Durable Medical Equipment (DME) requests are used to obtain medical records to illustrate a patient medical necessity for specific equipment to address a health need.  Occasionally, these requests come after the DME equipment has been provided to the patient and the DME company needs to prove they were justified in providing the DME. Additionally, DME companies often ask for a quick turnaround time to provide these records.  However, there often is not a need for healthcare organizations to provide records in the turnaround time DME companies request.

What do DME requests contain?

Typically DME requests for equipment that has yet to be provided are extremely specific, and may ask for information related to a diagnosis, timeframe, or body part.  These requests can often require a greater level of auditing and scrutiny because the authorization is limited rather than “Any and All” records.

What about the turnaround time?

Many companies requesting DME place importance of a certain timeline for fulfilment of the request.  completed. While they may emphasize a short turnaround time like 24 to 48-hours, legally there is often no requirement to meet those conditions.

Additionally, situations occasionally occur where DME requests cite “patient suffering” to receive records quickly. However, these requests are nearly always when the original request has already been fulfilled, indicating the patient has the equipment and therefore should not be suffering, or the request was denied because it was deemed the patient did not need the equipment. “Patient suffering” should not be involved with records needed for a DME request and is often used as a scapegoat to attempt to get records quickly when the DME company is being audited.

Release Records to a Partner

If DME and other requests are plaguing your health information management team, ScanSTAT is here to help.  Contact us today to learn how we can relieve your practice of the burden of these and other requests.

This FAQ is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice.  Seek your own legal counsel to ensure compliance with federal and state law.