February 2022 - Newsletter

Included in this newsletter


Update from January: OSHA Mandate on COVID-19 Vaccines

The U.S. Supreme Court issued a mixed ruling on Thursday, January 13, 2022, on the two COVID-19 mandate cases.  The OSHA mandate on the vaccine-or-testing requirement for private businesses with at least 100 employees has been struck down as unconstitutional.  However, the court is permitting the CMS Healthcare regulation to remain in place.  There has been a lot of information about who this applies rule applies. 

As for RJ Hedges & Associates clients only, the federal register list of providers/suppliers only applies to Home Infusion Therapy (HIT) Suppliers, including their administrative staff.  Retail pharmacies, LTC pharmacies, DMEPOS suppliers are not mentioned in the Federal Register as applicable suppliers.  Pharmacies within hospital pharmacies open to the public will have to follow their parent organizations' requirements.  However, Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) is linked to any entity that receives federal funding for suppliers, which may be defined as suppliers providing COVID-19 vaccines and COVID-19 testing.  If this is true, this requirement will bring many pharmacies into this requirement.  DMEPOS facilities do not fall into any of the requirements.  Federal Register Link   Accreditation Organizations have the primary enforcement arm of this regulation.  Additional information can be found at Click Here

We will shortly have policies and procedures, forms, and plans upon the Compliance Portal.  Enforcement is not starting; however, Accreditation Organizations are already changing their standards as part of their accreditation surveys.  More information is coming and will be sent out in Bulletin format.

Updated Information:

We've just received confirmation from our legal counsel, Sarah Collins at K&L Gates, that DME Facilities as well as Orthotic and Prosthetic Facilities are exempt from the CMS ruling.

In addition, pharmacies are not covered by this rule, unless the pharmacy is accredited. If you have accreditation, and you only use it for DME products, I would recommend completing the Pharmacy Exemption form which is on Compliance Portal ® and send that into the National Supplier Clearinghouse. We will start working on the requirements and get it up on the Compliance Portal ®. But again, most of our clients are not covered by this rule.


Compliance- Surgical Dressings: Medicare Requirements

Medicare covers primary or secondary surgical dressings:

  • Used to protect or treat a wound

  • If needed after debridement of a wound

The patient's medical records should include clinical information to demonstrate a reasonable and necessary need for the type and quantity of surgical dressings. Providers must evaluate the wound monthly and update the record unless they document why they can't do a monthly evaluation and how they're monitoring the patient's ongoing use of dressings.

See the Surgical Dressings – Policy Article for more information.

New and Updated Policies, Procedures, and Forms

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  • Cardinal Health Agrees to Pay More than $13 Million to Resolve Allegations Paid in Kickbacks to Physicians

  • Laurence Doud, Former CEO of Pharmaceutical Distributor, Convicted of Conspiring to Distribute Controlled Substances and Defrauding the DEA

  • South Florida Man Sentenced to 15 Years for Consecutive Health Care Fraud Conspiracies involving Telemarketing of DME Brace Orders

Trainings on the Compliance Portal®

You can’t rush a good thing! We are very excited to announce our new eLearning platform is in final beta testing!  This means in the upcoming months we will be able to start providing monitoring, tracking, reporting, and record keeping for Compliance Trainings on our Compliance Portal®.  Many of our trainings will be getting updated to fully utilize all the features in this new section.  We are planning a rolling launch and will be adding new trainings monthly in conjunction with our Monthly Task List training requirements.  By the end of 2022, all trainings will be migrated to this new platform, and we hope to offer additional trainings to help you and your staff maximize your knowledge on compliance and achieve completion with all training requirements.  Stay Tuned for more details, in the meantime enjoy this preview photos.

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R.J. Hedges Bulletin Releases/Webinars

(found in the Message Center)

The following items can be accessed through the Message Center on the Compliance Portal®: