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The CDME designation has significantly impacted an array of industries beyond health care
by Matt Gruskin

“I keep the certificate in my office so that my kids can see it. I tell them to always stand out in any field or anything they do. Don’t just do it, but stand out,” said Johnny Mallory, a medical equipment delivery driver for AdaptHealth.

This attitude that has inspired Mallory and countless others to earn the Board of Certification/Accreditation (BOC)’s credential for durable medical equipment (DME) professionals, the Certified DME Specialist (CDME).

Now in its 10th anniversary year, the CDME credential validates an individual’s knowledge and competence in the handling of DME and home medical equipment (HME) products.

CDMEs are qualified to perform basic repairs, troubleshooting and home inspections for HME/DME products such as oxygen, transfer systems, enteral supplies and wound care. CDMEs also engage in patient education on safe durable or home medical equipment use and, as such, meet Medicare’s human resources management standards to be knowledgeable, competent and trained technical personnel. For business owners, employing a CDME provides additional assurance of compliance and customer service in providing patients with knowledgeable, trained staff.

Valuing CDMEs in Different Industries

Ten years ago, BOC, which has nearly 40 years of experience with durable medical equipment, prosthetics, orthotics and supplies (DMEPOS) accreditation, recognized the need for a credential that would identify and acknowledge the qualifications of individual DME professionals.

Since then, the CDME designation has significantly impacted an array of industries beyond health care, such as law and finance. It helps individuals in these fields (and, by extension, their employers) distinguish themselves as experts when it comes to understanding and operating durable and home medical equipment. BOC certifies individuals in all phases of their DME/HME careers, from those just starting out to seasoned professionals. It is appropriate for anyone in the field who recognizes the benefit of certifying their knowledge and skill set with credentials behind their name.

Michael Silverman, a co-founder atSilverman Bain, LLP, is a health care attorney who counsels DMEPOS businesses. He chose to pursue the CDME credential because he knew it would validate his solid understanding of the many challenges associated with managing a successful business.

The CDME credential allowed me to gain a more profound appreciation of daily challenges facing providers across all equipment categories, and utilizing the insight imparted by the all-encompassing CDME credential allows me to better advise clients on the intersection between their business operations and regulatory requirements,” Silverman said.

Noel Neil is the VP of auditing and corporate compliance at ACU-Serve Corp, a medical billing service. A CDME himself, he was involved in the most recent update of the CDME exam and strongly believes in the value of the certification. He points out that it is the only DME certification that is recognizable “across the spectrum,” and it gives professionals a level of reliability in the durable medical equipment space that they otherwise wouldn’t have.

“BOC is the only certifying organization offering a specialized credential for the important work of those committed to helping patients needing durable medical equipment,” he said. “I am proud to have earned the credential, which validates my knowledge but also contributes to my ability to impact the DME field.”

Making a Difference With CDME

Employers benefit by hiring employees with a CDME certification. Such credentials help DME companies with risk management, customer satisfaction and Medicare compliance.

Mallory said earning the CDME confirmed his high level of dedication to his career and impressed his supervisors. Once he earned his certification, he was able to rise through the ranks of the company, becoming a lead technician in his second year.

“[The CDME] gives me credibility when I walk into a warehouse, a facility or a home,” Mallory said. “They are aware that I not only received the training, but I took the extra time to study and learn about DME. I am thankful to be a CDME Specialist. I use it as a selling point when speaking to families or clinical professionals.”

Credibility is a vitally important selling point for individuals and companies who work with equipment that people rely on for their health and well-being.

Mallory said his certification means that the people he helps, “know that they are good hands. They know that I am going to install equipment properly. It gives families a peace of mind. We need more CDME professionals in our field. We make a difference.”

Earning the CDME credential is convenient and accessible for working individuals. To be eligible to take the DME certification exam, an applicant must have a high school diploma or equivalent plus a verifiable minimum of 500 hours (approximately 13 weeks of full-time work) of documented experience at a DME facility. For more information, visit bocusa.org.

Matt Gruskin leads the direction, strategy, policies, and day-to-day operations of BOC’s accreditation and certification programs. With nearly a decade of experience in the O&P field, Matt is focused on growth of BOC’s credentialing programs and ensuring the delivery of excellent customer service.