The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is enforcing a rule that home health agencies and hospices must certify that their patients are eligible to receive their services as part of an in-person encounter with a physician, reports AHA News Now.
Part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the requirement aims to reduce healthcare fraud, which is commonplace in the home healthcare field. CMS had originally postponed enforcement of the rule from January to April 1 after pressure from constituents to allot more time for provider education.
Nevertheless, various factions in the provider community were displeased that the rule was not delayed even longer. The American Hospital Association had asked for a delay until July, noting in a letter sent to CMS last month that "there is still a great deal of confusion due to the complexity and added administrative paperwork of the new requirements."
Moreover, a recent survey by the National Association for Homecare and Hospice found that nearly 80 percent of respondents expect that referring physicians will not be able to comply with all of the requirements.