April 11, 2019
Newly Introduced House Legislation Would Relax Home Health Certification Requirements
Home Health Care News
Lawmakers are pushing yet another piece of new legislation that would make it easier for patients to gain access to home health care, specifically by widening the scope of who can certify the need for home health services under Medicare rules.
A bipartisan group of representatives introduced the Home Health Care Planning Improvement Act of 2019 (H.R. 2150) Wednesday. If passed, the legislation would allow physician assistants, nurse practitioners and other advanced practice nurses to certify home health care services, potentially cutting the need for a physician out of the equation.
Under current Medicare rules, only physicians can certify patients to receive home health services — a common point of contention within the home health care industry. Among other challenges, it’s not uncommon for home health providers to experience gaps in communication with patients’ doctors, as well as costly certification delays that leave individuals vulnerable to negative outcomes without timely care.