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CMS Extends Enrollment Moratorium for South Florida Home Health Agencies

CMS Moratorium on South Florida HHAs


In July 2013, CMS imposed a moratorium on the enrollment of new home health agencies in Miami-Dade County, Florida.  In February 2014, CMS extended the initial moratorium in Miami-Dade, and expanded it to also include Broward County, Florida.  Last week, CMS extended this moratorium for another six-months in both Miami-Dade and Broward Counties.  In its announcement of the extension, CMS explains what it means to health-care entrepreneurs in South Florida.

During the 6-month temporary moratorium, initial provider enrollment applications and change of information applications to add additional practice locations, received from Home Health Agencies, Home Health Agency Sub-Units and Part B Ambulance suppliers in the listed counties will be denied.  Application fees that are paid for applications that are denied due to this temporary moratorium will be refunded.

CMS based this decision on consultations with law-enforcement agencies, who maintain that there is a “high risk of fraud, waste, or abuse in these provider and supplier types within these geographic regions,”1The July 2013 and February 2014 Federal Register documents, linked above, have in-depth discussions about the nature and extent of healthcare fraud in the affected regions. and CMS’s state partners, who determined that the continued moratorium “will not create access to care issues for Medicaid or CHIP beneficiaries.”  CMS can again extend the moratorium at the end of the current six-month period.

This continued moratoria will have ripple-effects across South Florida’s healthcare businesses.  Consulting with knowledgeable healthcare counsel is essential; it will help conserve and properly allocate resources, and it will help navigate the complicated, rapidly-evolving legal and regulatory landscape in healthcare.  If you have questions about what this moratorium means for you, please contact our firm to discuss it.

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