As a supplier, am I required to document all communications with beneficiaries?

Supplier standard 13 requires the supplier 'to answer any questions and respond to complaints a beneficiary has about the Medicare-covered item that was sold or rented. A supplier must refer the beneficiary with Medicare questions to the appropriate carrier. A supplier must maintain documentation of contacts with beneficiaries regarding complaints or questions.'

Therefore, as required by this standard, suppliers should document contacts received from beneficiaries. However, this does not mean suppliers have to document every communication they have with beneficiaries.

For example, if a beneficiary calls to inquire about the hours of operation, the supplier is not required to document this contact. However, if a beneficiary calls with a Medicare-related question, such as a coverage issue or a question about how to operate a certain piece of equipment, the supplier should document these types of contacts in the beneficiary's file. Suppliers may choose how to maintain this documentation.

The intent of this standard is to ensure suppliers are providing a high level of service with regard to the items provided to beneficiaries.

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