Home Health Face-to-Face Encounter Documentation

Important information for physicians who refer Medicare patients to Meridian At Home for in-home services

As part of The Affordable Care Act which went into effect in April 2011, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) mandated that every patient have a Face-to- Face encounter documentation 90 days prior or within 30 days after the admission to home health services.

Download the simple one-page form which will be available at the nursing units and online at the Meridian Health physician extranet. It will also be placed on the patient’s charts in the hospital when Meridian At Home is notified of the referral for a Medicare patient.

Please note that this form is not part of the hospital record, but is part of the certification that is required for Medicare patients to receive Medicare covered home care.

Q&A on the Face-to-Face Encounter Documentation Form:

What the form does:
  • It ensures that the patient’s care is coordinated by a physician and promotes better care for the patient. It ensures continuity of care, better patient outcomes and the patient is 1.45 times more likely to be discharged without rehospitalization.

Who should use it and when:
  • The community physician who will certify the plan of care for home health care.
  • The covering physician in a facility or hospitalist in the hospital as long as he/she can identify a community physician who will certify the plan for home health.
  • NP or PA who must document the clinical findings and provide them to the certifying physician, as the physician needs to sign, date and title the document.

The implications or consequences of not using it:
  • If no Face-to-Face encounter has occurred during the 90 day episode period prior to SOC (start of care) or within the 30 days while opened to home health, or if the physician does not complete, sign and date or the required documentation to support referral to home care services the home health agency cannot bill for the services they provided.
  • The physician cannot then bill for POC oversight to MCA because the agency was not allowed to bill for the services they provided to MCA for that patient. The agency must then write off all services that were provided.
Who to call for questions
  • Please contact Cathy Rispoli at 732-897-7760 with any questions.