Safeguards fail to prevent fraud among some durable medical equipment suppliers, GAO finds

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Safeguards fail to prevent fraud among some durable medical equipment suppliers, GAO finds
Safeguards fail to prevent fraud among some durable medical equipment suppliers, GAO finds
Some durable medical equipment, prosthetic, and orthotics suppliers (DMEPOS) are abusing the Medicare system, despite fraud-prevention safeguards, according to a new report from the Government Accountability Office.

In its investigation, GAO investigators created two false suppliers in Virginia and Maryland, the Bureau of National Affairs reported. The fake vendors were approved to bill Medicare, even though neither met all of the 25 supplier standards required of DMEPOS companies. Nursing homes deal regularly with DMEPOS suppliers and some facilities even have established their own supplier businesses.

Responding to the GAO report findings, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services acknowledged there are gaps in oversight and that more actions needs to be taken to protect the Medicare program from fraudulent DME suppliers, BNA said in a news story. CMS is requiring that by September 2009 all DME suppliers be accredited and submit verification of their accreditation to the National Supplier Clearinghouse, the contractor responsible for verifying that potential suppliers meet federal standards.

For more on the report, go to http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d08955.pdf.
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