New ABN form required

Home care providers must switch to new OMB-approved form by end of summer

Beginning Aug. 31, home care providers must use a new and revised Advance Beneficiary Notice (ABN) to let patients know when Medicare payment is expected to be denied. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has approved a new version of Form CMS-R-131, and is making it available at: The correct form will have an expiration date of 06/30/2023, according to J’non Griffin, owner and president of Home Health Solutions, a nationwide consulting and outsourcing form for home health, hospice and long-term care. “The ABN is the form home health agencies must present to beneficiaries in cases in which Medicare payment is expected to be denied,” J’non said. “The ABN is issued in order to transfer any potential financial liability for services to the Medicare beneficiary.” The expiration date is the only real difference between old and new forms – but J’non warns that use of the outdated version could place home health agencies out of compliance. Tutorial available Understanding when and how to use Medicare notices such as the ABN -- or its counterparts, the HHCCN (Home Health Change of Care Notice ) and the NOMNC (Notice of Medicare Non-Coverage) -- can sometimes be confusing to clinicians. Which form to use depends on patient-specific circumstances, according to Annette Lee, an Iowa-based home care consultant who has put together a helpful tutorial which is now available for purchase in The Solutions Shop, the Home Health Solutions online store. The webinar allows agencies to provide the staff training needed to clear up confusion and explain the correct use of forms, such as which form to use when an ongoing threat from a dog on the premises requires an agency to discharge a patient versus a discharge because the patient has met his or her goals.

During the webinar, Annette breaks down the parts of each form, explaining the circumstances under which the form would be used and identifying the specific types of information the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is seeking. She provides specific patient examples to make it easy to understand.

“Our goal is to provide a webinar that agencies can use for staff training to field fully confident clinicians,” Annette said. “Clinicians will learn which form to complete, how to complete it -- and what to do when you thought your teammate gave the notice- but did not! We also discuss the timepoints at which you do NOT have to give a notice. Those are just as important, too!”

Read more about "The Who, When & Why of Medicare Notices" here.

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