Starting April 1, home health agencies and hospices must comply with the face-to-face encounter requirement established under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). Under the PPACA, home health patients must receive a face-to-face encounter with the certifying physician or non-physician practitioner 90 days prior to the start of care or within 30 days after the start of care. Similarly, hospice patients must also receive a face-to-face encounter by a physician or nurse practitioner before the patient’s 180th-day recertification and within 30 days before the start of the patient’s third benefit period. Both home health and hospice providers must document the face-to-face encounter in the patient’s records. Providers are encouraged to review Chapter 4, sections 30.1 and 60 of the Medicare General Information, Eligibility, and Entitlement Manual for additional information concerning CMS’ face-to-face encounter requirement.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. “Physician Certification and Recertification for Services Manual Changes.” Transmittal 68. 22 Apr. 2011.