Senate OKs Burwell As New HHS Secretary

Sylvia Burwell will serve as secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) after a bipartisan majority of Senators voted 78-17 Thursday in favor of President Obama’s nomination, the White House announced.  Burwell replaces Kathleen Sebelius as the second Cabinet official to oversee the Affordable Care Act, also known as ObamaCare. Sebelius resigned […]

OIG: 10 States Don’t Require Background Checks for Home Health Workers

Vetting home health care workers—via background checks or fingerprinting—has been an area of consideration for federal regulators in recent months, but a new report reveals not all states have practices in place to screen these employees.  Of the 50 states and the District of Columbia, only 41 states require home health agencies to conduct background […]

HHS to Spend $840 Million to Improve Healthcare System

A dozen prospective states and projects have been named to receive a combined amount of $840 million under new programs intended to improve the healthcare system. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) made up to $730 million available as part of the State Innovation Model initiative to help states design and test improvements […]

Washington D.C. Terminates Six Home Health Agencies Following Investigation

The Department of Health Care Finance (DHCF) announced Friday that it will terminate six home care agencies from Washington, D.C.’s Medicaid program, following their alleged involvement in a recent fraud investigation. Effective July 15, 2014, the six providers that will receive termination notices include ABA Home Health Care; Nursing Enterprises; Nursing Unlimited; T&N Reliable Nursing […]

Medicare Fraud Sweep Nets $223 Million, 89 Arrests for False Billings

A nationwide takedown by Medicare Fraud Strike Force operations in eight cities has resulted in 89 arrests for alleged participation in Medicare fraud schemes involving $223 million in false billing, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced Wednesday. The cumulative arrests represented the sixth national Medicare fraud takedown in the Strike Force’s history, […]

Senator Launches Effort to Postpone Competitive Bidding Expansion

A U.S. Senator has spearheaded a sign-on letter asking the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to postpone plans to expand the competitive bidding program for home medical equipment. Senator John Hoeven (R-N.D.) launched the effort in response to a recent announcement that competitive bidding will be expanded nationwide by 2016 beyond the 100 areas […]

Face-to-Face Rule Burdensome to Home Health Agencies

New government rules meant to prevent inappropriate reimbursements are proving burdensome to many home health agencies who worry it will interfere with their ability to provide care to those who need it.  “The cost of caring for homebound patients is rising, and the government is trying to get a better grip on spending by requiring […]

Home Care Group Responds to HHS Secretary’s Resignation

Kathleen Sebelius recently announced her resignation as secretary of the Department of Health & Human Services following the end of open enrollment for—and botched rollout of—the health insurance exchanges created under the Affordable Care Act. On April 11, President Barack Obama nominated Sylvia Mathews Burwell to take over the position. Burwell is the current director of […]

OIG Reviews DME Competitive Bidding Program

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) generally operated within the guidelines and Federal requirements for the competitive bidding Round 1 rebid program for durable medical equipment suppliers, the Department of Health & Human Services’ Office of the Inspector General found in a recent report.  “We determined that CMS generally selected DMEPOS (durable medical equipment, […]

Home Health Aides Account for 26% of Medicaid Criminal Convictions

Home health care aides notched the highest percentage of criminal convictions in cases brought by State Medicaid Fraud Control Units last year, most commonly involving fraud.  Medicaid’s fraud units recovered nearly $2.5 billion in criminal and civil investigations in fiscal year 2013, according to the Annual Report released by the Department of Health and Human Services Office of the […]