Comment: We received several comments requesting clarification on the distinction between billing health care providers and a billing service, as well as clarification on the difference between housekeeping staff and home health aides. Several commenters recommended removal of the word “bills” in the definition. They want the definition to be based on the direct provision of health care and not financial arrangements.
Response: The proposed rule regarding Standard Health Care Provider Identifiers, published in the Federal Register on May 7, 1998 (63 FR 25320) also included the definition of health care provider. Comments received in response to that proposed rule regarding the definition of a health care provider included the comments above, as well as additional comments, and are being analyzed. We believe it is appropriate to address all comments regarding the definition of a health care provider in the final rule for Standard Health Care Provider Identifiers.