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|On January 13, 2018, CMS released its final ruling updating the Conditions of Participation (CoPs) which govern the minimum health and safety requirements that HHAs must meet to participate in the Medicare and Medicaid programs. This was a delay from the initial date of July 13, 2017.|
|HHAs that fail to meet the new CoPs could face sanctions or potential program termination.|
|The new CoPs are aimed at improving the quality of care for Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries. The rule is meant to improve the quality of healthcare services for all home health patients.|
CMS released a final rule updating the home health Conditions of Participation
January 13, 2018
CMS implements the new HHA CoPs
January 13, 2018 – January 13, 2019
CMS has announced that in the first year of the new ruling, it will not impose any civil monetary penalties on agencies who are taking actions to be compliant, unless there is an identified Immediate Jeopardy situation*
Requirements for the 60-day physician summary, professional advisory council and quarterly record review have been eliminated and replaced with new conditions requiring Quality Assessment and Performance Improvement (QAPI), a strengthening of patient rights, and infection control programs.
The updated CoPs modernize the existing requirements to improve home health quality of care. The requirements have not undergone a comprehensive review in over 10 years.
Reflecting changes in the patient population and evolving care delivery models, the ruling contains major modifications in the HHA CoPs that parallel the finalized requirements for long-term care facilities, which were released in October 2016, demonstrating CMS’ commitment to coordinated, patient-centered care. According to CMS, “The requirements focus on the care delivered to patients by HHAs, reflect an interdisciplinary view of patient care, allow HHAs greater flexibility in meeting quality care standards, and eliminate unnecessary procedural requirements.”
Due to many of the rule’s more explicit requirements for the home health industry (e.g. patient notification and education) HHAs may need to shift personnel and resources and adapt their current practices to meet the requirements in this final rule.