The Division of Policy posts all proposed and recently adopted rules on MaineCare’s Policy and Rules webpage. This website keeps the proposed rules on file until they are finalized and until the Secretary of State website is updated to reflect the changes. The MaineCare Benefits Manual is available on-line at the Secretary of State’s website.
Below, please find a MaineCare Notice of Agency Rule-making Proposal. You can access the complete rule at http://www.maine.gov/dhhs/oms/rules/index.shtml.
Notice of Agency Rule-making Proposal
AGENCY: Department of Health and Human Services, MaineCare Services, Division of Policy
CHAPTER NUMBER AND TITLE: 10-144 C.M.R., Chapter 101, MaineCare Benefits Manual, Chapter II, Section 60, Medical Supplies and Durable Medical Equipment
PROPOSED RULE NUMBER:
CONCISE SUMMARY: This proposed rulemaking seeks to make the following changes. The citations used below reflect the provisions in the proposed rule, unless otherwise specified.
- Adds a definition for “qualified provider” and indicates that qualified providers, rather than specific provider types, can prescribe and conduct face-to-face evaluations. This change aligns with Medicare’s requirements and will ensure the policy remains current with evolving federal and state requirements.
- Deletes the definition of “Providers of Medical Supplies and Durable Medical Equipment” and moved most of the definition into Section 60.04, Provider Requirements, because this is a substantive provision and more than a definition. The Department proposes to add an exception to the requirement of having a storefront in Maine or within 15 miles of the border if the Department, in its sole discretion, determines that waiving that requirement is in the best interest of the MaineCare program. Additionally, Section 60.04(5) is taken from the former Section 60.01-12(C).
- Renumbers the current Section 60.05, Policies and Procedures, to 60.06, Policies and Procedures.
- Creates Section 60.06-1, Face-to-Face Encounter, which largely contains content from current Section 60.05. The Department proposes a few changes to the content, such as providing that the written order may be, but does not have to be, prescribed by the provider who performed the face-to-face encounter.
- Removes the requirement in 60.06-1, Face-to-Face Encounters, that DME providers must inform members prior to the provision of DME that is not covered by MaineCare that the member will be responsible for payment because this requirement is already included in 10-144 C.M.R., Chapter 101, Chapter I, Section 1.
- Re-named and re-numbered current Section 60.05-1, Requirements, to Section 60.06-2, Medical Supplies and DME Requirements.
- Allows qualified providers, rather than a physician or PCP, to prescribe medical supplies and DME in Section 60.06-2(B) because different provider types can prescribe medical supplies and DME within their scope of practice.
- Removes current Section 60.06-2(I) which contains information regarding prior authorization (PA) and the Department’s Health PAS Portal because it is already included elsewhere in the policy.
- Adds the requirement in Section 60.06-2(I) that a physician or qualified provider must review a member’s need for DME and supplies annually, as required by 42 CFR 440.70(b)(3)(iii).
- In Section 60.06-2(J), requires a “prescribing provider,” rather than a “prescribing physician,” to maintain the referenced documentation, including the name of the “qualified provider,” rather than the “physician, nurse practitioner, physician assistant or clinical nurse specialist,” who performed the face-to-face encounter.
- In Section 60.06-3(F), requires providers to retain, rather than submit, documentation that applicable equipment can freely pass through all entryways without the need for modification or, if applicable, that necessary modifications or structural changes occurred prior to the PA request. Medicare uses this policy, and it is reasonable for MaineCare to utilize this policy.
- Adds that the Department shall rent and/or purchase items consistent with Medicare practices in Section 60.06-4.
- In Section 60.06-7, Replacement of DME, moved the last sentence in the provision regarding when replacement will not be allowed, to the beginning of this provision and added a sentence that DME that is functioning properly will not be replaced unless a change in the member’s condition requires a change of DME.
