CMS Pauses the Review Choice Demonstration for Home Health Agencies

From CMS’ COVID-19 Provider Burden Relief FAQs:

Effective March 29, 2020, certain claims processing for the Review Choice Demonstration (RCD) for Home Health Services will be paused in Illinois, Ohio, and Texas, until the PHE for the COVID-19 pandemic has ended. During the pause, the MACs will process claims submitted prior to the emergency period under normal claims processing requirements. Claims for home health services furnished on or after March 29, 2020 and before the end of the PHE for the COVID-19 pandemic in these states will not be subject to the review choices made by the home health agency under the demonstration. However, the MAC will continue to review any pre-claim review requests that have already been submitted, and providers may continue to submit new pre-claim review requests for review during the pause. Claims that have received a provisional affirmative pre-claim review decision and are submitted with an affirmed Unique Tracking Number (UTN) will continue to be excluded from future medical review. Home health agencies participating in pre-claim review may submit their claims without requesting such approval from the MAC and claims submitted without a UTN will not be stopped for prepayment review and will not receive a 25% payment reduction. HHAs participating in the other review choices (prepayment or postpayment review) will not receive Additional Documentation Requests (ADRs) during the pause, and ADRs that were issued prior to the PHE will be released and processed as normal. Following the end of the PHE for the COVID-19 pandemic, the MAC will conduct postpayment review on claims subject to the demonstration that were submitted and paid during the pause. The demonstration will not begin in North Carolina and Florida on May 4, 2020, as previously scheduled. CMS will provide notice on its demonstration website rescheduling the start of the demonstration, once the PHE has ended.

At this time, CMS is not planning an extension beyond May 31, 2024. If this did occur, CMS would provide proper public notice.