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What is a DMEPOS bond?

A Durable Medical Equipment, Prosthetics, Orthotics, and Suppliers (DMEPOS) bond is a surety bond required of suppliers who provide durable medical equipment. Also called Medicare surety bonds, DMEPOS bonds ensure the durable medical equipment supplier will act in accordance with the law, thus reducing the potential for Medicare billing fraud. If a DMEPOS supplier does not complete the process and obtain a bond, they cannot submit billing requests to Medicare/Medicaid for reimbursement.

Medicare surety bonds are required in all states and must be filed with the National Supplier Clearinghouse with a minimum term of one year. This type of bond is typically renewed annually. The NSC is the only entity with the authority to issue or revoke Medicare supplier billing privileges.

How much does a DMEPOS bond cost?

DMEPOS suppliers are required to hold a $50,000 bond. Annual pricing for a $50,000 DMEPOS surety bond starts at $250, but bonds can be purchased for multiple years to lower the average annual cost. Other factors, such as supplier history with Medicare and possible infractions, may increase the cost and will be determined during the bond application process.

How can I get a Medicare DMEPOS bond?

The purchase of a Medicare DMEPOS bond is the final part of a multi-step process to enroll as a durable medical equipment supplier for Medicare/Medicaid recipients. Before purchasing a Medicare surety bond, the potential supplier must complete the following steps:

  1. Obtain DMEPOS Accreditation.
  2. Get a National Provider Identifier (NPI) for each location of equipment distribution.
  3. Complete the enrollment application with Medicare/Medicaid.
  4. Pay the Medicare Application Fee.
  5. Work with the National Supplier Clearinghouse (NSC) regarding enrollment.
  6. Post a DMEPOS surety bond to the National Supplier Clearinghouse.

An application and credit history review will be completed through the surety company you choose. Business and personal financial statements may also be required.

What else should DMEPOS providers know about surety bonds?

DMEPOS applicants with a history of suspended accreditation, loss of accreditation, felony convictions, or loss of Medicare billing privileges due to the violation of any Medicare rule may be required to obtain a bond value greater than $50,000 or pay a higher premium.

Because Medicare/Medicaid is administered at the state level, an individual state may require additional steps, apply extra fees, or have other requirements or rules around DMEPOS providers.

In 2008, CMS issued a federal ruling allowing certain DMEPOS providers to be exempt from the necessity of purchasing a DMEPOS bond. Those providers include government-owned DME suppliers who provide alternative forms of surety bonds per the stated guidelines. Full details on those exemptions can be found on the Federal Register website, section 4312(b).

Additional Resources
Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services

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