Beginning next month, Medicare beneficiaries receiving care at home must prove that they actually require the service in order to receive coverage for it. While this requirement may sound reasonable, home health agencies and consumer groups are describing it as overly burdensome for frail seniors or those who live in rural areas without easy access to health care.
The new rule requires that a doctor or other health care provider certify that he or she has personally seen the patient and that the patient is in need of home health care. Because of the potential for confusion among health care providers regarding such things as proper documentation, the AARP, for one, is taking a hostile stance toward the new rule. AARP lobbyist Nora Super complained that “patients may lose access to their care” as a result of confusion and delays.