After delaying the implementation of new home health CoPs over the summer, CMS plans to stick to its roll out date
of January 13, 2018 without further delay. This comes while a final version of its Interpretive Guidelines has yet to be issued. Industry stakeholders had lobbied that the roll out be delayed for an additional six months or six months from the guidelines’ release date that could occur by the end of the year. So, what does this mean to agencies like yours that have been waiting for direction from these guidelines? Luckily, the CMS has offered some flexibility during this confusing time.
During this first year of implementation, the CMS will not be imposing CMPs on agencies who are taking reasonable steps to be compliant. This amnesty from CMPs will continue through January 13, 2019. CMPs will not be imposed on re-certification surveys unless an Immediate Jeopardy situation has been identified. This is a welcomed by the home health agency industry, especially when previously in 2016, there were a total of 79 different CMPs and running afoul could be costly.
CMS Interpretive Guidelines Subject to Change
The CMS released a draft copy of its Interpretive Guidelines in October. At that time, it requested comments with a closing date of November 15. Depending the outcome of the CMS’ review of the comments, it’s expected there won’t be any major changes made to the guidelines in their final form.
What January Rollout Means for Direct Care Agencies
Because the CMS is delaying CMPs and might only make minor changes to the CoPs’ final draft after reviewing requested comments, they will stand firm on their roll out date. As always, DCI Software gives you the integrated tools to assist you with accurate reporting and records to avoid compliance issues.