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June 7, 2012

Items Provided on a Recurring Basis and Request for Refill Requirements – Revised - June 2012

NOTE: This article has been retired. For current information, please refer to the article entitled Items Provided on a Recurring Basis and Request for Refill Requirement - Revised-August 2012 published on August 30, 2012.

For all DMEPOS items that are provided on a recurring basis, suppliers are required to have contact with the beneficiary or caregiver/designee prior to dispensing a new supply of items. CMS has revised the requirements for refills effective for dates of service on or after August 2, 2011.

June 2012 Revision

This revision updates the original article. Changes include;


For all DMEPOS items and supplies provided on a recurring basis, billing must be based on prospective, not retrospective use.

For DMEPOS products that are supplied as refills to the original order, suppliers must contact the beneficiary prior to dispensing the refill and not automatically ship on a pre-determined basis, even if authorized by the beneficiary. This shall be done to ensure that the refilled item remains reasonable and necessary, existing supplies are approaching exhaustion, and to confirm any changes/modifications to the order. Contact with the beneficiary or designee regarding refills must take place no sooner than 14 calendar days prior to the delivery/shipping date. For delivery of refills, the supplier must deliver the DMEPOS product no sooner than 10 calendar days prior to the end of usage for the current product. This is regardless of which delivery method is utilized.

For all DMEPOS items that are provided on a recurring basis, suppliers are required to have contact with the beneficiary or caregiver/designee prior to dispensing a new supply of items. Suppliers must not deliver refills without a refill request from a beneficiary. Items delivered without a valid, documented refill request will be denied as not reasonable and necessary.

Suppliers must not dispense a quantity of supplies exceeding a beneficiary's expected utilization. Suppliers must stay attuned to changed or atypical utilization patterns on the part of their clients. Suppliers must verify with the ordering physicians that any changed or atypical utilization is warranted. Regardless of utilization, a supplier must not dispense more than a one- or three-month quantity at a time. See below for billing frequencies.

Documentation Requirements

A routine refill prescription is not needed. A new prescription is needed when:

For items that the patient obtains in person at a retail store, the signed delivery slip or copy of itemized sales receipt is sufficient documentation of a request for refill.

For items that are delivered to the beneficiary, documentation of a request for refill must be either a written document received from the beneficiary or a contemporaneous written record of a phone conversation/contact between the supplier and beneficiary. The refill request must occur and be documented before shipment. A retrospective attestation statement by the supplier or beneficiary is not sufficient. The refill record must include:

This information must be kept on file and be available upon request.

Billing Frequencies

For refills of surgical dressings, enteral and parenteral nutrients and supplies, immunosuppressive drugs, oral anti-cancer drugs, intravenous immune globulin, external infusion pump drugs and supplies, and oral antiemetic drugs, only a one-month quantity of supplies may be dispensed.

For all other refills that are provided on a recurring basis, including but not limited to DME accessories or supplies, nebulizer drugs, urological and ostomy supplies, suppliers may dispense no more than a three-month supply at any one time.


The Local Coverage Determinations affected by these requirements will be updated in a future revision. The following policies are subject to these requirements:

These requirements are not limited to DMEPOS refills for items addressed in LCDs only. All DMEPOS items that are refilled on a recurring basis are subject to these requirements.

The original article, published August 2011, replaces the articles "Request for Refill – Documentation Requirements," published in September 2010 and "Dispensing DMEPOS Items: Quantity Limits" published in June 2007.

The June 2012 revision replaces the version published in August 2011.

For additional information, refer to CMS' Program Integrity Manual, Internet-Only Manual, CMS Pub. 100-8, Chapter 5, Section 5.2.5 and 5.2.6, and the applicable Local Coverage Determination, and the Supplier Manual.

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