Do You Lease TENS Units To Patients? Make Sure You Are Properly Licensed!

January 26, 2016 in

How Much Is The License?

This is a $304.50 biennial license which is reasonable compared to other ACHA licenses.  Get your license as soon as possible as those fees may go up on a yearly basis.

Why You Need This License

If you provide home medical equipment and services or accept physician orders for home medical equipment and services you must get this license.

Example: You are treating a patient with multiple disc herniations who would benefit greatly from using a TENS Unit at home. To rent or sell the durable equipment to your patient, you must have this special license.

What Is A DME?

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration website classifies whether your product meets the definition of a device. TENS UNITS, ultrasound products, x-ray machines, etc. all fall under the category of a medical device requiring a license.

Please see the Product categorization definition list found on the FDA website.

What If I Don’t Have The License?

If you choose not to obtain this special license, you run the risk of any of the following penalties:

  1. Administrative fines up to $5,000.00 for each un-licensed transaction
  2. A misdemeanor of the second degree, which could lead to jail time
  3. A second violation of this unlicensed activity could lead to a misdemeanor of the first degree, leading to additional jail time.
  4. Possible revocation of your license to practice your respective area of medicine.

How Do I Obtain This License?

The agency for health care administration’s website provides all of the forms necessary to obtain this special license for home medical equipment providers. The website link below will direct you to the correct links.

Although the paperwork is extensive, please do not “give up” because of the number of documents you need to fill out. Spending a few days to obtain this license far exceeds the potential of the penalties listed above.

The forms on the website are classified by medical provider type. For the purposes of this license, you are a Home Medical Equipment Provider.

To apply:

  1. Go to: https://ahca.myflorida.com/MCHQ/Health_Facility_Regulation/Home_Care/index.shtmlhttps://ahca.myflorida.com/homecare.
  2. Click on “Home Medical Equipment Provider.”
  3. Scroll down to find “Licensure Application and Related Forms…”
  4. Under this select “ Home Medical Equipment Provider,…”
  5. Scroll down to Home Medical Equipment Provider on the left bar (red) and click on Home Medical Equipment Application Form.

You can likewise renew the license on the same page. However, keep in mind that you’ll have to complete every form again when you renew.

Are any Providers Exempted From Getting This License?

NO! Despite the Legislature’s attempt to free chiropractors from this licensing requirement, Governor Rick Scott vetoed the bill. Governor Scott believed this exemption would have given special treatment to chiropractors in Florida. He did not believe a carve-out for chiropractors would have benefited the citizens of Florida.

Why TENS Units?

Tens Units are paid under the Medicare Part B fee schedule as durable medical equipment, thus they qualify as home medical equipment for licensure reasons.

Do I Need This License If I am Not Giving The Durable Medical Equipment To My Patients For Use At Home?

NO! This license is not required to use TENS units on a regular basis in your office. The license is only required to sell the TENS UNITS, lease the units, or to give the units to your patients for use at home. YOU DO NOT need this license if you are merely using it in the course of treatment within the walls of your facility.

Have Any Insurance Companies Reported Medical Providers?

We have yet to hear of any medical providers being reported for failure to obtain these licenses. Many insurance companies are simply denying reimbursements for DMEs if the provider fails to show a license.

Look at your Explanations of Benefits to determine whether the insurer has denied payment due to lack of a license.

We have received letters from PIP insurers requesting the following:

  1. Copy of the medical providers home medical equipment license
  2. Prescription for the medical device
  3. Medical records to support (1) and (2).

What Can I Do To Ensure Payment?

First, obtain the HME license.  Send a copy to us.  Keep a copy on file.  Be very specific regarding the prescription for the DME in your patient notes/soap notes. Keep a copy of the prescription in your patient file.

Contact us prior to sending information requested by the insurer. Let us review your file and counsel your response.  The insurer’s requests should be tailored to obtaining the license/medical records/prescription. We will object to any additional information the insurer is attempting to extract from you.

Will All Insurers Deny Payment?

Not at this point. However, do not change the risk. Most insurers will crackdown on obtaining a copy of your license this year. Unfortunately, Governor Scott shot down an exception to the rule for chiropractors. Most insurers will use a (6)(b) or general information request to obtain your license prior to paying your bills for DMEs.

Why LaBovick Law Group

We are an experienced PIP team with over a decade of experience auditing motor vehicle accident files.  You deserve a team that knows exactly what to look for.  It’s imperative you obtain this license if your clinic is in the business of selling, leasing, or renting TENS UNITS/DMEs for home use. The license is very inexpensive, particularly when compared to the above-listed severe penalties. Our office would be more than happy to work with your practice to obtain the special license. Do not hesitate to contact me to discuss the licensure requirements and obtaining PIP dollars for your practice!

Contact me at: Baronin@LaBovick.com. Let’s discuss what we can do to find you PIP Money!