Site Feedback

Title 42

Displaying title 42, up to date as of 9/16/2021. Title 42 was last amended 9/15/2021.

Title 42

eCFR Content

The Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) is the official legal print publication containing the codification of the general and permanent rules published in the Federal Register by the departments and agencies of the Federal Government. The Electronic Code of Federal Regulations (eCFR) is a continuously updated online version of the CFR. It is not an official legal edition of the CFR.

Learn more about the eCFR, its status, and the editorial process.

Subpart F - Surety Bond Requirements for HHAs
Source:

63 FR 313, Jan. 5, 1998, unless otherwise noted.

§ 489.60 Definitions.

As used in this subpart unless the context indicates otherwise -

Assessment means a sum certain that CMS may assess against an HHA in lieu of damages under Titles XI, XVIII, or XXI of the Social Security Act or under regulations in this chapter.

Assets includes but is not limited to any listing that identifies Medicare beneficiaries to whom home health services were furnished by a participating or formerly participating HHA.

Civil money penalty means a sum certain that CMS has the authority to impose on an HHA as a penalty under Titles XI, XVIII, or XXI of the Social Security Act or under regulations in this chapter.

Participating home health agency means a “home health agency” (HHA), as that term is defined by section 1861(o) of the Social Security Act, that also meets the definition of a “provider” set forth at § 400.202 of this chapter.

Rider means a notice issued by a Surety that a change in the bond has occurred or will occur.

Surety bond means one or more bonds issued by one or more surety companies under 31 U.S.C. 9304 to 9308 and 31 CFR parts 223, 224, and 225, provided the bond otherwise meets the requirements of this section.

Unpaid civil money penalty or assessment means a civil money penalty or assessment imposed by CMS on an HHA under Titles XI, XVIII, or XXI of the Social Security Act, plus accrued interest, that, after the HHA or Surety has exhausted all administrative appeals, remains unpaid (because the civil money penalty or assessment has not been paid to, or offset or compromised by, CMS) and is not the subject of a written arrangement, acceptable to CMS, for payment by the HHA. In the event a written arrangement for payment, acceptable to CMS, is made, an unpaid civil money penalty or assessment also means such civil money penalty or assessment, plus accrued interest, that remains due 60 days after the HHA's default on such arrangement.

Unpaid claim means a Medicare overpayment for which the HHA is responsible, plus accrued interest, that, 90 days after the date of the agency's notice to the HHA of the overpayment, remains due (because the overpayment has not been paid to, or recouped or compromised by, CMS) and is not the subject of a written arrangement, acceptable to CMS, for payment by the HHA. In the event a written arrangement for payment, acceptable to CMS, is made, an unpaid claim also means a Medicare overpayment for which the HHA is responsible, plus accrued interest, that remains due 60 days after the HHA's default on such arrangement.

[63 FR 313, Jan. 5, 1998, as amended at 63 FR 29655, June 1, 1998]

§ 489.61 Basic requirement for surety bonds.

Except as provided in § 489.62, each HHA that is a Medicare participating HHA, or that seeks to become a Medicare participating HHA, must obtain a surety bond (and furnish to CMS a copy of such surety bond) that meets the requirements of this subpart F and CMS's instructions.

§ 489.62 Requirement waived for Government-operated HHAs.

An HHA operated by a Federal, State, local, or tribal government agency is deemed to have provided CMS with a comparable surety bond under State law, and CMS therefore waives the requirements of this subpart with respect to such an HHA if, during the preceding 5 years the HHA has -

(a) Not had any unpaid claims or unpaid civil money penalties or assessments; and

(b) Not had any of its claims referred by CMS to the Department of Justice or the General Accounting Office in accordance with part 401 of this chapter.

[63 FR 313, Jan. 5, 1998, as amended at 63 FR 29655, June 1, 1998]

§ 489.63 Parties to the bond.

The surety bond must name the HHA as Principal, CMS as Obligee, and the surety company (and its heirs, executors, administrators, successors and assignees, jointly and severally) as Surety.

§ 489.64 Authorized Surety and exclusion of surety companies.

(a) An HHA may obtain a surety bond required under § 489.61 only from an authorized Surety.

(b) An authorized Surety is a surety company that -

(1) Has been issued a Certificate of Authority by the U.S. Department of the Treasury in accordance with 31 U.S.C. 9304 to 9308 and 31 CFR parts 223, 224, and 225 as an acceptable surety on Federal bonds and the Certificate has neither expired nor been revoked; and

(2) Has not been determined by CMS to be an unauthorized Surety for the purpose of an HHA obtaining a surety bond under this section.

