The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has launched the Jimmo Settlement Agreement web page. This web page provides access, in one location, to various public documents and resources related to the Jimmo Settlement Agreement, including a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) link.
Background on Settlement Agreement:
On January 24, 2013, the US District Court for the District of Vermont approved a settlement agreement in the case of Jimmo v. Sebelius, in which the plaintiffs alleged that Medicare contractors were inappropriately applying an “Improvement Standard” in making claims determinations for Medicare coverage involving skilled care (e.g., the skilled nursing facility (SNF), home health (HH), and outpatient therapy (OPT) benefits). The settlement agreement sets forth a series of specific steps for CMS to undertake, including issuing clarifications to existing program guidance and new educational material on this subject. The goal of this settlement agreement is to ensure that claims are correctly adjudicated in accordance with existing Medicare policy, so that Medicare beneficiaries receive the full coverage to which they are entitled.
The Jimmo Settlement Agreement may reflect a change in practice for those providers and contractors who may have erroneously believed that the Medicare program covers nursing and therapy services under these benefits only when a beneficiary is expected to improve. The Settlement Agreement is consistent with the Medicare program’s regulations governing maintenance nursing and therapy in skilled nursing facilities, home health services, and outpatient therapy (physical, occupational, and speech) and nursing and therapy in inpatient rehabilitation hospitals for beneficiaries who need the level of care that such hospitals provide.