July 3, 2013
Recently it has become the policy of the NH Medicaid division to require home health services to be provided within the home. The Disabilities Rights Center has received calls regarding individuals who have been negatively affected by this policy, and have been forced to remain homebound due to the need for frequent home health services that could have been provided in a different setting, allowing the person to engage in activities in the community.
This NH Medicaid policy conflicts with the Americans with Disabilities Act, according to a July 1, 2013 memo to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) (link) from the US Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General.
In the memo, the Deputy Inspector General discusses the proposed CMS rule that would “clarify that home health services cannot be restricted to individuals who are homebound or to services furnished in the home…” The memo further encourages CMS to finalize the rule and to issue a guidance “specific to home health services and homebound eligibility restrictions, explaining why such restrictions are improper.”
We expect the rules to change soon. In the meantime, the memo can be found here. If you have been facing this issue with NH Medicaid, this document may be helpful in your advocacy.
Contact Disability Rights Center - NH for further information, at 1-800-834-1721.