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DME and Medical Supplies for Recipients Impacted by the State of Emergency

November 7, 2019

Update: Replacement Durable Medical Equipment (DME) and Medical Supplies for Recipients Impacted by Fires and Extreme Weather Conditions or Public Safety Power Shutoff

On October 28, 2019, in response to the Governor’s recent proclamation of a statewide state of emergency due to the risk of wildfires, the Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) issued guidance for dispensing replacement medication(s) to recipients impacted by fires and extreme fire weather conditions or public safety power shutoff. This article provides additional guidance for dispensing DME and medical supplies.

Providers are instructed to incorporate the statement “Patient impacted by fires and extreme fire weather conditions or public safety power shutoff.” within the Miscellaneous Information field on the Treatment Authorization Requests (TAR) for DME, medical supplies or situations requiring a TAR.

DME and medical supply providers must provide requested equipment or supplies immediately or, for items not in stock, as soon as possible, if the need to dispense DME or medical supplies is related to the recipient’s displacement or subjection to fires and extreme fire weather conditions or public safety power shutoff. Providers must not have the recipient return after receiving TAR approval. The need for a TAR should not negatively affect the decision to provide DME or medical supplies immediately or as soon as possible, and the TAR can be submitted retroactively. It is imperative that the impacted recipient receive the DME or medical supply in a timely manner to facilitate compliance and assist the recipient to perform activities of daily living.

TARs for new or replacement DME or medical supplies will be automatically approved if the TAR indicates that the recipient is impacted by fire or by power shutoffs, and the provider will be paid for the claim for the DME or medical supply. The negative impact of the fire or power shutoff, alone, will meet the criteria of medical necessity.

Providers are encouraged to monitor the Medi-Cal website for future updates. Questions regarding this notice may be directed to the Telephone Service Center (TSC) at 1-800-541-5555, Monday through Friday, except holidays.