(c) CMS determines that a surety company is an unauthorized Surety under this section -

(1) If, upon request by CMS, the surety company fails to furnish timely confirmation of the issuance of, and the validity and accuracy of information appearing on, a surety bond an HHA presents to CMS that shows the surety company as Surety on the bond;

(2) If, upon presentation by CMS to the surety company of a request for payment on a surety bond and of sufficient evidence to establish the surety company's liability on the bond, the surety company fails to timely pay CMS in full the amount requested, up to the face amount of the bond; or

(3) For other good cause.

(d) Any determination CMS makes under paragraph (c) of this section is effective immediately when notice of the determination is published in the Federal Register and remains in effect until a notice of reinstatement is published in the Federal Register.

(e) Any determination CMS makes under paragraph (c) of this section does not affect the Surety's liability under any surety bond issued by a surety company to an HHA before notice of such determination is published in accordance with paragraph (d) of this section.

(f) A determination by CMS that a surety company is an unauthorized Surety under this section is not a debarment, suspension, or exclusion for the purposes of Executive Order No. 12549 (3 CFR, 1986 comp., p. 189).

§ 489.65 Amount of the bond.

(a) Basic rule. The amount of the surety bond must be $50,000 or 15 percent of the Medicare payments made by CMS to the HHA in the HHA's most recent fiscal year for which a cost report has been accepted by CMS, whichever is greater.

(b) Computation of the 15 percent: Participating HHA. The 15 percent is computed as follows:

(1) For the initial bond - on the basis of Medicare payments made by CMS to the HHA in the HHA's most recent fiscal year as shown in the HHA's most recent cost report that has been accepted by CMS. If the initial bond will cover less than a full fiscal year, the computation of the 15 percent will be based on the number of months of the fiscal year that the bond will cover.

(2) For subsequent bonds - on the basis of Medicare payments made by CMS in the most recent fiscal year for which a cost report has been accepted. However, if payments in the first six months of the current fiscal year differ from such an amount by more than 25 percent, then the amount of the bond is 15 percent of such payments projected on an annualized basis.

(c) Computation of 15 percent: An HHA that seeks to become a participating HHA by obtaining assets or ownership interest. For an HHA that seeks to become a participating HHA by purchasing the assets or the ownership interest of a participating or formerly participating HHA, the 15 percent is computed on the basis of Medicare payments made by CMS to the participating or formerly participating HHA in the most recent fiscal year that a cost report has been accepted.

(d) Change of ownership. For an HHA that undergoes a change of ownership the 15 percent is computed on the basis of Medicare payments made by CMS to the HHA for the most recently accepted cost report.

(e) An HHA that seeks to become a participating HHA without obtaining assets or ownership interest. For an HHA that seeks to become a participating HHA without purchasing the assets or the ownership interest of a participating or formerly participating HHA, the 15 percent computation does not apply.

(f) Exception to the basic rule. If an HHA's overpayment in the most recently accepted cost report exceeds 15 percent of annual payments, CMS may require the HHA to secure a bond in an amount up to or equal to the amount of overpayment, provided the amount of the bond is not less than $50,000.

(g) Expiration of the 15 percent provision. For an annual surety bond, or for a rider on a continuous surety bond, that is required to be submitted on or after June 1, 2005, notwithstanding any reference in this subpart to 15 percent as a basis for determining the amount of the bond, the amount of the bond or rider, as applicable, must be $50,000 or such amount as CMS specifies in accordance with paragraph (f) of this section, whichever amount is greater.

[63 FR 313, Jan. 5, 1998, as amended at 63 FR 29655, June 1, 1998]

§ 489.66 Additional requirements of the surety bond.

The surety bond that an HHA obtains under this subpart must meet the following additional requirements:

(a) The bond must guarantee that within 30 days of receiving written notice from CMS of an unpaid claim or unpaid civil money penalty or assessment, which notice contains sufficient evidence to establish the Surety's liability under the bond, the Surety will pay CMS, up to the stated amount of the bond -

(1) The full amount of any unpaid claim, plus accrued interest, for which the HHA is responsible; and

(2) The full amount of any unpaid civil money penalty or assessment imposed by CMS on the HHA, plus accrued interest.

