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Compliance risks and tips for home health agencies

Anne Novick Branan (anne.branan@nelsonmullins.com) is Of Counsel in the Fort Lauderdale Office of Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP. Anne is certified in Health Law by the Florida Bar and has extensive experience advising clients how to navigate federal and state healthcare compliance laws. Before her legal career, she was a healthcare professional in home healthcare for 10 years.

Richard Sena (richard.sena@nelsonmullins.com) is a Juris Doctor candidate at the Nova Southeastern University Shepard Broad College of Law. He is the Editor-in-Chief of the Nova Law Review and a Law Clerk at Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP in Fort Lauderdale.

Home health providers furnish care for some of our country’s most vulnerable populations. Home care provides a lifeline for patients to convalesce at home where they are comfortable and to avoid institutionalization in long-term care facilities. According to the latest study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are more than 12,000 home health agencies, 98.7% of which are Medicare certified and 78.4% of which are Medicaid certified.[1] As such, the federal government keeps a keen eye on home health practices that put strain on the public health system or put patients at risk. Enforcement by the Office of Inspector General (OIG) of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS), the Department of Justice, and various state agencies aims to protect government healthcare plans and their beneficiaries. With this aggressive oversight, home health providers face compliance risks with severe criminal, civil, and financial consequences for violations.

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