Time to Renew
It’s time for three-fourths of accredited providers to renew accreditation. A majority of these providers were accredited for the first time in 2009, and now their triennial accreditation expires. For many of these providers, much has occurred throughout the last three years. And some may not have kept their accreditor informed of changes.
Change of Ownership
If your business has changed ownership or is sold, providers must notify the National Supplier Clearinghouse (NSC) and accreditation agencies immediately.
Accreditation does not transfer with a change of ownership, and a supplier must notify their accreditor immediately when these types of changes occur. Accreditors communicate with Medicare weekly, and must inform that agency of any changes in a timely manner.
When the purchaser of the business is an accredited provider, the purchaser’s accreditation includes the new location. If the purchaser is not accredited, he must notify the accreditor immediately to make arrangements to receive accreditation so an application for a new supplier number can be filed.
Since March 2007, providers have been prohibited from filing an application for a supplier number without first being accredited.
When a purchase occurs, the purchaser needs to contact the accreditor well before the sale and ensure that all requirements are met immediately for an unannounced site visit.
When providers add product lines, they must contact accreditors to see if they must complete additional standards. Additionally, the list of accredited items that is on file with the NSC must match the list provided by the accreditor. This is necessary for a provider’s claims for each item to be paid.
Generally, adding therapeutic shoes or breast prostheses requires completion of additional standards with accreditors, but often the suppliers of these items do not inform providers that there may be additional requirements to complete for accreditation.
Accreditors provide a comprehensive list for providers to complete at the time of application/survey. Check off items that you are getting accredited to provide, and the list goes on file with the accreditor. In turn, the accreditor provides the list to the NSC. Therefore, your claims are paid for items on the list. When items are billed that are not on this list, your claims do not get paid.
A good time to update and add items to your product line is when you are renewing accreditation. Check with your accreditor before adding new items.
If the supplier adds or changes locations, this information must be on file immediately with both your accreditor and the NSC.
The NSC does not permit the post office to forward mail to you at a new address. Your mail is addressed to the location you have on file through your 855-S or PECOS registration.
If you move and your mail is no longer deliverable to that address, the post office must return it to the NSC, which may quickly inactivate your supplier number. To prevent this type of crisis, ensure that you always have address updates ready to send with the effective date (at least two weeks in advance) to your accreditor and to the NSC before any move.
If you add a location, you must also provide this information to both the NSC and your accreditor. You must be accredited in every location from which you provide items to Medicare beneficiaries.
The same goes with the contact information your accreditor has on file, such as the name, phone number and e-mail address of the person communicating with the accreditor. This might be the owner, but often it is an employee responsible for obtaining and maintaining accreditation. If the representative for your organization leaves your employment, make sure you update your accreditor of the name and contact information for the new staff member responsible. Keep lines of communication open.