2. Effective Documentation to Support Medicare Eligibility Requirements
It is important to remember that Medicare is a medical insurance program. On every visit made to a Medicare beneficiary, the home care clinician must determine if the patient meets or continues to meet the eligibility requirements of the Medicare home health program. This includes determining if the patient requires reasonable and medically necessary services and is confined to the home (is homebound); determining if the services are provided under a plan of care established and approved by a physician; assuring the patient is under the care of a physician; determining if the patient requires intermittent skilled nursing care, physical therapy, or speech therapy, or if the patient has a continuing need for occupational therapy, as well as physician certification/recertification. This chapter will examine each of these requirements, utilizing the guidance from the Medicare Benefits Policy Manual and examples to illustrate the intent of each of these requirements and the required elements to document effectively.