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PROCEDURE FOR PAYMENT OF CLAIMS OF PROVIDERS OF SERVICES

Sec1835[42 U.S.C. 1395n] (a) Except as provided in subsections (b), (c), and (e), payment for services described in section 1832(a)(2) furnished an individual may be made only to providers of services which are eligible therefor under section 1866(a), and only if—

(1) written request, signed by such individual, except in cases in which the Secretary finds it impracticable for the individual to do so, is filed for such payment in such form, in such manner and by such person or persons as the Secretary may by regulation prescribe, no later than the close of the period of 3 calendar years following the year in which such services are furnished (deeming any services furnished in the last 3 calendar months of any calendar year to have been furnished in the succeeding calendar year) except that, where the Secretary deems that efficient administration so requires, such period may be reduced to not less than 1 calendar year; and

(2) a physician, or in the case of services described in subparagraph (A), a physician enrolled under section 1866(j),[104]certifies (and recertifies, where such services are furnished over a period of time, in such cases, with such frequency, and accompanied by such supporting material, appropriate to the case involved, as may be provided by regulations) that—

(A) in the case of home health services (i) such services are or were required because the individual is or was confined to his home (except when receiving items and services referred to in section 1861(m)(7)) and needs or needed skilled nursing care (other than solely venipuncture for the purpose of obtaining a blood sample) on an intermittent basis or physical or speech therapy or, in the case of an individual who has been furnished home health services based on such a need and who no longer has such a need for such care or therapy, continues or continued to need occupational therapy, (ii) a plan for furnishing such services to such individual has been established and is periodically reviewed by a physician, (iii) such services are or were furnished while the individual is or was under the care of a physician, and (iv) in the case of a certification after January 1, 2010, prior to making such certification the physician must document that the physician, or a nurse practitioner or clinical nurse specialist (as those terms are defined in section 1861(aa)(5)) who is working in collaboration with the physician in accordance with State law, or a certified nurse-midwife (as defined in section 1861(gg)) as authorized by State law, or a physician assistant (as defined in section 1861(aa)(5)) under the supervision of the physician, has had a face-to-face encounter (including through use of telehealth and other than with respect to encounters that are incident to services involved) with the individual during the 6-month period preceding such certification, or other reasonable timeframe as determined by the Secretary[105];

(B) in the case of medical and other health services, except services described in subparagraphs (B), (C), and (D) of section 1861(s)(2), such services are or were medically required;

(C) in the case of outpatient physical therapy services or outpatient occupational therapy services, (i) such services are or were required because the individual needed physical therapy services or occupational therapy services, respectively, (ii) a plan for furnishing such services has been established by a physician or by the qualified physical therapist or qualified occupational therapist, respectively, providing such services and is periodically reviewed by a physician, and (iii) such services are or were furnished while the individual is or was under the care of a physician;

(D) in the case of outpatient speech pathology services, (i) such services are or were required because the individual needed speech pathology services, (ii) a plan for furnishing such services has been established by a physician or by the speech pathologist providing such services and is periodically reviewed by a physician, and (iii) such services are or were furnished while the individual is or was under the care of a physician;

(E) in the case of comprehensive outpatient rehabilitation facility services, (i) such services are or were required because the individual needed skilled rehabilitation services, (ii) a plan for furnishing such services has been established and is periodically reviewed by a physician, and (iii) such services are or were furnished while the individual is or was under the care of a physician; and

(F) in the case of partial hospitalization services, (i) the individual would require inpatient psychiatric care in the absence of such services, (ii) an individualized, written plan for furnishing such services has been established by a physician and is reviewed periodically by a physician, and (iii) such services are or were furnished while the individual is or was under the care of a physician.

For purposes of this section, the term “provider of services” shall include a clinic, rehabilitation agency, or public health agency if, in the case of a clinic or rehabilitation agency, such clinic or agency meets the requirements of section 1861(p)(4)(A) (or meets the requirements of such section through the operation of subsection (g) or (ll)(2) of section 1861), or if, in the case of a public health agency, such agency meets the requirements of section 1861(p)(4)(B) (or meets the requirements of such section through the operation of subsection (g) or (ll)(2) of section 1861)), but only with respect to the furnishing of outpatient physical therapy services (as therein defined) or (through the operation of subsection (g) or (ll)(2) of section 1861) with respect to the furnishing of outpatient occupational therapy services or outpatient speech-language pathology services, respectively.

