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Title 42

Displaying title 42, up to date as of 9/23/2021. Title 42 was last amended 9/15/2021.

Title 42

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§ 409.45 Dependent services requirements.

(a) General. Services discussed in paragraphs (b) through (g) of this section may be covered only if the beneficiary needs skilled nursing care on an intermittent basis, as described in § 409.44(b); physical therapy or speech-language pathology services as described in § 409.44(c); or has a continuing need for occupational therapy services as described in § 409.44(c) if the beneficiary's eligibility for home health services has been established by virtue of a prior need for intermittent skilled nursing care, speech-language pathology services, or physical therapy in the current or prior certification period; and otherwise meets the qualifying criteria (confined to the home, under the care of a physician or allowed practitioner, in need of skilled services, and under a plan of care) specified in § 409.42. Home health coverage is not available for services furnished to a beneficiary who is no longer in need of one of the qualifying skilled services specified in this paragraph. Therefore, dependent services furnished after the final qualifying skilled service are not covered, except when the dependent service was not followed by a qualifying skilled service as a result of the unexpected inpatient admission or death of the beneficiary, or due to some other unanticipated event.

(b) Home health aide services. To be covered, home health aide services must meet each of the following requirements:

(1) The reason for the visits by the home health aide must be to provide hands-on personal care to the beneficiary or services that are needed to maintain the beneficiary's health or to facilitate treatment of the beneficiary's illness or injury. The physician or allowed practitioner's orders must indicate the frequency of the home health aide services required by the beneficiary. These services may include but are not limited to:

(i) Personal care services such as bathing, dressing, grooming, caring for hair, nail and oral hygiene that are needed to facilitate treatment or to prevent deterioration of the beneficiary's health, changing the bed linens of an incontinent beneficiary, shaving, deodorant application, skin care with lotions and/or powder, foot care, ear care, feeding, assistance with elimination (including enemas unless the skills of a licensed nurse are required due to the beneficiary's condition, routine catheter care, and routine colostomy care), assistance with ambulation, changing position in bed, and assistance with transfers.

(ii) Simple dressing changes that do not require the skills of a licensed nurse.

(iii) Assistance with medications that are ordinarily self-administered and that do not require the skills of a licensed nurse to be provided safely and effectively.

(iv) Assistance with activities that are directly supportive of skilled therapy services but do not require the skills of a therapist to be safely and effectively performed, such as routine maintenance exercises and repetitive practice of functional communication skills to support speech-language pathology services.

(v) Routine care of prosthetic and orthotic devices.

(2) The services to be provided by the home health aide must be -

(i) Ordered by a physician or allowed practitioner in the plan of care; and

(ii) Provided by the home health aide on a part-time or intermittent basis.

(3) The services provided by the home health aide must be reasonable and necessary. To be considered reasonable and necessary, the services must -

(i) Meet the requirement for home health aide services in paragraph (b)(1) of this section;

(ii) Be of a type the beneficiary cannot perform for himself or herself; and

(iii) Be of a type that there is no able or willing caregiver to provide, or, if there is a potential caregiver, the beneficiary is unwilling to use the services of that individual.

(4) The home health aide also may perform services incidental to a visit that was for the provision of care as described in paragraphs (b)(3)(i) through (iii) of this section. For example, these incidental services may include changing bed linens, personal laundry, or preparing a light meal.

(c) Medical social services. Medical social services may be covered if the following requirements are met:

(1) The services are ordered by a physician or allowed practitioner and included in the plan of care.


(i) The services are necessary to resolve social or emotional problems that are expected to be an impediment to the effective treatment of the beneficiary's medical condition or to his or her rate of recovery.

(ii) If these services are furnished to a beneficiary's family member or caregiver, they are furnished on a short-term basis and it can be demonstrated that the service is necessary to resolve a clear and direct impediment to the effective treatment of the beneficiary's medical condition or to his or her rate of recovery.

(3) The frequency and nature of the medical social services are reasonable and necessary to the treatment of the beneficiary's condition.

(4) The medical social services are furnished by a qualified social worker or qualified social work assistant under the supervision of a social worker as defined in § 484.115 of this chapter.

(5) The services needed to resolve the problems that are impeding the beneficiary's recovery require the skills of a social worker or a social work assistant under the supervision of a social worker to be performed safely and effectively.

(d) Occupational therapy. Occupational therapy services that are not qualifying services under § 409.44(c) are nevertheless covered as dependent services if the requirements of § 409.44(c)(2)(i) through (iv), as to reasonableness and necessity, are met.

(e) Durable medical equipment. Durable medical equipment in accordance with § 410.38 of this chapter, which describes the scope and conditions of payment for durable medical equipment under Part B, may be covered under the home health benefit as either a Part A or Part B service. Durable medical equipment furnished by an HHA as a home health service is always covered by Part A if the beneficiary is entitled to Part A.

(f) Medical supplies. Medical supplies (including catheters, catheter supplies, ostomy bags, and supplies relating to ostomy care but excluding drugs and biologicals) may be covered as a home health benefit. For medical supplies to be covered as a Medicare home health benefit, the medical supplies must be needed to treat the beneficiary's illness or injury that occasioned the home health care.

(g) Intern and resident services. The medical services of interns and residents in training under an approved hospital teaching program are covered if the services are ordered by the physician or allowed practitioner who is responsible for the plan of care and the HHA is affiliated with or under the common control of the hospital furnishing the medical services.

Approved means -

(1) Approved by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education;

(2) In the case of an osteopathic hospital, approved by the Committee on Hospitals of the Bureau of Professional Education of the American Osteopathic Association;

(3) In the case of an intern or resident-in-training in the field of dentistry, approved by the Council on Dental Education of the American Dental Association; or

(4) In the case of an intern or resident-in-training in the field of podiatry, approved by the Council on Podiatric Medical Education of the American Podiatric Medical Association.

[59 FR 65495, Dec. 20, 1994; 60 FR 39122, 39123, Aug. 1, 1995, as amended at 82 FR 4578, Jan. 13, 2017; 85 FR 27620, May 8, 2020]