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San Francisco Marin Medical Society Blog

CMS Warns of Fraudulent DME Suppliers

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) sent a letter this week to physicians asking them to pay attention to solicitations they receive from durable medical equipment (DME) suppliers and report any suspicious activity to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Office of the Inspector General (OIG).

According to CMS, most fraudulent solicitations are obvious in their wording or their attempts to get physicians to approve unnecessary medical equipment and supplies.

These marketing schemes by DME suppliers can include:

  • Unsolicited orders for medical equipment or supplies, often with wording such as “We received a call from your patient Jane Doe who wants you to order…” and then lists multiple items on a pre-printed order
  • Advertisements that Medicare will provide you with payment for patient referrals
  • Pre-completed medical necessity forms with instructions to just “Sign and Date Here”

Physicians are urged to:

  • Pay careful attention to orders that cross your desk asking for your signature. Review the patient’s medical record before signing an order.
  • View with a skeptical eye unsolicited orders for patients no longer in your practice or whom you have not seen in a long period of time.
  • Document in your patient’s medical record the medical justification for any DME ordered for your patient. You also may want to keep a record of the DME you’ve ordered for your patient, similar to (or part of) your patient’s medication list.

Suspected abuse may be reported to the OIG at, (800) 447-8477 or via fax at (800) 223-2164.

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