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Face to Face–Your Results

A few weeks ago, you were invited to take a quiz on the home health requirement for face – to – face encounter documentation.  If you haven’t already done so, please go take the quiz now.

The results were interesting to say the least.  You know when a face to face encounter must be done and you are very clear about your (non) role in the creation of the document.  Where you fell off was in the questions regarding who signs the face-to-face document.  If your overall score was not what you hoped, rest assured that your colleagues are right there with you.

Here are some of the more interesting responses.

Less than 50 percent of you knew that if a patient died prior to the 30th day and a good faith effort was made for the patient to have a face-to-face encounter, you may still bill.  This is not a suggestion regarding how to get around those pesky MD’s who refuse to sign, by the way.


The question that was particularly disturbing was a true/false question inquiring if it was true that the same physician who signed the 485 must also sign the face-to-face encounter document.  If you answered that question correctly, you are among a 35 percent minority.  A full 65 percent of you answered it incorrectly. (Green is good, pink is bad – I did not choose the color scheme.)


Similarly, less than half of you knew that if the hospital documentation was used as the face-t0-face encounter it had to be labeled as such and the date of the encounter had to be included.  When you consider many of the discharge summaries, they often apply to the entire hospital stay.  A visit date must be identified and declared as THE day the encounter occurred.  image

Rest assured, other than these very three common reasons for denial, y’all knew your stuff very well. 

So what do these results mean? If I was paid by your agency to come in and teach y’all about the face to face encounter and after I left, you continued to get denied, would you consider me to be an effective teacher?

The truth is that Palmetto GBA is responsible for educating you on the face-to-face to requirements.  This is part of their contract with CMS. 

Here’s the part that keeps up at night.  If all of you were to learn exactly what a perfect face to face documents looks like and then you all taught ten people who in turn taught ten people, by the end of next week literally billions of people would know everything there is to know about the face to face document. 

And not one patient would receive better care because the physician forgot to label the hospital documents as the face-to-face document. 

Just sayin…  Palmetto GBA, take it for what it is worth but I respectfully suggest you might have a little more work to do in the realm of face-to-face document denials. 

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