Tag Archives: Home Health

CMS Again Extends Moratoria on Enrollment of HHAs, Ambulance Suppliers in Designated Areas

CMS has announced another 6-month extension of its current temporary enrollment moratoria for new ground ambulance suppliers and home health agencies (HHAs), subunits, and branch locations in designated metropolitan areas. The moratoria, which affect enrollment in Medicare, Medicaid, and the Children’s Health Insurance Program, apply to: New ground ambulances in the Houston and Philadelphia metropolitan … Continue Reading

President Obama Signs Steve Gleason Act and Independence at Home Act

On July 30, 2015, President Obama signed into law: S. 984, “Steve Gleason Act of 2015” – a bill to cover as durable medical equipment eye tracking and gaze interaction accessories for speech generating devices furnished to individuals with a demonstrated medical need for such accessories; and S. 971, “Medicare Independence at Home Medical Practice … Continue Reading

CMS Proposed Medicare Home Health PPS Rule Would Reduce HHA Payments by $350 Million in 2016

CMS has released its proposed calendar year (CY) 2016 Medicare home health prospective payment system (HH PPS) update, which CMS estimates would reduce overall Medicare payments to home health agencies (HHAs) by $350 million in 2016, compared with 2015 levels. This decrease reflects a 2.3% home health payment update percentage (derived from a 2.9% market basket … Continue Reading

CMS Proposed 2016 Medicare Payment Rules in the Pipeline

CMS recently sent several major proposed Medicare CY 2016 payment rules to the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for regulatory clearance – the last step before publication in the Federal Register. Specifically, OMB is reviewing proposed rules to update the Medicare physician fee schedule, the hospital outpatient PPS/ambulatory surgical center payment update, … Continue Reading

OIG Reviews HHA Background Check Policies

In response to a Congressional request, the OIG has reviewed the extent to which home health agencies (HHAs) have employed individuals with criminal convictions and whether state requirements should have disqualified such individuals from HHA employment. The OIG points out that there are no federal requirements that HHAs conduct background checks on employees, and state requirements … Continue Reading

CMS Announces Open Door Forum on Home Health Patient Survey Star Ratings (May 7)

On May 7, 2015, CMS is hosting a Special Open Door Forum to discuss its plans to use Home Health CAHPS survey results to create Patient Survey Star Ratings for the Home Health Compare website. CMS will provide an overview of the HHCAHPS Patient Survey Star Ratings, describe the methods for calculating the ratings and assigning … Continue Reading

OIG Issues 2015 Compendium of Unimplemented Recommendations

The OIG has released its March 2015 “Compendium of Unimplemented Recommendations,” which highlights the OIG’s top 25 recommendations for cost savings and/or quality improvements in HHS programs, along with other significant unimplemented recommendations. High-priority recommendations address the following areas, among others: Payment Policies and Practices: Expand the DRG window to include additional days prior to the inpatient … Continue Reading

MedPAC Report to Congress on Medicare Policy

The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) has released its annual recommendations to Congress on Medicare policies, including Medicare fee-for-service (FFS) payment updates and a status report on the Medicare Advantage and Medicare Part D programs. The following are highlights of the recommendations for 2016 (many of which were recommended previously):… Continue Reading

CMS Call on Home Health Clinical Templates (March 11)

On March 11, 2015, CMS is hosting a call to discuss paper and clinical templates intended to assist physicians and practitioners in documenting patient eligibility for Medicare home health benefits. In announcing the call, CMS notes that the fiscal year 2014 Comprehensive Error Rate Testing (CERT) program identified a high proportion of claims with inadequate … Continue Reading

CMS Announces New 6-Month Extension of Moratoria on Enrollment of HHAs, Ambulance Suppliers in Designated Areas

