American Hospital Association Urges CMS To Provide Flexibility For Home Health Agencies

Posted: April 14, 2020

The AHA today urged the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to use its authority to extend to home health agencies additional relief to enhance their role in supporting and optimizing the overall health care system response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Specifically, AHA urged CMS to allow home health agencies, as it has done with other providers, to be allowed to count telehealth encounters as in-person visits for payment purposes.

"Importantly, this relief would provide another layer of protection to both home health staff and patients," AHA said. "Home health staff when treating Medicare beneficiaries are currently still required to engage in some amount of in-person care." In addition, AHA urged CMS to provide flexibility to use verbal orders and eligibility certifications in order to expedite safe and timely discharges from hospitals to home care.