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Changes to Physician Certification?

A bipartisan group of U.S. lawmakers has begun planting the seeds to eliminate Medicare’s physician-certification policy — which many home health industry insiders have critiqued as outdated. If successful, the move could potentially make it easier for older adults to gain access to home health care and have a major impact on providers’ bottom line.

Introduced in April, the Home Health Care Planning Improvement Act of 2019 (H.R. 2150) aims to broaden the scope of who is allowed to certify the need for home health services under Medicare rules. Specifically, the legislation seeks to allow physician assistants, nurse practitioners and other advanced practice nurses to certify home health care services, theoretically removing physicians from the home-based care equation altogether.

House Lawmakers supporting H.R. 2150 include Reps. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.), Buddy Carter (R-Ga.), Ron Kind (D-Wis.), Mike Kelly (R-Pa.), Susan Wild (D-Pa.) and David Joyce (R-Ohio).

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