The home care industry has grown in recent years, and is expected to continue to grow, due to the combination of an aging population and the fact that more people require and desire home care. In addition, many feel that healthcare dollars are better spent in the home care setting than in a traditional institutional setting.
This increased growth has resulted in both the Federal and State governments more closely regulating the industry. There have been numerous legislative and administrative measures directly affecting providers and indirectly affecting beneficiaries, including: Medicare/Medicaid requirements, fraud and abuse, anti-kickback, false claims issues, HIPAA confidentiality protections, medical staff and labor shortages and disputes, and ever-increasing costs coupled with budgetary constraints.
The result is that home care has changed significantly in recent years and continues to change. All persons associated with this industry must carefully review these recent measures, remain aware of continuing changes, and be prepared to adapt quickly to when changes occur. Unwary providers may face civil, administrative and even criminal liability for failure to abide by the relevant laws and regulations.
In addition to closer government scrutiny, home care agencies are becoming targets of plaintiff's attorneys. In recent years there has been an increase in the number of civil suits filed against home health providers. These suits range from medical negligence to labor and contract disputes. Many providers are surprised to find that they are being sued. For most providers this will be the first time they have ever been involved with a lawsuit.
The Kitch firm understands the needs of the home health industry. Our attorneys have experience in all areas of law affecting home health providers including:
Initial start up, accreditation and certification
All reimbursement issues
Corporate and regulatory compliance (including HIPAA)
Representation in administrative hearings
Defense of any and all civil and criminal claims filed against providers
We provide comprehensive analysis and advocacy on federal and state laws affecting home health providers. Considering the ever-changing needs and challenges facing the home care industry, we work to ensure that our attorneys have the experience and skill necessary to address emerging, as well as existing, issues of our clients.