The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services yesterday issued a final rule that implements statutorily-required changes pertaining to home health services covered by Medicaid. Similar to Medicare guidelines, authorization of home health services under Medicaid will require physicians to document a face-to-face encounter with a beneficiary within certain timeframes. In addition, the final rule defines the medical supplies, equipment and appliances covered under the Medicaid home health benefit, which are included in the new face-to-face requirement. Among other provisions, the final rule clarifies longstanding policy that states may not require an individual to be “homebound” in order to receive home health services. The rule takes effect July 1, 2016. However, states that need legislation to meet one or more requirements imposed by the rule will have until July 2017 or July 2018 to comply, depending on certain legislative timeframes.