Doctors’ Prognosis: New Face to Face Rule Hinders Home Care

A new Medicare rule is only a few months old, but it is already having a detrimental effect on home care in the Carolinas, Virginia, and even nationwide.

New Medicare Rule

The National Association for Home Care & Hospice conducted a survey of physicians recently to see what kind of impact the new face to face requirement has had since it was instituted April 1. The results of that survey illustrated just how much the new rules have impacted home health care:

• 62% of physicians say patients are less likely to be referred to home health care due to the new documentation requirements
• 73% of the physicians say the documentation requirements will result in a negative impact on the health of Medicare
• 93% consider the face-to-face documentation requirements more difficult than previous certification requirements and thus, want them simplified

Those findings illustrate why the new rule, while developed with good intentions, is not in the best interest of people who are affected the most. The extensive documentation requirements are a barrier to many patients, who may be intimidated by the need to provide such thorough information. Physicians also suffer from the new rule, as they must also provide unprecedented details about why a particular patient is eligible under Medicare coverage.

Less Patient Referrals

The most troublesome news is that the vast majority of physicians believe that the new rule will result in fewer patients referred to home care, which will negatively impact the health of thousands. Home care is a vital part of health care in this country. In fact, this article states that America needs to take advantage of all the benefits that home health care provides. This new rule was designed to increase a physician’s involvement in patient care. However, with patient numbers declining, it has had the opposite effect.

Liberty HomeCare & Hospice Services

Liberty HomeCare & Hospice Services is hopeful that new, less stringent requirements are created soon. In the meantime, we will remain dedicated to educating patients and physicians about the new rule and helping patients receive the care they need and deserve.

Tony Zizzamia
President, Liberty HomeCare & Hospice Services