The Medicare Conditions of Participation require home health agencies to retain their records for five (5) years after the month the cost report to which the records apply is filed. Our friends at Boyd & Nicholas, The Cost Report People (R), tell us that the Accountable Care Act has new provisions that extend that.
The ACA added a new record retention requirement to maintain for seven (7) years from the date of service ordering and certifying documentation for home health. That documentation includes written and electronic documents relating to written orders and certifications and requests for payments for home health services, which is a large part of the record.
We recommend that agencies retain records for 10 years since that is how far back the federal government can go to look for false claims filings.