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Transfering Service to a Contracted Supplier

Transfering Service to a Contracted Supplier

Do I need to change suppliers?
If you live in a Medicare Competitive Bidding area and currently use medical equipment there is a chance you may need to change providers. This article outlines when that may occur as well as answers several frequently asked questions on the topic.

Is your existing supplier a "contracted" supplier?
First, contact your supplier and determine if they are contracted with Medicare to supply the item you are using. If they are contracted you do not need to do anything.

If they are not contracted
If your existing supplier is not contracted, then you will need to ask if they are "grandfathering" your equipment. Grandfathering means that even though your supplier is not contracted with Medicare under the competitive bidding program, they may continue to service your equipment as long as you began service prior to January 1, 2011.

If your supplier has chosen to NOT grandfather your equipment, you will need to transfer to a contracted provider for service. If this applies to you, use our online directory to find a supplier who is contracted for the products you need.

Do I need a new prescription?
If you are switching to a contracted supplier under the Medicare Competitive Bidding program your patient records should be transferred from the prior company.  In the event that your medical records are not transferred in a timely manner you can expect that the contracted supplier will make contact with your physician to resolve any necessary prescriptions or paperwork. In some instances your assistance might be necessary in contacting your physician.

What happens if I use a non contracted supplier?
After January 1, 2011 if you receive equipment from a non-contracted supplier, Medicare will not pay for it.
How long will it take to switch to a new provider?
The process should be relatively quick. Most providers will be able to accommodate you within 24 – 48 hours. However, you must understand how the "date of service" impacts delivery time. See the date of service response below.

Understanding Date of Service and Medicare Competitive Bidding
Your "date of service" is usually the day of the month that you received your equipment. For rental equipment this date works like a monthly anniversary. On that date, Medicare pays a rental fee that is good for one month.

In December 2010 your existing supplier will bill for their service. This billing will be for 30 days, and will carry over into January, 2011 – when the Medicare Competitive Bidding program begins.

If you are switching to a contracted supplier, they will deliver your equipment around this date of service and will begin billing on it.

You received a hospital bed on 7/15/2010. The provider would bill a rental fee to Medicare every month on the 15th which pays for 30 days. On December 15, 2010 this fee will be billed, but the 30 day period it is paying for will carry over into the Medicare Competitive Bidding program.

Since Medicare has paid for a month of service, your new provider cannot begin billing for their equipment until January 15, 2011. Therefore, if you are transferring to a contracted provider you can expect that your new equipment will be delivered on or before this date of service.


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