Don’t let a natural disaster interrupt your patients’ oxygen supply

How prepared are you and your staff for an emergency? Do you have a solid plan for your patients?

Anything that impacts service for your patients should be addressed in your plan

ACHC corporate surveyor Cynthia Gray breaks it down: What to do when nature wreaks havoc on the supply line for oxygen-dependent patients (as recently published in the August edition of AARC Times)

By Cynthia Gray, BS, RRT-RPFT

Cindy Gray

“Providing oxygen tanks for a short amount of time is reasonable. Most home medical equipment companies provide the patient with three times the maximum response time. When a power outage is extended to days, weeks, or even months, alternative plans must be initiated. RTs can be a key resource for patients if that should occur. Patients and their caregivers can plan ahead and be prepared for alternative living arrangements if an extended outage is a possibility.

… In an emergency, a documented plan is easier to follow than trying to remember what was discussed.

… RTs have a great opportunity to help patients understand that early action is imperative. If your institution is alerted about an impending disaster, act early.”


Are You Asking the Right Questions About the Cost of DME Accreditation?

“Many companies regret not doing more comparison shopping when choosing their accreditor. Sometimes the cheapest selection ends up costing more in terms of service, additional fees, or resource burdens for the provider,” says Tim Safley, ACHC’s Director of DMEPOS, Pharmacy, and Sleep.

Providers may think they are locked into their current accreditation organization, or that there is little difference among accreditors. “In fact, there is much to be gained by looking closely at how accreditation organizations stack up in terms of understanding an organization, their approach to the survey, the quality of their Surveyors, educational support, reputation within the industry, as well as price and pricing options,” Safley says.

Costs can vary significantly among accreditation organizations. In determining the complete cost of your three-year accreditation, make sure you understand how the AO structures fees by asking the right questions and demanding transparency.

      • Is the accreditation cost a flat rate or based on the size of your organization?
      • Is the accreditation cost a one-time charge at the beginning of the cycle or are there additional annual fees?
      • Are Surveyor travel expenses included?
      • What are the charges if a resurvey is required?
      • Is there a charge for standards initially?
      • Is there a charge when standards are updated?
      • Does the AO offer payment options to help better manage cash flow?

To avoid surprises, make sure all fees are disclosed and detailed in the agreement you establish and consult with your company’s legal counsel if you have concerns.

At ACHC, our pricing is all-inclusive, so you know exactly what you are paying for up front. This price covers your survey as well as all three years of your accreditation. In addition, payment options are available. While there is a $199 charge to obtain standards initially, a $100 discount is applied towards accreditation if your organization contracts with ACHC. There is never a charge when standards are updated. ACHC also allows for additional discounts on accreditation if you are a member of an ACHC partner organization, or attend an ACHC workshop. For further information, contact us at 855-937-2242.

Is Your DMEPOS Application Addendum Filled Out Correctly?






One of the most critical aspects of the ACHC application process that DMEPOS providers must complete is the DMEPOS Accreditation Application Addendum.  The DMEPOS Accreditation Application Addendum is a checklist that the customer must complete to show the equipment and supplies that they are currently billing to Medicare Part B.  It is imperative that the DMEPOS Accreditation Application Addendum matches page 9 of the current 855S enrollment application for each Provider Transaction Access Number (PTAN) or Medicare Provider Number.

During the on-site survey, our Surveyors use the completed DMEPOS Accreditation Application Addendum to determine if that the specific location has appropriate inventory and is equipped to provide each product code to patients in a timely manner.   For organizations with multiple locations/PTANs, each location should have its own unique DMEPOS Accreditation Application Addendum even if the equipment and supplies provided is the same.

Before the ACHC survey is completed, the surveyor will sit down with a representative from the organization to review the DMEPOS Accreditation Application Addendum and ensure that the correct product codes have been selected.  The ACHC surveyor and representative will sign and date the form acknowledging the codes that will be reported to Medicare.  When the organization’s Accreditation Advisor issues the approval, they will include a copy of the signed DMEPOS Accreditation Application Addendum with the documentation.

ACHC strongly encourages all of our customers to carefully review their DMEPOS Accreditation Application Addendums when submitting their application and also while on-site with their ACHC Surveyor. Renewing ACHC customers should complete a new DMEPOS Accreditation Application Addendum for each three-year accreditation cycle.

To verify the product codes that you are currently accredited for, please log into your Customer Central account. If you have any other questions or need any assistance in completing a DMEPOS Accreditation Application Addendum, please contact your organization’s Accreditation Advisor at 855-YES-ACHC (937-2242).

