If you manufacture or sell durable medical equipment and bill medicare for that equipment, you may be required to carry a Durable Medical Equipment (DME) Bond as part of your business and the Federal government is making the enforcement of this requirement a priority for all of its vendors. Your company can get into serious trouble if you do not have the right coverage, or if you fail to maintain enough coverage in your DME bond. These DME bonds protect the government from fraudulent medicare claims and help keep medical supply companies honest. In order to decide whether you need a DME bond and how much that bond should cover there are some things to consider.
Why a DME bond is required?
It is required of anyone who bills medicare directly for the durable medical supplies that they provide to citizens. Durable medical supplies are any piece of equipment that is designed to be used over and over, either in the patient's home or an institution in which the patient may be living. This list includes, but is not limited to: wheelchairs, blood glucose monitors, catheters and others. In addition, if your company provides services to patients and you bill Medicare directly, even though you do not sell durable medical supplies, you are still required to carry a DME or a DEMPOS bond.
How much coverage do you need?
Depending on the number of independent sites that you operate, you will have to carry a bond of at least $50,000 a site. The more sites you have, the more your bond will need to cover and the cost of carrying the bond can increase dramatically as the size of the bond increases. Bond issuers check the personal credit history of the person applying for the bond, so if your credit is not very good, expect to pay a premium price for the bond.
Where should you begin?
Now that you know that you need to carry a DME bond, it is easy to begin the bond application process. All you will need to do is file a bond application with one of the bond issuing companies and send in the application fee. Once the application has been processed and a decision has been made about the bond premiums that you will be charged, the bond company will contact you with an offer for coverage and the price of the initial premium. If you decide to accept the offer, the bond company will send you the original copy of the bond so you can sign it and send it back, along with payment of the bond premium. When all of those steps have been accomplished, you will be in compliance with Federal laws regarding DME bonds. Remember that your bond will need to be renewed every year, and the bond company will contact you with information on bond renewal.
The Federal government is making an effort to keep medical supply companies from defrauding the public and increasing costs to medicare. The DME bond helps to eliminate the overbilling of medicare and acts as a deterrent for unscrupulous medical supply companies.
An article published on behalf of Mr. Bill Dimmerson. His personal statement is the following: “Hello, my name is Bill Dimmerson. I wrote this article to help others know what to do if they manufacture or sell durable medical equipment. I had to get DME Bonds to be able to sell medical equipment. I hope this helps anyone dealing with this same issue.”