Home Health & Hospice

CMS extends length, not scope of targeted home health moratorium

Homecare Insider, February 3, 2015

Last week, CMS announced a six-month extension of its moratorium on new home health agencies in certain geographic areas of the country, effective January 29. The decision was published in the Federal Register last Thursday.
This is CMS’ third extension of its original moratorium in July 2013. The most recent update will apply to the same geographic regions already covered under the previous two iterations of the freeze: counties in and around Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Detroit, Chicago, Dallas, and Houston—areas that continue to exhibit risk for fraud and abuse, according to the agency.
The Affordable Care Act grants the Secretary of Health and Human Services the authority to impose temporary moratoria on the enrollment of new Medicare, Medicaid, and CHIP providers and suppliers that are considered at risk for fraud, waste, and abuse. The halts are limited to six months in duration, but CMS can continually extend a moratorium in half-year increments or, conversely, can lift a moratorium before six months are up.
Click here to read the full announcement in the Federal Register.