CMS Names DMEPOS Metroplex Ombudsman

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) selected Elena Armstrong to be the Medicare durable medical equipment, prosthetics, orthotics, and supplies (DMEPOS) competitive bidding program ombudsman for the Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington area. She is one of eight ombudsmen across the country who will educate physicians, patients, and others involved in the program and handle complaints.

CMS says physicians and patients can contact Ms. Armstrong:

  • For general information about the DMEPOS competitive bidding program;
  • To obtain assistance in locating a contract supplier;
  • For educational programs and activities;
  • To report concerns about the program, a supplier, or a referral agent; the quality of services or items; and/or suspected fraud or abuse; and
  • For assistance with questions, issues, and complaints specifically pertaining to the competitive bidding program and policies.

Ms. Armstrong speaks English and Spanish and has more than 20 years of experience with Medicare. Her telephone number is (903) 868-2705, and her e-mail address is Elena.Armstrong[at]palmettogba[dot]com .

CMS began the competitive bidding program July 1 in the Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington area and the remaining nine largest metropolitan statistical areas in the country. The program requires Medicare patients whose physicians prescribe DMEPOS to obtain the items from a contracted supplier in the area, or they might have to pay for it themselves. This includes common items such as oxygen supplies and equipment, wheelchairs, walkers, mail-order diabetic supplies, and hospital beds. CMS plans to expand the program to the Austin-Round Rock, San Antonio, El Paso, Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown, Beaumont-Port Arthur, and McAllen-Edinburg-Mission areas sometime in 2009.

Opponents of the program have filed legal challenges in Dallas, Washington, D.C., and Cleveland. Meanwhile, 40 senators signed a letter asking Senate leaders to support legislation that would delay the program.

CMS also announced that noncontracted suppliers in the competitive bidding areas should have already notified permanent residents of the competitive bidding areas whether they have decided to become grandfathered suppliers for each competitively bid item.

Action , July 1, 2008

Last Updated On

June 14, 2010

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