Home » What is Religious Nonmedical Health Care Institution (RNHCI) ?

What is Religious Nonmedical Health Care Institution (RNHCI) ?

Religious nonmedical care or religious method of healing means health care furnished under established religious tenets that prohibit conventional or unconventional medical care for the treatment of a beneficiary, and the sole reliance on these religious tenets to fulfill a beneficiary’s total health care needs.


The religious nonmedical health care institution benefit provides coverage only for Part A services. The Medicare program will only pay for nonmedical health care services furnished in religious nonmedical health care institutions as defined in section 1861(ss)(1) of the Act and 42 CFR 403 Subpart G. The program does not pay for supporting religious services or payment for the religious practitioner. The cost of religious items or services and the cost of using a religious practitioner is a personal financial responsibility and not covered by Medicare.


Coverage for religious nonmedical health care institution is provided to members under select Medicare Advantage private fee-for-service plans. The additional benefits allow the cost of religious items and services, including the cost of using a religious practitioner. The member’s cost-sharing and other coverage conditions are determined by the group.

The term “religious nonmedical health care institution” means an institution that—

(A) is described in subsection (c)(3) of section 501 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 and is exempt from taxes under subsection (a) of such section;

(B) is lawfully operated under all applicable Federal, State, and local laws and regulations;

(C) provides only nonmedical nursing items and services exclusively to patients who choose to rely solely upon a religious method of healing and for whom the acceptance of medical health services would be inconsistent with their religious beliefs;

(D) provides such nonmedical items and services exclusively through nonmedical nursing personnel who are experienced in caring for the physical needs of such patients;

(E) provides such nonmedical items and services to inpatients on a 24-hour basis;

(F) on the basis of its religious beliefs, does not provide through its personnel or otherwise medical items and services (including any medical screening, examination, diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, or the administration of drugs) for its patients;

(G)(i) is not owned by, under common ownership with, or has an ownership interest in, a provider of medical treatment or services;

(ii) is not affiliated with—

(I) a provider of medical treatment or services, or

(II) an individual who has an ownership interest in a provider of medical treatment or services;

(H) has in effect a utilization review plan which—

(i) provides for the review of admissions to the institution, of the duration of stays therein, of cases of continuous extended duration, and of the items and services furnished by the institution,

(ii) requires that such reviews be made by an appropriate committee of the institution that includes the individuals responsible for overall administration and for supervision of nursing personnel at the institution,

(iii) provides that records be maintained of the meetings, decisions, and actions of such committee, and (iv) meets such other requirements as the Secretary finds necessary to establish an effective utilization review plan;

(I) provides the Secretary with such information as the Secretary may require to implement section 1821, including information relating to quality of care and coverage determinations; and

(J) meets such other requirements as the Secretary finds necessary in the interest of the health and safety of individuals who are furnished services in the institution.




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