CMS Announces Delays in Home Health Regulations

CMS showered the home health industry with good news last Friday.  The agency announced proposed rules to delay implementation of the new Medicare Home Health Conditions of Participation (COPs.)  The much-maligned Pre-Claim Review Demonstration Program was also suspended.  

CMS’s proposed rule will extend the effective date for the new home health COPs from July 13, 2017 to January 13, 2018.  A 6-month delay will give agencies more time to meet new standards and consider interpretive guidance from CMS.  While this delay is being considered, agencies should continue to prepare for COP compliance.

The Pre-Claim Review Demonstration (PCRD) was underway in Illinois and slated to take effect on April 1 in Florida, followed by Texas, Michigan and Massachusetts. CMS announced that it is suspending the PCRD in Illinois for at least 30 days, and indefinitely for the other states. NAHC officials and home care providers from Illinois and Florida met with new CMS Administrator Seema Verma last week to share concerns about the administrative burden to agencies and the cost to CMS ($300 million over 5 years for just the demo states.)

To read more about these issues see the NAHC Reports on COP delay and PCRD