CMS Extends Home Health Moratorium — Again

In an attempt to bridle fraud, waste and abuse, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has extended its moratorium on the enrollment of Medicare home health agencies, as well as on the enrollment of new Medicare Part B ground ambulance suppliers, in several cities for six more months.

CMS has extended the moratorium twice, and expanded it to include additional cities, since its first-ever moratorium took effect on July 31, 2013.

Effective Jan. 29, new home health care agencies and subunits will not be permitted for another six months in the Chicago, Detroit, Houston, Dallas, Miami and Fort Lauderdale, Florida, metropolitan areas, according to a Federal Register notice published Feb. 1. Additionally, new Medicare Part B ambulance suppliers will not be allowed in the Philadelphia and Houston metropolitan areas for another six months. 

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General believes that a significant potential for fraud, waste, and abuse continues to exist in these geographic regions, the notice states.

Meanwhile, CMS will continue to perform administrative actions, such as payment suspensions and revocations of provider/supplier numbers, the notice says.

Written by Mary Kate Nelson