Home Health | Hospice | DMEPOS | Private Duty
Pharmacy | Sleep  | Behavioral Health

Line Divider 500px


About the Author:

matthew_hughesMatt Hughes is the Director of Business Development & Customer Service. His primary functions are working with current corporate customers along with identifying new opportunities to help grow ACHC.  He works closely with state associations and other member organizations throughout the country.

Survey The Expert Podcast: Episode 4 “Becoming Accredited”

Album cover for Survey The Expert: ACHC[iOS users]


In today’s Survey The Expert podcast, we’ll be joined by Lisa Feierstein, VP of Sales for Active Health.  She will discuss the process her organization went through to become accredited with ACHC, and give some tips on how to make accreditation easier for you.

Lisa Says:
• Accreditation takes time and energy, but
• Will help grow your business, and
• ACHC Surveyors are helpful and encouraging

Home Health I Hospice I DMEPOS I Private Duty I Pharmacy I Sleep Behavioral Health

Competitive Bidding: Survival Steps If You Are Not a Successful Round 2 Bidder

Survival Steps If You Are Not a Successful Round 2 Bidder

For the HME supplier who is not awarded a competitive bid contract, the supplier can no longer bill Medicare in its CBA for products covered by competitive bidding. There is no good way to paint such a scenario in a positive light. The following are steps that a HME supplier can take if it is not awarded a competitive bid contract.

Continue as a Grandfathered Supplier

There will be a “grandfathering” process for oxygen equipment and supplies; inexpensive or routinely-purchased items furnished on a rental basis; items requiring frequent and substantial servicing; and capped rental items furnished on a rental basis. Only HME suppliers that began furnishing these grandfathered items prior to implementation of competitive bidding may be eligible to participate as a grandfathered supplier. If a HME supplier chooses to be a grandfathered supplier, then it must do so for all beneficiaries who request the services. For items requiring frequent and substantial servicing and oxygen equipment, the grandfathered supplier will be paid the bid payment amount. For capped rental items and inexpensive or routinely-purchased items, the grandfathered supplier will be paid the lower of the actual charge or rental fee schedule amount.

Expanding Into Geographical Areas Outside CBAs

A DME supplier can open up one or more locations outside a CBA and concentrate on servicing customers in the outlying areas.


Opportunities will avail themselves to work with CBA bid winners. Develop relationships with bidding organizations and position your organization to work with bid winners. Have your subcontracting contracts reviewed by a healthcare attorney. There are many potential pitfalls in subcontract agreements.

Products and Services Not Included in Competitive Bidding

Suppliers should focus efforts to sell products not covered in the competitive bidding program’s product categories. Look for opportunities to sell health products outside of your traditional product offerings.

Cash Sales

One of the fall outs of healthcare reform will be the increased complexity for a Medicare beneficiary to obtain medical equipment. With difficult coverage requirements many clients will be forced to purchase products and services on their own as coverage through Medicare will be more challenging.


The hospice benefit paid to the hospice facility includes the equipment and products used to service the beneficiary. Hospices may purchase or rent this equipment directly from DME suppliers.

Long Term Care Facilities/ACLF’s

Some residents in long term care facilities may receive HME reimbursed by Medicare Part B as if those patients were residents in their own homes. For those long term care facilities that are not paid a per diem rate for the patient’s care HME suppliers may either bill Medicare directly for provision of the equipment or in some cases facilities may choose to contract with the DME supplier.

VA Hospitals and Facilities

The VA is a large purchaser of HME and routinely sends out requests for proposals asking that HME suppliers submit a bid to different VA regions or facilities that service patients. The VA purchases a majority of its requirements for direct delivery through its local Acquisition and Material Management office. Contact each facility for inclusion in its procurement process. Find a facility near you here:


TRICARE is the health care program for uniformed service members, their families, and survivors. TRICARE is another large purchaser of HME which offers both contract and non-contract opportunities for suppliers. TRICARE uses military treatment facilities as the main delivery system and augments direct care with a network of civilian providers and facilities. The program is available worldwide and managed regionally in six separate TRICARE regions.

Workers Compensation

There are workers compensation programs at both the federal and state levels. These insurance programs are another source of business for HME providers. Each of these programs has its own system for enrolling providers.

Resort/Hotels and Travel Clients

Many large resort hotels have begun providing wheelchairs, scooters, and other medical equipment to their guests as a way of making the guests feel more at home. HME suppliers that are located in markets with large hotels and casinos should contact the hotels directly to determine if there is a contracting process and how suppliers may participate. Large travel agencies that focus on foreigners traveling to the USA are another good source of referrals. 919.785-1214.