In November 2010, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued their final rule regarding hospice and home health face-to-face encounter requirements for 2011. As has always been the case, hospice and home health care patients must be under the direct supervision of a physician at all times, a model which Amedisys has always employed and supported.
The new CMS face-to-face regulation is designed to further ensure the physician’s active involvement in a patient’s plan of care. This regulation will have no financial impact on either the patients we care for or the physicians who refer them to us.
For hospice care patients, CMS has place the responsibility for face-to-face visits on the hospice agency. You are not expected, nor required, to make any adjustments to the care you provide to hospice patients under this rule. This new regulation will not have an impact on you, your referrals to Amedisys Hospice Care, or how you interact with our care center. If you serve as a patient’s attending physician, you will continue to serve in that capacity. However, you can expect that your patients will receive additional support and hands-on care from our team through these face-to-face encounters.
For home health care patients, CMS’s face-to-face regulations require additional visits and documentation, which we will work with you and our shared patients to manage. These requirements are only for the initial certification period, not for recertifications. For details, please review “Home Health Face-to-Face Encounter – A New Home Health Certification Requirement,” published by CMS, or visit our Face-to-Face Requirements page to learn more and discover tips for easier implementation of this requirement.