CMS is Requesting Emergency Clearance In today’s Federal Register

Fed'l Reg of March 2, 2017 - re: the Home Health Conditions of Participation

Fed’l Reg of March 2, 2017

CMS has submitted a Notice in today’s Federal Register that they are requesting to be processed under the emergency clearance due their perceived belief that “public harm is reasonable likely in normal, non-emergency clearance procedures are followed”.  This notice is about the Home Health Conditions of Participation.

This is part of the ‘Rule-Making Process’.

Link to document:  CMS Notice of March 2, 2017


See the following excerpted from this Notice:


Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

[Document Identifier: CMS–R–39]

ACTION: Notice.


SUMMARY: The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is requesting that an information collection request (ICR) related to the Medicare and Medicaid Programs: Conditions of Participation for Home Health Agencies (HHAs) and Supporting Regulations at 42 CFR part 484, be processed under the emergency clearance process associated with 5 CFR 1320.13(a)(2)(i). Public harm is reasonably likely to ensue if the normal, non-emergency clearance procedures are followed. The approval of this information collection package is necessary because in the absence of such approval CMS will be unable to effectively enforce these essential health and safety requirements. Among other things, CMS will be unable to enforce requirements that HHAs must provide a notice of rights to each patient, assure the proper training of home health aides before those aides provide hands-on care to patients, and disclose the names and addresses of all individuals with an ownership or management position so that we can assure that those with a history of fraud are not involved in HHA operations. Being unable to enforce these rules would harm patient health and safety, as well as create risks to the integrity of the Medicare and Medicaid programs.

Under the PRA, federal agencies are required to publish notice in the Federal Register concerning each proposed ICR. Interested persons are invited to send comments regarding our burden estimates or any other aspect of this ICR including the necessity and utility of the proposed ICR for the proper performance of the agency’s functions, the accuracy of the estimated burden, ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected and the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology to minimize the information collection burden.

DATES: Comments must be received by April 3, 2017.

ADDRESSES: When commenting, please reference the document identifier (CMS–R–39) or OMB control number (0938–0365). To be assured …


To review this two-page rule in full, please access this document via the above identified link.

Question:  Is it reasonable that CMS try to rush this through and cite that “Public harm is reasonably likely to ensue if the normal, non-emergency clearance procedures are followed …”?  Especially in light of what currently exists?

  • Is it reasonable that CMS use such dramatic language?
  • What about the last # of years?
    • How has the public managed until this point in time?
    • How much public harm has transpired over the last handful of years because of the lack of this promulgation?

This Notice (just like a Proposed Rule) from CMS has been published in the Federal Register and is subject to the ‘Rule-Making Process’.  This means that all interested parties have a right to comment on this Notice.  Note that above, CMS identifies that Comments must be received by April 3, 2017.  CMS also identifies how those comments can be submitted.  See the full-document via the above link to see how to comment and for further insights into this Notice.

Participation in the Rule-Making Process is something that the home health (HH) industry has always done a poor job in, and it is this lack of participation that is greatly to blame for the onerous regulations, demonstrations, etc… that this industry currently has to endure.  Until the HH industry learns the importance of and begins to actively participate in the Rule=Making Process, this industry can expect more of the same to be coming out of Washington.