The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that it will once again extend the moratorium on the enrollment of new home health agencies, branch locations and subunits in certain metropolitan areas of Florida, Texas, Illinois, Michigan, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. In Florida, the moratorium continues in effect in Miami-Dade, Broward, and Monroe counties. The table below identifies the metropolitan areas and counties currently subject to the moratorium.

The moratorium applies to new Medicare, Medicaid and CHIP providers, and according to CMS, is necessary to prevent or combat fraud, waste or abuse in these programs in the geographical areas that have shown a greater risk. This moratorium will remain in effect for six months, and, if CMS deems it necessary, it may continue to extend the moratorium in additional six-month increments. Certain locations, including Miami-Dade county, have been subject to a moratorium on new home health agencies, branch locations and subunits since July 31, 2013. Once the moratorium is lifted, providers that were previously unable to enroll will be designated with a high screening level for six months from the date the moratorium ends. The more intensive screening level  requires that the Medicare contractor processing the enrollment application conduct a fingerprint-based criminal history record check on all individuals who have a five percent or greater direct or indirect ownership interest in the home health agency.

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