Industry and NSCAC Q&A Regarding Supplier Standards During COVID-19
See Q & A below to the National Supplier Clearinghouse (NSC) regarding challenges related to the supplier standards and NSC site visits. Additional questions are being developed as well, specifically whether NSC site inspections have or will be suspended? And the ability to route landline phone #s to cell phones for flexibility as more people work from home or alternate location?
Question from Paula Koenig, NSCAC Chair: The COVID-19 situation continues to worsen, and there have been a lot of new public safety and social distance requests from the Federal as well as State and Local governments.Compliance with many of these requests puts DME Suppliers in conflict with the Supplier Standards for having our doors open to the public. CMS issued some information on relaxation of some provider enrollment requirements in response to this crisis, but we have not yet seen anything specific to DME Suppliers. Do you know when we can expect to see any update on the requirement that we keep our doors open during our reported and posted usual business hours? We urgently need a response - and need flexibility to be able to ensure the safety of our customers (many of whom are high-risk) and our employees.
Response from the NSC: We are awaiting official guidance from CMS. Until then, If a supplier determines that they must reduce their hours or close the physical office they should post a sign and indicate a phone number where someone can be contacted if beneficiaries need assistance.
More information is forthcoming from this Council as well as the American Association for Homecare who is working quickly with CMS to obtain relief and guidance on these matters.