exempt from having to satisfy criteria as a DMEPOS supplier, but the new rule was introduced in November 2018.
In February 2019, the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) sent out notifications that DMEPOS accreditation for dentists is now required and that any professionals who still haven’t complied with the new rule need to do so within a fixed timeframe. As a part of the process, dentists who provide durable medical equipment (DME) and are a part of a CMS billing program have to provide DMEPOS surety bonds.
Below are the most important details that dentists and dental suppliers in the U.S. should keep in mind about the new legislative requirements.
The changing landscape for dentists
The CMS aims to unify the rules in relation to DMEPOS accreditation and is now bringing dentists under the same accreditation requirements as dental suppliers. Dentists have to obtain accreditation by one of the nine independent accreditation organization which are approved by the CMS.
This leads to a significant change for dental practitioners providing DME and participating in a CMS program. The new rules are a response to the growing number of dentists that employ DMEPOS suppliers.
There are still some exemptions to the accreditation requirement, which include:
- If you have already obtained a similar surety bond, you are exempt as a government-operated DMEPOS supplier;
- Indian health facilities which are not completely operated by a tribe are also exempt;
- Private practice personnel with state licensing who produce custom-made orthotics and prosthetics are exempt as well (should be solely-owned and selling only such supplies).
Among the main criteria for accreditation is providing to the CMS a $50,000 surety bond. It is a security instrument that guarantees accredited professionals will act in accordance with the Center’s rules and will not transgress from the law. The purpose of the bonding requirement is to ensure that dental professionals will adhere to the highest standards in dealing with DMEPOS financing. It ensures that payment claims to Medicare for DMEPOS equipment are legitimate.
Dentists have to comply with the surety bond requirement within 60 days of receiving a notification from the CMS. Otherwise, they jeopardize their accreditation. The lack of a surety bond will lead to a revocation of their Medicare Provider Transaction Access Number (PTAN). It will also mean that you would not be able to use DMEPOS suppliers since they have to check whether you’re accredited before they can work with you. The repercussions of non-compliance can also be financial fines in certain cases.
Obtaining DMEPOS surety bonds for dentists
Complying with the new DMEPOS accreditation for dentists is essential for continuing operations as a provider of durable medical equipment. That’s why dental professionals who are not bonded yet need to orient themselves in the new framework of requirements. The $50,000 DMEPOS surety bond is among the most important ones.
In order to get bonded, you would not need to provide the whole bonding amount. Instead, you will need to pay only a small percentage of it, referred to as the bond premium. It is determined on the basis of the strength of your personal and business finances. Applicants with a stable financial profile usually get bonded by covering 1% to 5% of the bond amount.
Need more information on how to be compliant with the new DMEPOS regulations and get bonded? Don’t hesitate to get in touch with our bonding experts at 877.514.5146.