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Legislation to Watch: Home Health Care Planning Improvement Act

The Home Health Care Planning Improvement Act of 2017 (H.R. 1825) was recently introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives. The purpose of this Act is to allow non-physician practitioners (NPPS), including physician assistants (PA), nurse practitioners (NP), clinical nurse specialists and certified nurse midwives the ability to order home health services and certify face-to-face encounters with Medicare patients. What This Means for the Health and Home Care Industry The role of NPPs continues to play an important part in health care policymaking. Currently, PAs and NPs are permitted by Medicare to be reimbursed for certain physician services. They are also allowed to sign Certificates of Medical Necessity that need to be filed for Medicare claims for home medical equipment. If the Home Health Care Planning Improvement Act is passed, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) will allow NPPs to certify home health services for Medicare patients. This is something that NPPs are currently prohibited from doing. The intended result is improved patient satisfaction due to fewer delays in care that result from waiting to have a physician certify home health services. Regardless of whether the Act becomes law, DCI is always ready to help your organization remain in compliance with reporting to the CMS.  

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