Home Health & Hospice

Check out the Updated HHABN

Homecare Insider, August 31, 2009

Since 2006, homecare providers have been using the original Home Health Advance Beneficiary Notice (HHABN) with an expiration date of August 31, 2009.  In July, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) submitted a revised notice for approval.  On August 27, CMS announced that the Office of Management and Budget has issued an extension to allow providers to use the original HHABN while the approval process continues.  In keeping with an early CMS instruction, agencies can use either the original or the soon-to-be approved version of the HHABN.  (Download the complete package, including notices, instructions, and supporting statements at —http://www.cms.hhs.gov/PaperworkReductionActof1995/downloads/CMS_R_296.zip.)  Once approved, agencies must use only the revised notice. 

The revisions to the HHABN are very minor and of a positive nature:
•    Plain text replaces the tables and charts in the instructions, when appropriate.
•    The notice includes preprinted telephone and TTY (teletypewriter) numbers for contacting Medicare.
•    An agency-specific patient identification number replaces the patient’s Medicare number.

The instructions permit the agency to enter the patient’s name and identification information, if desired, instead of instructing the patient to do this.  (The patient, however, must still select the desired patient-option box in Option Box 1.)

CMS hasn’t changed its estimate of burden.  It believes it takes 18 minutes to complete HHABN Option Box 1 and four minutes each to complete Option Boxes 2 and 3.

Watch the Beneficiary Notices Initiative Web site for updates.  Also check out the recently updated resource, HHABN and Expedited Review Manual:  Managing the Processes for Homecare Providers .