- In Section 60.06-8, to align with 42 CFR § 440.70, removes the requirement that medical supplies and DME may be provided to members residing in their own homes and clarifies that medical supplies and DME may be provided for use in any setting in which normal life activities take place, other than a hospital or any setting in which payment is or could be made under MaineCare for inpatient services that include room and board.
- In Section 60.06-9, clarifies that the regular rate of reimbursement for nursing facilities and intermediate care facilities for individuals with intellectual disabilities is intended to include DME upgrades and add-ons.
- Moves the content of former Section 60.06-2, Prior Authorization, into Section 60.07, Prior Authorization Requirements.
- Removes the current rule provision Section 60.06-2(2), Orthotics and Prosthetic DME, because it contains redundant requirements and unnecessary definitions.
- Moves the content from Section 60.05-8, Prosthetics, and Section 60.12(L), Orthotics & Prosthetics, to new Section 60.08-2, Orthotics and Prosthetics, and makes a few changes to clarify language.
- Adds Section 60.08-3, Augmentative and Alternative Communication Devices, requiring members to trial augmentative and alternative communication devices before the Department will rent or purchase the devices. It is standard industry practice for patients to trial these devices before purchasing, and manufacturers and providers are accustomed to this. Currently, this is a PA-based requirement that is on the Department’s website.
- Moves Section 60.12(Z) to Section 60.08-4, Specially Modified Foods and Formulas, which provides that specially modified foods and formulas are covered when the member has inborn errors of metabolism. The Department proposes to no longer allow members to receive specially modified foods and formulas when they have “a qualifying medical condition where the most effective and appropriate form of caloric or nutritional intake is orally” because it lacks specificity. Members will continue to be eligible for specially modified foods and formulas when they have inborn errors of metabolism.
- In Section 60.08-5, specifies that modifications and inserts for diabetic shoes are limited to a combined total of six units per member per rolling year, instead of per year.
- Adds coverage for breast milk bags with a limit of 120 units (bags) per member per rolling month in Section 60.08-14.
- Adds coverage for automatic blood pressure monitors with a limit of one unit per member per three calendar years in Section 60.08-15.
- Section 60.10, Reimbursement: The Department proposes the following changes to the reimbursement provision:
- Retroactively to January 1, 2023, establishes reimbursement for all Medicare covered codes at 100% of the current Medicare fee schedule amount and adds an annual cost-of-living adjustment for the rates for all non-Medicare covered codes. These changes are permitted retroactively pursuant to 22 MRS 42(8) because they represent an investment in services, to the benefit of MaineCare providers.
- Clarifies that the Medicare rates are pulled from the Medicare DMEPOS Fee Schedule.
- Moves the Incontinence Supplies reimbursement provision from the current Section 60.09-1(C) to Section 60.10-2. The Department proposes to adjust the maximum amount allowed by MaineCare for incontinence supplies with an inflation adjustment based on the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers for Medical Equipment and Supplies. This change will be retroactive to January 1, 2023, and is lawful pursuant to 22 M.R.S. 42(8) because the inflation adjustment benefits providers.
- Adds Section 60.10-2 that contains criteria for providers to request incontinence supplies that are not on the MaineCare fee schedule.
- Amends Section 60.10-6 provision related to the reimbursement of rental items, so that rental periods (except for oxygen) follow Medicare rental periods.
- Modifies Section 60.10-7 to remove redundant information and to align oxygen rental requirements with current MaineCare practices.
