The CMS has again extended a moratorium for another six months on new Medicare home healthcare agencies, subunits and ambulance suppliers in a slew of major cities across the country. It's part of an ongoing battle against fraud, waste and abuse.
The CMS relied on the experience of law enforcement and its own data analysis in deciding to impose the moratoria, according to a notice released Friday afternoon by the CMS. The extended moratoria take effect July 29 and will last for at least another six months.
New home healthcare agencies, home healthcare agency subunits and branch locations will not be allowed in the areas of Chicago, Dallas, Detroit, Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Houston and Miami. New Medicare Part B ambulance suppliers will continue to be barred in the Houston and Philadelphia areas as well.
“The CMS consulted with the HHS (Office of Inspector General) regarding the extension of the moratoria on new (home healthcare agencies) and ground ambulance suppliers in all of the moratoria counties, and HHS-OIG agrees that a significant potential for fraud, waste and abuse continues to exist in these geographic areas,” according to the notice.
The cities have been under the moratoria since 2013. The CMS is allowed to impose the moratoria under the Affordable Care Act.