Blue Dogs want home health regulation loosened

Conservative Democrats say the Obama administration is burdening home healthcare providers with overly complicated regulations.

The Blue Dog Coalition said in a letter to Medicare administrator Don Berwick that new regulations are causing paperwork burdens for home health companies. The rules, which took effect in April, requires home health providers to sign two forms certifying that a patient is homebound and needs home healthcare.

"The new regulation is duplicative of existing requirements, unfairly burdens home health agencies, puts proper reimbursement at risk and has resulted in paperwork lacking uniformity ... Simply reducing the paperwork requirement will streamline the process for both CMS and the home health agencies and bring uniformity to the regulation," the coalition said.

Doctors, hospitals and outpatient treatment centers don't use the same forms, the Democrats said, making the regulations especially onerous on home healthcare companies that rely on proper paperwork to receive Medicare payments.