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How Should Physicians Sign Home Care Plan of Care Certifications and Recertifications?

Learning Objectives
1. Describe the myth or issue that impacts physicians and their care teams
2. Explain how physicians or other allowed non-physician practitioners should sign home health agency plan of care (POC) certifications and recertifications
0.25 Credit CME

To earn full credit for this activity, you must review all accompanying resources, which have been curated to support your learning of the subject matter.


When certifying and recertifying home health plans of care (POC), physicians and allowed non-physician practitioners (nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists, and physician assistants) are often met with conflicting instructions regarding how they should sign the document. Signing and dating every page of a home health certification can unnecessarily add administrative work and consume time.

The Myth

Physicians are required to sign every single page of home health agency POC certifications and recertifications.

Debunking the Myth

There is no CMS requirement specifying that physicians or allowed non-physician practitioners must sign every single page of home health POC certifications or recertifications. The format of the document and the way in which timely certification or recertification is obtained is left to the determination of the individual home health agency. 1,2


  1. Medicare General Information, Eligibility, and Entitlement: Physician Certification and Recertification of Services. Accessed July 2022.

  2. Complying with Medicare Signature Requirements MLN Fact Sheet. Accessed July 2022.

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The AMA Debunking Medical Practice Regulatory Myths series provides physicians and their care teams with regulatory clarification to streamline clinical workflow processes and improve patient outcomes. Learn more

Article Information

AMA CME Accreditation Information

CME Disclosure Statement: Unless noted, all individuals in control of content reported no relevant financial relationships.

If applicable, all relevant financial relationships have been mitigated.

Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.  Physician Certification and Recertification of Services.  In:  Medicare General Information, Eligibility, and Entitlement.; 2021:22. https://www.cms.gov/regulations-and-guidance/guidance/manuals/downloads/ge101c04.pdfGoogle Scholar
Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.  Chapter 7: Home Health Services.  In:  Medicare Benefit Policy Manual.; 2022. Accessed August 31, 2022. https://www.cms.gov/regulations-and-guidance/guidance/manuals/downloads/bp102c07.pdfGoogle Scholar
AMA CME Accreditation Information

Credit Designation Statement: The American Medical Association designates this Enduring Material activity for a maximum of 0.25  AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

Successful completion of this CME activity, which includes participation in the evaluation component, enables the participant to earn up to:

  • 0.25 Medical Knowledge MOC points in the American Board of Internal Medicine's (ABIM) Maintenance of Certification (MOC) program;;
  • 0.25 Self-Assessment points in the American Board of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery’s (ABOHNS) Continuing Certification program;
  • 0.25 MOC points in the American Board of Pediatrics’ (ABP) Maintenance of Certification (MOC) program;
  • 0.25 Lifelong Learning points in the American Board of Pathology’s (ABPath) Continuing Certification program; and
  • 0.25 credit toward the CME [and Self-Assessment requirements] of the American Board of Surgery’s Continuous Certification program

It is the CME activity provider's responsibility to submit participant completion information to ACCME for the purpose of granting MOC credit.


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