4 factors that affect your Medicare bond cost

May 29, 2017

Here are the top 4 ways in which you can influence your bond costs.

Suppliers and manufacturers of Durable Medical Equipment, Prosthetics, Orthotics, and Supplies (DMEPOS) need to get a Medicare surety bond in order to launch their business in this field. Getting bonded is a part of your enrollment with the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).

 

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The Center requires the DMEPOS bond as a way to secure the legal operation of Medicare providers. The purpose of the bond is to cover losses from any potential malpractice and fraud, such as fake Medicare charges or supplying patients with more expensive equipment than needed.

The standard bond requirement for one location is $50,000. DMEPOS providers having more than one location with separate National Provider Identifier (NPI) numbers will need to get the same bonding amount for each.

When you apply for a Medicare surety bond with a surety, its job is to carefully consider your personal and business finances and assess the risk involved with bonding you. It needs to make sure that you can pay reimbursements in case of a claim against your bond. On the basis of this examination, it sets your bond premium, which is a fraction of the bond amount you have to post.

For Medicare providers, it’s important to understand how the bonding process works, and what factors affect the surety bond price they have to pay to be compliant with the law.

Here are the top 4 ways in which you can influence your bond costs.

1. Personal credit score

Among the top factors that influence your bond premium is your credit situation. How you are handling your personal finances is a strong sign for sureties as to the ways in which you manage your business.

 

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To get a lower Medicare surety bond cost, it’s a good idea to take steps and fix your credit score. You can do this by repaying any outstanding debts, judgments or tax liens. Child support expenses are also accounted for in your score.

Besides exercising financial control, make sure to keep an eye on your credit report. Sometimes mistakes happen, and if you check regularly, you can catch them in time. This will ensure your credit report is as accurate as possible.

2. Existing assets and liquidity

It’s important to include any assets you may possess in your bond application. The same goes for showcasing liquidity. These factors prove to the surety that you have access to finances, which makes you a less risky bond candidate.

Next: Checking credentials and professional experience

 

Some ways to improve your liquidity are to turn short-term loans into long-term debt and collect outstanding accounts receivable. These steps can help increase your working capital.

3. Professional experience

Besides looking at your personal and business finances, sureties consider your industry experience and professional knowhow when formulating your bond cost. If you can prove you have solid expertise and managerial skills, you are likely to be seen as a more stable bond candidate who can properly handle a business. This, in turn, can help reduce your bond price.

 

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On your bond application, note down any relevant work experience you have. You might have to attach your business plan and other company documents that showcase your management methods.

4. Choice of a surety agency

The surety agency that you select to work with can have an effect on your Medicare surety bond price as well. If it has access to diverse bonding programs and is experienced in providing DMEPOS bonds, you’re more likely to get a top bonding rate.

That’s why before you start your bonding, you may want to check the credentials of your bonding partner. It’s best if the agency works with A-rated and T-listed surety companies, as this ensures the solidity of the bonding. Inquire also whether the agency has a track record with Medicare surety bonds. If it has worked with them, it will be better suited to choose the most appropriate bonding option for you.

Do you have experience with other factors that have affected your Medicare surety bond? Please share your insights in the comment section.

 

Todd Bryant is the president and founder of Bryant Surety Bonds. He is a surety bonds expert with over 10 years of experience in helping Medicare providers get bonded and stay compliant.