It’s Official: Physician Must Place a Date on ALL Medicare Home Health Orders
Sadly it is official, in the state of Florida a physician must place a date on all Medicare home health orders that he/she signs. This includes the 485 (initial certifications and recertification) along with all interim orders!
No longer can the agency apply a date or stamp the date on the order if the physician inadvertently leaves off the date. On or after January 1, 2011 all orders are subsequent services/claims based upon those orders would have to have the physician signature dated by the physician or those claims could be denied.
Change your processes immediately so that physicians and referral sources can start to realize that a order not dated will simply have to be sent back to them! It would also be beneficial to make sure that the physician and his/her office staff clearly understand that the date has to be provided by the physician, not written in by the physician’s staff or stamped on the document by the physician’s staff.
Home care providers will need to protect themselves from unsubstantiated claim denials or from having to prove to a surveyor that the stamped date on the document, or the different colored ink was places there by the physician not the homecare agency.
Finally, maker sure the aggravated physician understands that this frustrating, ridiculous requirement is being forced upon them and the home care industry by CMS!