The CMS has extended a moratorium for another six months on new Medicare home healthcare agencies, subunits and ambulance suppliers in a number of major cities as part of an ongoing effort to curb fraud.
New home healthcare agencies and home healthcare agency subunits will not be allowed for another six months in the Chicago, Dallas, Detroit, Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Houston and Miami areas, according to a notice published in the Federal Register Monday. New Medicare Part B ambulance suppliers will be prohibited in the Houston and Philadelphia areas for another six months as well.
Moratoriums on new providers in some of the cities already have been in place since July 31, 2013, and they've been extended twice already. Originally, the CMS decided to put the moratoriums in place to help prevent Medicare fraud. This latest extension became effective Jan. 29.
The CMS relied on law enforcement's experience with fraud as well as data analysis in determining how and where to impose the original moratoriums, according to a notice published in the Federal Register last year.
“The circumstances warranting the imposition of the moratoria have not yet abated, and CMS has determined that the moratoria are still needed as we monitor the indicators and continue with administrative actions such as payment suspensions and revocations of provider/supplier numbers,” according to a notice filed in the Federal Register on Monday extending the moratoriums.
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