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Home health agency closes after losing reimbursement

December 3, 2012

Carmel-based ABC Homecare LLC closed last week after state and federal authorities cut off its access to Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement.

The in-home health care agency, first licensed in 2006, employed 37 people and served 84 patients, according to a May survey conducted by the Indiana State Department of Health.

But the Indiana State Department of Health cited the agency based at 138 W. Carmel Drive for 14 deficiencies in that May survey. And, on subsequent visits, the health department determined that ABC was still not able to document that its home care programs were appropriate, effective and efficient, the report said.

The health department faulted ABC for its program in a May survey, and then in follow-up visits in July and August, according to a letter to ABC from the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services in August.

Based on the health department’s findings, the federal Medicare agency cut off ABC from Medicare payments for senior payments in September.

“We have determined that the deficiencies limit the capacity of your facility to render adequate care and ensure the health and safety of your patients,” Pam L. Thomas, manager of the non-long-term-care certification and enforcement branch at the federal Medicare agency, wrote in an Aug. 24 letter to ABC Administrator Lucy Howard.

In November, the Indiana Medicaid program followed Medicare’s lead and terminated its provider agreement with ABC.

Marni Lemons, spokeswoman for the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration, which oversees the Indiana Medicaid program, said the state is required to follow the federal decisions on home health agencies.

Medicare and Medicaid account for more than half of all home health revenue, according to the National Association of Home Care & Hospice. So few agencies can survive without them.

Calls left on ABC’s office voicemail and paging service were not returned Monday morning.

Lemons said every ABC patient has a case manager that should be able to find a new home health agency.

“There is no shortage of these types of providers,” Lemons said, adding, “We don’t see any reason for people to be without care.”
 

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