CMS is extending — for another 6 months — its current enrollment moratoria for new ground ambulance suppliers and home health agencies (HHAs) in designated metropolitan areas. The moratoria, which affect enrollment in Medicare, Medicaid, and the Children’s Health Insurance Program, apply to new ground ambulances in the Houston and Philadelphia metropolitan areas and new HHAs … Continue Reading

CMS Schedules Provider Calls on Medicare Payment, Quality, Coding & Program Integrity Topics

CMS has scheduled a series of provider calls in February and March on the following topics: February 3: Special Open Door Forum on the upcoming Prior Authorization of Non-Emergent Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy model to be implemented in March in Illinois, Michigan, and New Jersey. February 4: Special Door Forum on the introduction of star ratings on … Continue Reading

CMS Announces DMEPOS/Home Health/Hospice RAC, Improvements to RAC Process

CMS has announced that it has awarded the Region 5 Recovery Audit contract to Connolly, LLC (although the General Accounting Office subsequently reported that a bid protest has been filed regarding this award). The purpose of this contract will be to identify improper Medicare payments for durable medical equipment (DME), orthotics, prosthetics, and supplies and home … Continue Reading

CMS Publishes Corrections to Home Health PPS, DMEPOS Surety Bond Rules

On December 2, 2014, CMS published a correction to its November 6, 2014 final 2015 Medicare home health prospective payment system (PPS) rule to correct a technical error related to the applicability date for a therapy reassessment provision.  Separately, on November 24, 2014, CMS published a notice making technical amendments to durable medical equipment, prosthetics, … Continue Reading

CMS Extends Comment Period on Home Health COP Proposed Rule

Today CMS published a notice extending the comment period on its October 9, 2014 proposed rule that would revise the conditions of participation (CoPs) that home health agencies must meet to participate in the Medicare and Medicaid programs. Specifically, the comment period is extended for 30 days, from December 8, 2014 until January 7, 2015.… Continue Reading

CMS Finalizes 0.3% Cut in Medicare Home Health PPS Rates for CY 2015

On November 6, 2014, CMS published a final rule to update the Medicare home health prospective payment system (HH PPS) for CY 2015. CMS estimates that the final rule will cut Medicare payments to home health agencies (HHAs) by 0.30%, or $60 million, in 2015. Specifically, while the rule provides a 2.1% home health payment update … Continue Reading

Final CY 2015 Medicare Payment Rules in the Pipeline

CMS is expected to publish several major final Medicare payment rules for 2015 in the coming days. The agency has already submitted to the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for regulatory clearance the final 2015 rules updating Medicare payments for outpatient hospitals, ambulatory surgical centers, home health agencies, and end-stage renal disease … Continue Reading

Proposed Revisions to Home Health Conditions of Participation

On October 9, 2014, CMS is publishing a proposed rule that would extensively revise the conditions of participation (CoPs) that home health agencies (HHAs) must meet to participate in the Medicare and Medicaid programs. The rule is intended to provide HHAs with enhanced flexibility while focusing provider efforts on the services delivered to the patient, the … Continue Reading

President Obama Signs Post-Acute Care Transformation Act and Other Health Policy Bills

On October 6, 2014, President Obama signed into law H.R. 4994, the Improving Medicare Post-Acute Care Transformation Act of 2014 (the “IMPACT Act”). The IMPACT Act’s provisions will affect a broad range of post-acute care (PAC) providers: home health agencies (HHAs), skilled nursing facilities (SNFs), inpatient rehabilitation facilities (IRFs), and long-term acute care hospitals (LTCHs). … Continue Reading

CMS Fingerprint-Based Background Checks are Underway – Impacting “High-Risk” Providers and Suppliers

CMS’s long-awaited fingerprint-based background check screening process is underway for certain “high-risk” providers and suppliers participating in federal health care programs (specifically, Medicare, Medicaid, and the Children’s Health Insurance Program). Under CMS regulations, individuals who maintain a 5 percent or greater direct or indirect ownership interest in a provider or supplier in the high risk category — … Continue Reading
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