Can Non-Physicians Order Surgical Dressings? In many cases, the answer is “Yes!”
When surgical dressings are dispensed to a patient, a Standard Written Order (SWO) must be completed by the ordering practitioner. This SWO may be completed by physicians and, in some cases, non-physicians.

Physicians

Surgical dressings may be ordered by the following physician types practicing within their scope of practice when that scope of practice includes ordering surgical dressings:

  • Doctor of medicine
  • Doctor of osteopathy
  • Doctor of dental surgery or dental medicine
  • Doctor of podiatric medicine
  • Doctor of optometry

Nurse Practitioners and Clinical Nurse Specialists

Nurse practitioners and or clinical nurse specialists may provide the SWO if all of the following criteria are met:

  • They are treating the beneficiary for the condition for which the item is needed
  • They are practicing independently of a physician
  • They bill Medicare for other covered services using their own provider number
  • They are permitted to do all of the above in the State in which the services are rendered.

Physician Assistants

Physician assistants may provide the SWO if all of the following criteria are met:

  • They meet the definition of physician assistant as found in Section 1861(aa)(5)(A) of the Social Security Act
  • They are treating the beneficiary for the condition for which the item is needed
  • They are practicing under the supervision of a MD or DO
  • They have their own NPI
  • They are permitted to perform services in accordance with State law.

Conclusion

Surgical dressings may be ordered by physicians and, in many cases, by nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists, and physician assistants.

Reference:
DMEMAC Article “Who Can Order?
https://med.noridianmedicare.com/web/jadme/topics/documentation/orders

Dr. Jeffrey D. Lehrman, DPM, FASPS, MAPWCA, CPC
Dr. Jeffrey D. Lehrman, DPM, FASPS, MAPWCA, CPC

Dr. Lehrman is in private practice in Fort Collins, CO and operates Lehrman Consulting, LLC. He is a Diplomate of the American Board of Foot and Ankle Surgery, Fellow of the American Society of Podiatric Surgeons, and is recognized as a “Master” by the American Professional Wound Care Association. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Podiatric Practice Management and an Expert Panelist on Codingline. In his role as a Consultant to the APMA Health Policy and Practice Department, Dr. Lehrman serves as an advisor to the APMA Coding Committee and the APMA MACRA Task Force. Dr. Lehrman sits on the board of directors of both the American Professional Wound Care Association and the American Society of Podiatric Surgeons. He is also on the editorial advisory board of the journal WOUNDS.