Home Health & Hospice

Senate Finance Committee Report Will Increase Therapy Scrutiny

Homecare Insider, October 17, 2011

On October 3, the Senate Finance Committee released a report regarding the investigation of four major homecare company’s therapy practices. In response to a media report that home health companies took advantage of the Medicare therapy payment system by providing medically-unnecessary patient care, an investigation into home health therapy practices at Amedisys, LHC Group, Gentiva, and Almost Family was launched.

Regarding the results of this investigation, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus stated: “The gaming of Medicare represents serious abuse of the home health program. Elderly patients in the Medicare system should not be used as pawns to increase a company’s profits. Especially in these tough economic times, taxpayers simply cannot afford for their dollars to be wasted on unnecessary care. We are going to continue to crack down on these companies to ensure taxpayer dollars are used efficiently and Medicare patients are protected.”

The result of this investigation, though it only involved four companies, will certainly keep the focus of scrutiny on home health care, especially related to therapy services. However, providers should not panic. What they must do is ensure that their therapy practices are sound, documentation is above reproach, and that they are doing the right thing and following the rules.

Providers should not rely on media and other sources for important information regarding this investigation, but should, instead, read the report.

To find out more about what the Senate Finance Committee found, read the report today.