Home Health & Hospice

CMS extends moratoria for home health

Homecare Insider, February 3, 2014

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced a new temporary moratoria on the enrollment of home health agencies in four metropolitan areas (Fort Lauderdale, Detroit, Dallas, and Houston).

CMS is also extending for six-months the current enrollment moratoria of home health agencies in Chicago and Miami in its Medicare, Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) operations. This is the second wave of the agency’s use of this powerful tool to fight fraud and safeguard taxpayer dollars while ensuring patient access to care is not interrupted. 
In July 2013, CMS’ initial use of the temporary enrollment moratoria authorities focused on three fraud “hot spot” metropolitan areas. 
Existing providers and suppliers can continue to deliver and bill for services, but no new provider and supplier applications will be approved in these areas. The six-month extension of the moratoria in these areas and the imposition of new moratoria in the additional counties were announced in a notice issued in the Federal Register.
The new moratoria and the six-month extension of the existing moratoria will begin Friday, January 31, and are expected to remain in place for a period of six months. CMS may lift the moratoria earlier or extend it another six months by issuing another notice in the Federal Register.  During the moratoria period, CMS and the affected States will continue to monitor access to care to ensure that Medicare, Medicaid and CHIP beneficiaries are receiving the services they need. For all new moratoria counties where the moratoria was extended, CMS and affected States have carefully examined Medicare beneficiary access to home health and ambulance services and concluded that the moratoria will not affect access to care.