New payment rules for home delivery of diabetic testing equipment begin July 1
If a person has had their diabetic testing supplies delivered by a local home medical supplier in the past, they need to know the rules are changing around purchasing and paying for diabetic testing supplies.
As of July 1, 2013, if diabetic supplies are delivered to the beneficiary’s home by any method they would not be included as part of the covered benefit under the Medicare program, unless they are being delivered by one of the National Mail Order Program Contract Suppliers.
So beneficiaries have two options: They can either have their testing supplies delivered by one of the “contract” suppliers (there are 23 companies that will provide supplies by mail order delivery) or they or their caregiver can physically pick up the testing supplies at any local pharmacy, store or supplier that is enrolled with Medicare.
If the local pharmacy does any type of home delivery (driver, van, mail), that does mean “delivered to their home by any method” and would not qualify as a covered benefit under the Medicare program.
So, if the beneficiary chooses to go that route and they still want to get their testing supplies from the local pharmacy delivered to their home, that pharmacy should then be providing the beneficiary with an ABN (Advanced Beneficiary Notice) letting them know that Medicare will not pay for this service and they will be responsible for the payment in full themselves and the claims would not be paid under the Medicare program.
Once again: Starting on July 1, diabetic supplies being delivered to the home by car, truck, mail, etc. will not be covered under Medicare unless delivered by mail by one of 23 national mail order suppliers.
We need to assist people in understanding these two important options they have and make plans now for these changes that will begin July 1.
To find the suppliers go to http://www.Medicare.gov/supplier or call 1-800-MEDICARE at 1-800-633-4227 to find a contract supplier.
Judith Bendersky, MPH Gerontologist, manages the Alaska Medicare Information Office in Anchorage.
Note: The State of Alaska Dept. of Health and Social Services issued a press statement with information on this topic at http://dhss.alaska.gov/News/Documents/press/2013/MedicareMailDeliveryDiabeticSuppliesPR_061413.pdf