Before you receive Medicare-covered home health care, your home health agency (HHA) should assess your condition to create a plan of care. Generally, your plan of care will list:

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  • The types of health services and items you need
  • How often you will receive services
  • The predicted outcomes of treatment

Your doctor must sign the plan of care at the start of your care or soon after it starts. The plan of care is often paired with the home health certification form that your doctor must sign to show you need care. The first time your doctor certifies your eligibility for home health care, you must have a face-to-face meeting to discuss the reason you need care. This meeting must take place within the 90 days before you start care or the 30 days after the first day you receive care.

Your initial plan of care and certification will last 60 days. If you need additional care, the certification and plan of care can be renewed for as many 60-day periods as necessary, as long as your doctor continues to sign them. Make sure that your doctor agrees with the plan of care and thinks it contains all the care you need. A face-to-face meeting is not required for recertification.