The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that, effective July 29, it extended and expanded temporary six-month moratoria on the enrollment of new Home Health Agencies (HHAs) statewide in Florida, Illinois, Michigan, and Texas.

The expansion is significant. For example, in Florida, the current moratorium applies only to Broward, Miami-Dade, and Monroe Counties. CMS determined the expansion was required to prevent circumvention of the current moratoria, which has resulted in areas of HHA saturation that exceed the national average in these moratoria states. Accordingly, no new HHAs will be enrolled in Medicare, Medicaid, or CHIP with a practice location in Florida, Illinois, Michigan, or Texas unless their enrollment application has already been approved but not yet entered into the Provider Enrollment Chain and Ownership System (PECOS) for Medicare or the State Provider/Supplier Enrollment System for Medicaid and CHIP as of July 29. CMS will evaluate whether to extend or lift the moratorium before the end of the initial six-month period.

The announcement also provides that HHAs will continue to be designated to a high screening level for six months from the date the moratorium is lifted.

The federal registrar will publish the announcement on August 3, 2016 but a copy is available here.