(b) The bond must provide the following:

(1) The Surety is liable for unpaid claims, unpaid civil money penalties, and unpaid assessments that are discovered when the surety bond is in effect, regardless of when the payment, overpayment, or other event giving rise to the claim, civil money penalty, or assessment occurred, provided CMS makes a written demand for payment from the Surety during, or within 90 days after, the term of the bond.

(2) If the HHA fails to furnish a bond meeting the requirements of this subpart F for the year following expiration of the term of an annual bond, or if the HHA fails to submit a rider when a rider is required to be submitted under this subpart, or if the HHA's provider agreement is terminated, the last bond or rider, as applicable, submitted by the HHA to CMS, which bond or applicable rider meets the requirements of this subpart, remains effective and the Surety remains liable for unpaid claims, civil money penalties, and assessments that -

(i) CMS determines or imposes on or asserts against the HHA based on overpayments or other events that took place during or prior to the term of the last bond or rider; and

(ii) Were determined or imposed during the 2 years following the date the HHA failed to submit a bond or required rider or the date the HHA's provider agreement is terminated, whichever is later.

(c) The bond must provide that the Surety's liability to CMS under the bond is not extinguished by any action of the HHA, the Surety, or CMS, including but not necessarily limited to any of the following actions:

(1) Action by the HHA or the Surety to terminate or limit the scope or term of the bond. The Surety's liability may be extinguished, however, when -

(i) The Surety furnishes CMS with notice of such action not later than 10 days after receiving notice from the HHA of action by the HHA to terminate or limit the scope of the bond, or not later than 60 days before the effective date of such action by the Surety; or

(ii) The HHA furnishes CMS with a new bond that meets the requirements of this subpart.

(2) The Surety's failure to continue to meet the requirements of § 489.64(a) or CMS's determination that the surety company is an unauthorized Surety under § 489.64(b).

(3) Termination of the HHA's provider agreement.

(4) Any action by CMS to suspend, offset, or otherwise recover payments to the HHA.

(5) Any action by the HHA to -

(i) Cease operation;

(ii) Sell or transfer any asset or ownership interest;

(iii) File for bankruptcy; or

(iv) Fail to pay the Surety.

(6) Any fraud, misrepresentation, or negligence by the HHA in obtaining the surety bond or by the Surety (or by the Surety's agent, if any) in issuing the surety bond, except that any fraud, misrepresentation, or negligence by the HHA in identifying to the Surety (or to the Surety's agent) the amount of Medicare payments upon which the amount of the surety bond is determined will not cause the Surety's liability to CMS to exceed the amount of the bond.

(7) The HHA's failure to exercise available appeal rights under Medicare or to assign such rights to the Surety.

(d) The bond must provide that actions under the bond may be brought by CMS or by CMS's fiscal intermediaries.

(e) The bond must provide the Surety's name, street address or post office box number, city, state, and zipcode to which the CMS notice provided for in paragraph (a) of this section is to be sent.

[63 FR 313, Jan. 5, 1998, as amended at 63 FR 29655, June 1, 1998]

§ 489.67 Term and type of bond.

(a) Each participating HHA that does not meet the criteria for waiver under § 489.62 must submit to CMS in a form as CMS may specify, a surety bond for a term beginning January 1, 1998. If an annual bond is submitted for the initial term, it must be effective through the end of the HHA's current fiscal year.

(b) Type of bond. The type of bond required to be submitted by an HHA under this subpart may be either -

(1) An annual bond (that is, a bond that specifies an effective annual period corresponding to the HHA's fiscal year); or

(2) A continuous bond (that is, a bond that remains in full force and effect from term to term unless it is terminated or canceled as provided for in the bond or as otherwise provided by law) that is updated by the Surety, via the issuance of a rider, for a particular fiscal year for which the bond amount has changed or will change.

(c) HHA that seeks to become a participating HHA.

(1) An HHA that seeks to become a participating HHA must submit a surety bond with its enrollment application (Form CMS-855, OMB number 0938-0685). The term of the initial surety bond must be effective from the effective date of provider agreement as specified in § 489.13 of this part. However, if the effective date of the provider agreement is less than 30 days before the end of the HHA's current fiscal year, the HHA may obtain a bond effective through the end of the next fiscal year, provided the amount of the bond is the greater of $75,000 or 20 percent of the amount determined from the computation specified in § 489.65(c) as applicable.

(2) An HHA that seeks to become a participating HHA through the purchase or transfer of assets or ownership interest of a participating or formerly participating HHA must also ensure that the surety bond is effective from the date of such purchase or transfer.

