Ozark, Mo. – January 7, 2014HEALTHCAREfirst, Inc., the pioneer in Web-based software and services for home health and hospice care, announced this week that it has a PECOS verification tool available to every home care agency in the nation via a free web service accessible in the “Tools” section of HEALTHCAREfirst’s website, www.healthcarefirst.com. firstHOMECARE product users already have the ability to verify whether or not their referring physicians are enrolled in PECOS directly from within the firstHOMECARE software program.

CMS recently announced full implementation of the Provider Enrollment, Chain and Ownership System (PECOS) Edits on ordering or referring providers in Medicare Part B, DME and Part A home health agency claims. Beginning January 6, 2014, Medicare will deny claims for services or supplies that require an order/referring provider to be identified, but the provider is not identified, not in Medicare’s enrollment records or is not of a specialty type that may order or refer the service/item being billed.

With the free HEALTHCAREfirst PECOS web service, home care agencies can verify a referring physician’s PECOS enrollment status against the most recent CMS public-use file to confirm the physician has enrolled prior to accepting a patient into their services. If the agency is utilizing firstHOMECARE, the software will alert users should they attempt to bill for services ordered by a referring physician with missing, incomplete or invalid Medicare enrollment information.

“We are pleased to offer a PECOS verification tool integrated within firstHOMECARE, but we are also very happy to be able to be of service to other agencies that need help in completing this verification process outside of their current software,” said Bobby Robertson, CEO of HEALTHCAREfirst.” Any agency can use our free web service to make sure their physicians are currently enrolled and firstHOMECARE customers can rest assured that they will not be billing for services for which they will not get paid.”

For many years, HEALTHCAREfirst has made available to the public free, real-time tools for calculating grouper payment, PECOS Provider Validation and more. Thousands of home health agencies nationwide have utilized these free tools.