Home Health Agencies Must Provide Adequate Care According to Doctor’s Orders

Individuals who have a doctor’s orders to receive home health care cannot have these services suddenly cut or scaled back. Many elderly people need a certified home health agency to help with basic tasks after a hospital procedure or short-term rehabilitation stay. It has come to the attention of patient advocates and the New York State Commissioner of Health that some Certified Home Health Agencies (CHHA) are illegally stopping services or reducing the hours of care.

Unless a doctor has cleared the patient and has informed all parties in a sufficient manner, a CHHA cannot cut services without warning. If a CHHA is illegally doing this, they can receive violations for not adhering to state regulations and policies. Individuals and their loved ones can seek to have a fair hearing about the issue. Until a decision is made at the hearing, home health care must continue.

Some CHHAs are blaming the changes due to Medicaid payment cuts or state budget constraints. But state law specifically says that, “Agencies may not discriminate against a patient based on source of payment, and may not diminish nor discontinue services solely because of a change in the patient’s source of payment.” Around-the-clock care is still available for patients who receive a doctor’s orders for this type of care.

When patients are able to complete daily tasks on their own again and a doctor has approved this, a CHHA must follow defined procedures to discharge the patient from the home health care plan. This is also a critical component of the Medicaid home care procedures.

People who have had services unjustly cut or diminished need to contact a New York elder law attorney or New York special needs attorney. New York law firm Littman Krooks LLP excels in helping the elderly and people with special needs get their present and future needs upheld.

Our New York City, White Plains or Fishkill Elder Law and Special Needs attorneys have substantial experience in standing up for your rights. To learn more, visit www.elderlawnewyork.com.

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