AAHomecare to Providers: Use Sound Judgement

Industry association reminds providers that CMS’s relaxed coverage requirements are to help fight COVID-19 and to not only judiciously apply the new guidelines but help police any abuse.

With CMS’s relaxations of various coverage requirements, the American Association for Homecare reminded providers to judiciously apply the policy guidance and keep a sharp eye out for anyone taking advantage of the relaxed policies.

Via it's interim final rule, implementation of CARES Act relief package provisions, and other guidance, CMS has worked to help DMEPOS providers serve patients during the public health emergency by:

  • Relaxing documentation requirements.
  • Suspending various audits.
  • Expediting provider enrolment.
  • Allowing telehealth to take place in the home.
  • Accelerating payments.

AAHomecare provided a full list of CMS’s policy changes to support DMEPOS providers at bit.ly/2Rictkg.

A statement from the association reminded providers to “exercise their best judgment” regarding new guidance from CMS, because the agency’s relaxation in coverage criteria was implemented to help HME providers provide care during challenging conditions. Helping patients in their homes reduces pressure on hospitals, as well as COVID-19 exposure for HME professionals and their patients.

Bearing those reasons in mind, now is the time for those providers to follow not only the “letter of the law” but the “spirit of the law,” AAHomecare underscored.

“Over the last three weeks, CMS has granted the HME community a significant measure of relief in relaxing the coverage, documentation, testing, and other requirements to allow the HME community to effectively respond to the COVID-19 outbreak,” an AAHomecare statement read. “In consultation with Association leadership and our legal counsel, AAHomecare has developed this statement urging suppliers to exercise sound judgment in applying the new guidance from CMS.”

AAHomecare went further to remind providers that federal and state laws prohibiting kickbacks, inducements, false claims, and other fraudulent and abusive behavior remain. 

“It is critical that HME providers not use the relaxed requirements to engage in fraudulent and/or unethical acts designed solely to generate revenue,” the association’s statement continued. “We are all in this together, and there is no room for any type of questionable behavior.”

AAHomecare urged HME stakeholders to report any behavior skirting those laws to the National Center for Disaster Fraud Hotline at (866) 720-5721 or disaster@leo.gov.

About the Author

David Kopf is the Publisher and Executive Editor of HME Business and DME Pharmacy magazines. Follow him on Twitter at @postacutenews.

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