Medicare announced clarifications to home health payments in MLN Matters®Number: MM9119 (Related Change Request (CR) #: CR 9119 on April 10. The clarifications instruct physicians, non-physician practitioners, and home health companies, including hospices, how to submit claims for home healthcare services provided to Medicare patients for episodes beginning on or after January 1, 2015. The article sets forth major changes to home health documentation requirements and finalizes clarifications and revisions to policies regarding physician certification and recertification of patient eligibility for Medicare home health services in the calendar year 2015 and sets forth a revised timeframe for therapy functional reassessments. Beginning on January 1, 2015; at least every thirty calendar days a qualified therapist (instead of an assistant) must provide the needed therapy service and functionally reassess the patient.
The physician narrative requirement for home health certification has been eliminated but prior to certifying a beneficiary’s eligibility for the home health benefit, the certifying provider must have a face-to-face encounter with the beneficiary. Following are the three changes to the face-to-face encounter requirements:
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