Medicare Competitive Bidding AnnouncemeNT

All Medicare Round 2021 Durable Medical Equipment, Prosthetics, Orthotics, & Supplies (DMEPOS) Competitive Bidding Program (CBP) Contracts for Off-the-Shelf (OTS) back braces and OTS knee braces expire on December 31, 2023. Starting January 1, 2024, there will be a temporary gap in the DMEPOS CBP.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services plans to conduct bidding for the next round of the DMEPOS CBP after going through notice and comment rulemaking to further strengthen the DMEPOS CBP.

For additional information on the gap period, please see the Temporary Gap Period (PDF) fact sheet and continue to monitor the and Competitive Bidding Implementation Contractor (CBIC) websites for updates.

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CMS Competitive Bidding

durable medical equipment, prosthetics,orthotics and supplies (dmepos) order requirements

On January 17, 2023, a second Federal Register Notice was published that announced 10 additional orthoses that will require a face-to-face encounter and written order prior to delivery as a condition of payment. Therefore, effective April 17, 2023, a total of 63 items are now on the face-to-face encounter and written order prior to delivery List.

Standardized DMEPOS Written Order/Prescription

Any Medicare provider or supplier that writes DMEPOS orders or prescriptions will now use a standard set of elements that will be applicable to all DMEPOS items.

  • Beneficiary name or Medicare Beneficiary Identifier (MBI) Number
  • Description of the item
  • Quantity, if applicable
  • Treating practitioner name or National Provider Identifier (NPI)
  • Date of the order
  • Treating practitioner signature

The treating practitioner must submit the complete written order to the supplier prior to submitting a claim for Medicare payment.

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Knee Orthoses Documentation of Knee Instability Reminder

CGS wants to remind suppliers and providers that knee orthosis coverage for codes L1832, L1833, L1843, L1844, L1845, L1846, L1851, and L1852 requires 1 of 2 pathways to meet coverage criteria:

Recent injury or surgical procedure or ambulatory with knee instability:

  • The treating practitioner is responsible for understanding the appropriate treatment/testing necessary based on the beneficiary’s clinical presentation.
  • Medical records must include documentation of the examination of the beneficiary and an objective description of joint laxity.
    • Includes testing of the beneficiary (such as varus/valgus instability, anterior/posterior Drawer test, not all inclusive)
    • The objective test needs to show that the test resulted in an instability of the knee
  • Note: The instability of the knee joint is a result of insufficiencies in the ligaments of the knee complex. A result of instability is a separate finding from other deficits found on exam, such as a malalignment or meniscus conditions.  A subjective statement of instability or an X-Ray report would not be sufficient documentation to support the findings of knee instability.

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Providing Orthoses Prior to Surgery – Reminder

CGS wants to remind suppliers and providers that orthotic devices are not covered if they do not meet the coverage criteria outlined in the Local Coverage Determinations (LCDs) for the HCPCS code prescribed at the time of service.

Devices provided prior to the start of medical necessity (for example, before the surgery), will not meet the coverage criteria. After surgery, if there is documentation of the medical necessity for the orthotic device(s), you can provide the item, keeping in mind there are many other payment rules related to the claim.

For orthotic devices that require Prior Authorization (PA) (L0648, L0450, L1832, L1833, and L1851), do not submit PA requests prior to the start of medical necessity (for example, before the surgery). After surgery, if the medical record documentation shows an emergent need for the device(s), you can submit an expedited request. If an expedited request is not feasible, append the ST modifier to the claim to bypass PA. Claims submitted with the ST modifier are subject to 100% prepayment review.

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