The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recently announced a temporary and targeted moratorium on the approval of new home health agencies in Miami-Dade and Monroe counties. The moratorium takes effect on July 30, 2013.
According to CMS, the goal of the temporary moratoria is to fight fraud and safeguard taxpayer dollars, while ensuring patient access to care. Authority to impose such moratoria was included in the Affordable Care Act, and CMS is exercising this authority for the first time.
“This action is long overdue and welcome,” stated Bobby Lolley, executive director, Home Care Association of Florida (HCAF). “It is critical that Florida seniors continue having access to high quality, cost-effective home health care services, but recognizes that the ratio of home health agencies to Medicare beneficiaries in Miami-Dade County is too high. Controlling the growth in this area will give federal authorities the opportunity to address fraud and abuse in the Medicare system to ensure that the home health benefit is sustainable for the 10,000 Baby Boomers becoming Medicare-eligible every day.”
In its legislative agenda, HCAF has long supported stronger program integrity efforts, including a targeted temporary moratorium in areas with aberrant utilization of home health services. This moratorium will improve federal authorities’ ability to punish those who willfully and knowingly defraud the system.
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The Home Care Association of Florida (HCAF), based in Tallahassee, was founded in January 1989 and is a non-profit association dedicated to serving Florida home care providers and their vendors. HCAF exists to provide representation, communication and advocacy for these providers, and to give them the information they need to deliver high quality, cost effective services to patients and clients in their home. Learn more at www.homecarefla.org.