P.L. 2021, ch. 398, required the Department to align rate structures and fee schedules with Medicare. The current rule, which was effective in 2018, does already align most DME rate structures and fee schedules with Medicare; this proposed rulemaking expands the alignment with Medicare, including adopting Medicare’s rental period classifications and corresponding rental rates, and thus complies with P.L. 2021, ch. 398. These changes also ensure MaineCare’s compliance with the Upper Payment Limit demonstration required by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and authorized by section 1903(i)(27) of the Social Security Act. This rulemaking also complies with P.L. 2021, ch. 639, An Act to Codify MaineCare Rate System Reform, codified in 22 M.R.S. Sec. 3173-J. The Department issued a Rate Determination Initiation Notice on September 27, 2022. The Department held a public rate forum on December 1, 2022, to collect stakeholder input and comments to inform the Rate Determination process for Medical Supplies and DME and accepted written comments through December 15, 2022. The Department determined that for medical supplies and DME for which there is a Medicare rate, the Medicare rate represents the most appropriate benchmark, and payment of 100% of current year Medicare is appropriate. The Department also determined that the rates for medical supplies and equipment that are not covered by Medicare should receive an annual inflation adjustment based on the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers for medical equipment and supplies (CUUR0000SEMG). The Department complies with 22 M.R.S. Sec. 3173(3), by engaging in APA rulemaking to implement this amended reimbursement methodology. The expansion of the current Medicare reimbursement methodology, adding the COLA adjustment to the calculation of the costs of other state Medicaid agencies for non-Medicare DME, and rental period changes are proposed to be applied retroactive to January 1, 2023, as the changes, consistent with 22 MRS 42(8), represent an investment in services, to the benefit of DME providers and members.
- Deletes most of Appendix I. Appendix I contains specific PA criteria for select items. The Department is moving most of these criteria to the MaineCare Health PAS Portal (https://mainecare.maine.gov/Default.aspx ). The rulemaking removes references to Appendix I and refers providers to the Portal. The Department is proposing this change for purposes of efficiency and flexibility, as it will no longer utilize APA rulemaking to make changes to certain medical criteria/standards. Some medical criteria will remain in the APA rule: Appendix I, Section 60.12(L), Orthotics and Prosthetics, moves to new Section 60.08-2, Orthotics and Prosthetics; and Appendix I, Section 60.12(Z), Specially Modified Foods and Formulas, moves to Section 60.08-4, Specially Modified Foods and Formulas.
See http://www.maine.gov/dhhs/oms/rules/index.shtml for rules and related rulemaking documents.
STATUTORY AUTHORITY: Department staff’s professional judgement; 42 CFR § 440.70; 22 M.R.S. 3173-J; 22 M.R.S. Sec. 42(8); P.L. 2021, ch. 398, Sec. A-17; and 12/1/22 Public Rate Setting Forum for the public, including stakeholders.
DATE, TIME, AND PLACE OF PUBLIC HEARING: 1:00pm; Wednesday, August 2, 2023
The Department will hold a combined in-person and remote (via Zoom) public hearing.
Location: State Office Building, Conference Rooms A and B
109 Capitol Street, Augusta, ME
Zoom Meeting link: https://mainestate.zoom.us/j/83673180919
Meeting ID: 836 731 80919
Some devices may require downloading a free app from Zoom prior to joining the public hearing event. The Department requests that any individual requiring special arrangements to attend the hearing in person contact the agency person listed below 5 days in advance of the hearing.
In addition to the public hearing, individuals may submit written comments to DHHS by the date listed in this notice.
DEADLINE FOR COMMENTS: Comments must be received by 11:59 PM on August 12, 2023.
AGENCY CONTACT PERSON: Henry Eckerson, Comprehensive Health Planner II
AGENCY NAME: MaineCare Services
ADDRESS: 109 Capitol Street, 11 State House Station
Augusta, Maine 04333-0011
TELEPHONE: 207-624-4085 FAX: (207) 287-6106
TTY: 711 (Deaf or Hard of Hearing)
IMPACT ON MUNICIPALITIES OR COUNTIES (if any): The Department anticipates that this rulemaking will not have any impact on municipalities or counties.
CONTACT PERSON FOR SMALL BUSINESS INFORMATION (if different): N/A
STATUTORY AUTHORITY FOR THIS RULE: Department staff’s professional judgement; 42 CFR § 440.70; 22 M.R.S. 3173-J; 22 M.R.S. Sec. 42(8); P.L. 2021, ch. 398, Sec. A-17; and 12/1/22 Public Rate Setting Forum for the public, including stakeholders.
Office: MaineCare Services