To the extent provided by regulations, the certification and recertification requirements of paragraph (2) shall be deemed satisfied where, at a later date, a physician makes a certification of the kind provided in subparagraph (A) or (B) of paragraph (2) (whichever would have applied), but only where such certification is accompanied by such medical and other evidence as may be required by such regulations. With respect to the physician certification required by paragraph (2) for home health services furnished to any individual by a home health agency (other than an agency which is a governmental entity) and with respect to the establishment and review of a plan for such services, the Secretary shall prescribe regulations which shall become effective no later than July 1, 1981, and which prohibit a physician who has a significant ownership interest in, or a significant financial or contractual relationship with, such home health agency from performing such certification and from establishing or reviewing such plan, except that such prohibition shall not apply with respect to a home health agency which is a sole community home health agency (as determined by the Secretary). For purposes of the preceding sentence, service by a physician as an uncompensated officer or director of a home health agency shall not constitute having a significant ownership interest in, or a significant financial or contractual relationship with, such agency. For purposes of paragraph (2)(A), an individual shall be considered to be “confined to his home” if the individual has a condition, due to an illness or injury, that restricts the ability of the individual to leave his or her home except with the assistance of another individual or the aid of a supportive device (such as crutches, a cane, a wheelchair, or a walker), or if the individual has a condition such that leaving his or her home is medically contraindicated. While an individual does not have to be bedridden to be considered “confined to his home”, the condition of the individual should be such that there exists a normal inability to leave home and that leaving home requires a considerable and taxing effort by the individual. Any absence of an individual from the home attributable to the need to receive health care treatment, including regular absences for the purpose of participating in therapeutic, psychosocial, or medical treatment in an adult day–care program that is licensed or certified by a State, or accredited, to furnish adult day–care services in the State shall not disqualify an individual from being considered to be “confined to his home”. Any other absence of an individual from the home shall not so disqualify an individual if the absence is of infrequent or of relatively short duration. For purposes of the preceding sentence, any absence for the purpose of attending a religious service shall be deemed to be an absence of infrequent or short duration. In applying paragraph (1), the Secretary may specify exceptions to the 1 calendar year period specified in such paragraph.

(b)(1) Payment may also be made to any hospital for services described in section 1861(s) furnished as an outpatient service by a hospital or by others under arrangements made by it to an individual entitled to benefits under this part even though such hospital does not have an agreement in effect under this title if (A) such services were emergency services, (B) the Secretary would be required to make such payment if the hospital had such an agreement in effect and otherwise met the conditions of payment hereunder, and (C) such hospital has made an election pursuant to section 1814(d)(1)(C) with respect to the calendar year in which such emergency services are provided. Such payments shall be made only in the amounts provided under section 1833(a)(2) and then only if such hospital agrees to comply, with respect to the emergency services provided, with the provisions of section 1866(a).

(2) Payment may also be made on the basis of an itemized bill to an individual for services described in paragraph (1) of this subsection if (A) payment cannot be made under such paragraph (1) solely because the hospital does not elect, in accordance with section 1814(d)(1)(C), to claim such payments and (B) such individual files application (submitted within such time and in such form and manner, and containing and supported by such information as the Secretary shall by regulations prescribe) for reimbursement. The amounts payable under this paragraph shall, subject to the provisions of section 1833, be equal to 80 percent of the hospital’s reasonable charges for such services.

(c) Notwithstanding the provisions of this section and sections 1832, 1833, and 1866(a)(1)(A), a hospital or a critical access hospital may, subject to such limitations as may be prescribed by regulations, collect from an individual the customary charges for services specified in section 1861(s) and furnished to him by such hospital as an outpatient, but only if such charges for such services do not exceed the applicable supplementary medical insurance deductible, and such customary charges shall be regarded as expenses incurred by such individual with respect to which benefits are payable in accordance with section 1833(a)(1). Payments under this title to hospitals which have elected to make collections from individuals in accordance with the preceding sentence shall be adjusted periodically to place the hospital in the same position it would have been had it instead been reimbursed in accordance with section 1833(a)(2) (or, in the case of a critical access hospital, in accordance with section 1833(a)(6)).

(d) Subject to section 1880, no payment may be made under this part to any Federal provider of services or other Federal agency, except a provider of services which the Secretary determines is providing services to the public generally as a community institution or agency; and no such payment may be made to any provider of services or other person for any item or service which such provider or person is obligated by a law of, or a contract with, the United States to render at public expense.

(e) For purposes of services (1) which are inpatient hospital services by reason of paragraph (7) of section 1861(b) or for which entitlement exists by reason of clause (II) of section 1832(a)(2)(B)(i), and (2) for which the reasonable cost thereof is determined under section 1861(v)(1)(D) (or would be if section 1886 did not apply), payment under this part shall be made to such fund as may be designated by the organized medical staff of the hospital in which such services were furnished or, if such services were furnished in such hospital by the faculty of a medical school, to such fund as may be designated by such faculty, but only if—

(A) such hospital has an agreement with the Secretary under section 1866, and

(B) the Secretary has received written assurances that (i) such payment will be used by such fund solely for the improvement of care to patients in such hospital or for educational or charitable purposes and (ii) the individuals who were furnished such services or any other persons will not be charged for such services (or if charged provision will be made for return of any moneys incorrectly collected).


[104]  See Vol. II, P.L. 111–148, §6405(c), with respect to the application to other items or services.

[105]  See Vol. II, P.L. 111–148, §6407(c) and (d), with respect to the application to other areas under Medicare and application to Medicaid, respectively.