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General Industry News

A new publication began crossing my desk several months ago and I wanted to pass it along. The magazine is called

LER- Lower Extremity Review

and it is an excellent source of information regarding various lower extremity pathologies and injuries with a good deal of focus on sports medicine. I highly recommend this magazine if you have not had the opportunity to read it. Simply click on a link below to take you directly to their subscription site, view archives or you can contact their office at 518-452-6898.

 

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View Archive Issues
LER Archive Issues

 

Regulatory Information and Alerts

PECOS- Provider Enrollment, Chain and Ownership System

Update for January 2011: Currently CMS has indefinitely postponed the implementation of their PECOS (Provider Enrolment Chain of Ownership System) denial process. CMS has released their provider enrolment data base so that you can check to see whether a particular physician is currently enrolled with PECOS, but there is still no word on when CMS will begin denying claims related to prescriptions written by unregistered physicians.

Though the eventual implementation will inevitably cause some problems, the continued delay by CMS has created some amount of embarrassment and in some cases a strained relationship between the O&P providers and their referring physicians. CMS’s poor communication and their reliance on service providers to make their referring physicians aware of the impending PECOS regulations has painted us as de facto enforcement agents running around screaming the sky is falling. This has given our referring physicians an understandably negative opinion about the validity of our information.

Review Your Compliance with Medicare’s DMEPOS Standards

As Medicare approved providers we must be careful to comply with Medicare’s DMEPOS Supplier Standards. Generally speaking, most of the 26 current standards are clear cut and the provider is solely responsible to CMS for compliance. However, 2 of the standards bring a third party into the equation. I’m referring to Standards #19 and #20 which involve interaction with and reporting by the recipients of our services.

Operating with minimal staff and resources, most regulatory agencies tend to react only to complaints so it is understandable that CMS seems to be particularly sensitive to these two standards. Our Medicare patients are in essence Medicare’s customers so the complaint process is one of the ways that Medicare can monitor its delivery system. 

Hopefully, we all try to do the best that we can to provide our patients with the best care that we can. But whether we make an oversight or it happens to be a patient that no one could do enough for sooner or later, odds are, you’ll receive a complaint. How you handle that complaint will certainly have an impact on your relationship with that patient and possibly their referring physician, but it may also affect your relationship with CMS.

For these reasons, it is imperative that you have a complaint resolution protocol in place and that you record as many details as possible of the interaction that resulted in the patient’s complaint. If Medicare performs an audit or requests an explanation of the complaint and you are innocent, you want to be prepared to present your best defense and that requires accurate detailed reporting.

 

Education & Events

As those ominous recertification dates approach we always seem to be frantically searching for ways that practitioners can fulfill their CEU requirements. You can always pick up CEUs in volume at the annual convention but two sources of CEUs that you don’t have to leave town for are the Academy and our manufacturers and suppliers. I welcome any others that members know about. Please send me the info and I’ll add it to the list here.

American Academy of Orthotists & Prosthetists

Journal of Prosthetics and Orthotics, each monthly issue of the Journal contains a relatively brief article and includes a self-assessment examination. Simply read the article, take the exam scoring 75% or better, mail it to the Academy and receive 2 CEUs. It doesn’t get much easier and a diligent practitioner could basically fulfill their requirements using only these monthly courses.                                                    

Paul E. Leimkuehler Online Learning Center, found on the Academy’s website at www.oandp.org, the Leimkuehler Learning Center offers a wealth of continuing education opportunities from several sources including the Academy’s  quarterly The Academy Today, annual meetings, conference findings and supplier courses. Course values range from .5 to over 30 CEUs. If you’re feeling the crunch this is the place to go.

Manufactures & Suppliers

In-Service Courses, obviously all providers are aware of the many courses available through
the education departments of the prosthetic and orthotic manufacturers and suppliers we source our
devices and components from. These can be pre-scheduled throughout the year helping
to stay ahead on units.

Online Training, many of these same manufacturers and suppliers offer a selection of courses through their
Internet sites. These courses vary in CEUs but generally range between .5 and 3 CEUs.

Events

We have nothing to report as of yet concerning an annual association conference but give us time, we will have one. Considering our age and the more pressing matters which gave rise to the need for an association in the first place, I would hope to have some level of annual convention by our third year. We will of course still hold annual membership meetings and board meetings in the meantime but it will be exciting to finally hold our own Virginia association convention.