(a) Temporary moratoria -
(1) General rules.
(i) CMS may impose a moratorium on the enrollment of new Medicare providers and suppliers of a particular type or the establishment of new practice locations of a particular type in a particular geographic area.
(ii) CMS will announce the temporary enrollment moratorium in a Federal Register document that includes the rationale for imposition of the temporary enrollment moratorium.
(iii) The temporary moratorium does not apply to any of the following:
(A) Changes in practice location (except if the location is changing from a location outside the moratorium area to a location inside the moratorium area).
(B) Changes in provider or supplier information, such as phone numbers.
(C) Changes in ownership (except changes in ownership of home health agencies that would require an initial enrollment).
(iv) A temporary moratorium does not apply to any enrollment application that has been received by the Medicare contractor prior to the date the moratorium is imposed.
(2) Imposition of a temporary moratoria. CMS may impose the temporary moratorium if -
(i) CMS determines that there is a significant potential for fraud, waste or abuse with respect to a particular provider or supplier type or particular geographic area or both. CMS's determination is based on its review of existing data, and without limitation, identifies a trend that appears to be associated with a high risk of fraud, waste or abuse, such as a -
(A) Highly disproportionate number of providers or suppliers in a category relative to the number of beneficiaries; or
(B) Rapid increase in enrollment applications within a category;
(ii) A State Medicaid program has imposed a moratorium on a group of Medicaid providers or suppliers that are also eligible to enroll in the Medicare program;
(iii) A State has imposed a moratorium on enrollment in a particular geographic area or on a particular provider or supplier type or both; or
(iv) CMS, in consultation the HHS OIG or the Department of Justice or both and with the approval of the CMS Administrator identifies either or both of the following as having a significant potential for fraud, waste or abuse in the Medicare program:
(A) A particular provider or supplier type.
(B) Any particular geographic area.
(b) Duration of moratoria. A moratorium under this section may be imposed for a period of 6 months and, if deemed necessary by CMS, may be extended in 6-month increments. CMS will publish a document in the Federal Register when it extends a moratorium.
(c) Denial of enrollment: Moratoria. A Medicare contractor denies the enrollment application of a provider or supplier if the provider or supplier is subject to a moratorium as specified in paragraph (a) of this section.
(d) Lifting moratoria. CMS will publish a document in the Federal Register when a moratorium is lifted. CMS may lift a temporary moratorium at any time after imposition of the moratorium if one of the following occur:
(1) The President declares an area a disaster under the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, 42 U.S.C. 5121-5206 (Stafford Act).
(2) Circumstances warranting the imposition of a moratorium have abated or CMS has implemented program safeguards to address the program vulnerability.
(3) The Secretary has declared a public health emergency under section 319 of the Public Health Service Act in the area subject to a temporary moratorium.
(4) In the judgment of the Secretary, the moratorium is no longer needed.