CMS Releases Home Health Agency Transmittal Regarding Accreditation and Change of Ownership

On February 18, 2010, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services released a transmittal addressing home health agencies (“HHAs”) that have deactivated billing privileges as well as conditions on HHAs and changes in ownership (the “Revised HHA Policy”). The Revised HHA Policy affords relief to those HHAs that submitted change-of-ownership (“CHOW”) applications prior to January 1, 2010, but which were not approved prior to that date. By operation of the policy, the provider number of any HHA whose CHOW application was not approved by January 1st would be terminated (the “36-Month HHA Transfer Restriction Rule”). A substantial number of HHAs submitted CHOW applications prior to promulgation of the rule, but these applications were not processed by December 31st, and thus these HHAs did not obtain the requisite approval by January 1st. Thus, HHAs with pending applications were beginning to receive notices of termination, and others were awaiting such termination notices. The Revised HHA Policy, however, clarifies that the requirements of the 36-Month HHA Transfer Restriction Rule are effective for CMS-855A applications received on or after January 1, 2010. Most importantly, under the Revised HHA Policy, HHA applications received prior to January 1, 2010 will be handled in accordance with the policies in place prior to January 1, 2010. Thus, all HHAs that submitted CHOW applications by December 31, 2010 will have these processed under the former (i.e., pre-36-Month HHA Transfer Restriction Rule) standards.

For more information, please contact Adrienne Dresevic, Esq. or Carey F. Kalmowitz, Esq. at (248) 996-8510 or visit the HLP website.

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