Under the Medicare Modernization Act of 2003, any physician who supplies durable medical equipment, prosthetics, orthotics and supplies (DMEPOS) to Medicare must be accredited. To become accredited, physicians must comply with quality standards set by Medicare.

Accreditation information as well as deadlines is online at www.cms.hhs.gov/MedicareProviderSupEnroll/Downloads/DMEPOSAccreditiationDeadline.pdf.

The law also mandates for a DMEPOS competitive bidding program, which begins July 1, 2008. Physicians are exempt from having to competitively bid for most items with the exception of off-the-shelf orthotics. However, physician suppliers who want to competitively bid to provide these items to their Medicare patients must fist receive accreditation.

In order to qualify for the second round of competitive bidding, which commences January 14, 2009, physician suppliers must apply for accreditation by July 21, 2008.