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Bill to Permit Non-Physician Practitioners to Certify Medicare Home Health Orders Introduced in the

Wednesday, April 10, 2019   (0 Comments)
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April 10, 2019, NAHC Report 


A bipartisan group of legislators introduced a bill in the House of Representatives on Tuesday, April 9, to allow non-physician practitioners to certify home health orders under Medicare. Commonly referred to as the “NPP bill”, the legislation would extend certification authority to nurse practitioners, physician assistants, nurse midwives, and clinical nurse specialists.

These NPPs play a critical role in managing and delivering health care to millions of Americans, and are often the practitioners who are most familiar with a patient – sometimes far more familiar than any actual physician. Nevertheless, under current law they are forced to hand off their patients to a physician, who is authorized to certify a patient for Medicare home health. Apart from delaying treatment (possibly jeopardizing the health of a patient because of the delay), the current procedural burden increases the cost to Medicare by requiring the involvement of additional providers with reimbursement rates far higher than those of non-physician practitioners.

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