(d) Change of ownership. An HHA that undergoes a change of ownership must submit the surety bond to CMS not later than the effective date of the change of ownership and the bond must be effective from the effective date of the change of ownership through the remainder of the HHA's fiscal year.

(e) Government-operated HHA that loses its waiver. A government-operated HHA that, as of January 1, 1998, meets the criteria for waiver under § 489.62 but thereafter is determined by CMS to not meet such criteria, must submit a surety bond to CMS within 60 days after it receives notice from CMS that it no longer meets the criteria for waiver.

(f) Change of Surety. An HHA that obtains a replacement surety bond from a different Surety to cover the remaining term of a previously obtained bond must submit the new surety bond to CMS within 30 days of obtaining the bond from the new Surety.

[63 FR 315, Jan. 5, 1998, as amended at 63 FR 10731, Mar. 4, 1998; 63 FR 29656, June 1, 1998; 63 FR 41171, July 31, 1998]

§ 489.68 Effect of failure to obtain, maintain, and timely file a surety bond.

(a) The failure of a participating HHA to obtain, file timely, and maintain a surety bond in accordance with this subpart F and CMS's instructions is sufficient under § 489.53(a)(1) for CMS to terminate the HHA's provider agreement.

(b) The failure of an HHA seeking to become a participating HHA to obtain and file timely a surety bond in accordance with this Subpart F and CMS's instructions is sufficient under § 489.12(a)(3) for CMS to refuse to enter into a provider agreement with the HHA.

§ 489.69 Evidence of compliance.

(a) CMS may at any time require an HHA to make a specific showing of being in compliance with the requirements of this Subpart F and may require the HHA to submit such additional evidence as CMS considers sufficient to demonstrate the HHA's compliance.

(b) If requested by CMS to do so, the failure of an HHA to timely furnish sufficient evidence to CMS to demonstrate compliance with the requirements of this Subpart F is sufficient for CMS to terminate the HHA's provider agreement under § 489.53(a)(1) or to refuse to enter into a provider agreement with the HHA under § 489.12(a)(3), as applicable.

§ 489.70 Effect of payment by the Surety.

A Surety's payment to CMS under a bond for an unpaid claim or an unpaid civil money penalty or assessment, constitutes -

(a) Collection of the unpaid claim or unpaid civil money penalty or assessment (to the extent the Surety's payment on the bond covers such unpaid claim, civil money penalty, or assessment); and

(b) A basis for termination of the HHA's provider agreement under § 489.53(a)(1).

§ 489.71 Surety's standing to appeal Medicare determinations.

A Surety has standing to appeal any matter that the HHA could appeal, provided the Surety satisfies all jurisdictional and procedural requirements that would otherwise have applied to the HHA, and provided the HHA is not, itself, actively pursuing its appeal rights under this chapter, and provided further that, with respect to unpaid claims, the Surety has paid CMS all amounts owed to CMS by the HHA on such unpaid claims, up to the amount of the bond.

[63 FR 29656, June 1, 1998]

§ 489.72 Effect of review reversing determination.

In the event a Surety has paid CMS on the basis of liability incurred under a bond obtained by an HHA under this subpart F, and to the extent the HHA that obtained such bond (or the Surety under § 489.71) is subsequently successful in appealing the determination that was the basis of the unpaid claim or unpaid civil money penalty or assessment that caused the Surety to pay CMS under the bond, CMS will refund to the Surety the amount the Surety paid to CMS to the extent such amount relates to the matter that was successfully appealed by the HHA (or by the Surety), provided all review, including judicial review, has been completed on such matter. Any additional amounts owing as a result of the appeal will be paid to the HHA.

§ 489.73 Effect of conditions of payment.

If a Surety has paid an amount to CMS on the basis of liability incurred under a bond obtained by an HHA under this subpart F, and CMS subsequently collects from the HHA, in whole or in part, on such unpaid claim, civil money penalty, or assessment that was the basis for the Surety's liability, CMS reimburses the Surety such amount as CMS collected from the HHA, up to the amount paid by the Surety to CMS, provided the Surety has no other liability to CMS under the bond.

[63 FR 29656, June 1, 1998]

§ 489.74 Incorporation into existing provider agreements.

The requirements of this subpart F are deemed to be incorporated into existing HHA provider agreements effective January 1, 1998.

[63 FR 315, Jan. 5, 1998. Redesignated at 63 FR 29656, June 1, 1998]