Contact: Emily Swanson
Visiting Nurse Associations of America
VNAA SUPPORTS KEY CMS PROPOSALS TO CURB
FRAUD AND ABUSE IN MEDICARE
WASHINGTON, DC - October 6, 2010 - With rapidly rising levels of fraud and abuse undermining confidence in home health, the VNAA announced its general support for new federal efforts to combat it. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released a proposed rule on Sept. 23, 2010, designed to reduce fraud and abuse in Medicare, Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP).
"Although we are still developing formal comments, the proposed rule begins to address longstanding VNAA policy recommendations to curb fraud and abuse in the Medicare program, including a temporary moratorium on the enrollment of new Medicare certified home health and hospice agencies and stronger criminal background screenings of home health managers," stated Andy Carter, VNAA President and CEO.
Most recently, VNAA recommended a temporary moratorium on the enrollment of new Medicare home health providers last month to CMS in comments on a previous CMS proposed rule related to the home health payment update for 2011 and certification changes for home health and hospice.
"Over the past ten years the number of Medicare home health and hospice providers has increased exponentially and has led certain providers to engage in abusive practices in order to maximize Medicare profits. VNAA has called for Congress and CMS to impose a temporary moratorium on the enrollment of new Medicare home health and hospice providers, the vast majority of which entering the market are for-profit," noted Carter.
The Affordable Care Act gives CMS the authority to impose a temporary moratorium on the enrollment of new Medicare, Medicaid and CHIP providers/suppliers. CMS states in its proposed rule that it will collaborate with the Office of Inspector General and the Department of Justice on how to implement any temporary moratoriums. CMS also proposes to require criminal background checks for owners and managers of providers deemed "high risk" for fraud and abuse.
VNAA will submit formal comments to CMS on the proposed rule prior the due date, Nov. 16, 2010.
Full link to CMS' proposed rule - http://fdsys.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2010-09-23/pdf/2010-23579.pdf
Full link to VNAA's recommendation - http://vnaa.org/vnaa/g/?H=HTML/doc/VNAAComments9.10.10.pdf
About VNAA: VNAA is a national association that supports, promotes and advocates for community-based nonprofit home health and hospice providers that care for all individuals regardless of complexity of condition or ability to pay. They provide comprehensive services for Medicare, Medicaid, uninsured, and privately insured patients. VNAA members share a mission to provide cost-effective and compassionate care to some of the nation's most vulnerable individuals, particularly the elderly and individuals with disabilities. Visit http://www.VNAA.org today.