Today CMS published a notice updating the Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System (HCPCS) codes on the Durable Medical Equipment (DME) List of “Specified Covered Items” that require a face-to-face encounter and a written order prior to delivery (although CMS still is delaying enforcement of the face-to-face examination – but not the detailed written order – requirement). 

By way of background, in the 2013 Medicare physician fee schedule final rule, CMS established a list of Specified Covered Items that require a written order prior to delivery and a face-to-face encounter with a physician or other specified health care professional during the 6 months prior to the written order, and the conditions for compliance.  The initial items subject to this provision included:  items that require a written order prior to delivery under the Medicare Program Integrity Manual; items that cost more than $1,000; and items identified as particularly susceptible to fraud, waste, and abuse.  CMS announced its intention to update the list through rulemaking as necessary.  Today’s notice removes two codes from the original list because they represent items that are no longer payable by Medicare:  E0457 (Chest shell) and E0459 (Chest wrap).  The updated list is available here.