Can I operate a durable Medicare equipment company from my home?
The simple answer is 'yes'. However, there are many issues a home-based business must consider before applying for a supplier number. Below is a list of issues with a brief description:
- Zoning: A home-based business must be sure its operation is allowed by the city and/or county zoning ordinances. The home-based business must be able to show compliance with all supplier standards.
- Reasonable Business Hours: The business hours must be posted on a visible and permanent sign and must also be reasonable in regards to when a Medicare beneficiary may visit and in compliance with Standard 30 which specifies the business operate at a minimum of 30 hours per week unless exempt by supplier type.
- Gated Community: This type of home-based business is not considered 'accessible' to Medicare beneficiaries and therefore is not in compliance with Standards 7 or 8 unless immediate access can be granted to beneficiaries, CMS, NSC or any authorized agent.
- Home Owners Associations: A home-based business must be sure the homeowners association’s regulations do not prevent compliance with the supplier standards.
- Insurance: Homeowner’s insurance does not show compliance with Standard 10. A supplier must have at least $300,000 in comprehensive liability coverage.
- Handicap Accessibility: A home-based business must be in compliance with all laws and regulations (Standard 1). Therefore, the business must be in compliance with the Americans with Disability Act (ADA). If not, the home-based business would not be compliant with Standard 7, which states a supplier must maintain a physical facility on an appropriate site.
- Telephone: A dedicated phone line must be established for the business. A supplier may not use the same phone line for the home and the business. In addition the exclusive use of a mobile phone, beeper or answering service is strictly prohibited by Supplier Standard 9.
- Record Keeping: The business is required to maintain and store certain records. The facility must be large enough to have appropriate storage. Standard 7 specifies at least 200 square feet.
The bottom line is a home-based business must be able to show compliance with all supplier standards.