Fight for Medicare Reform to Expand Access to Home Care!

GO HERE to tell Congress to support Choose Home Care Act of 2021 Home care has long been a safe and effective alternative to care in an institutional setting. Medicare reform to provide viable, extended care services at home for patients who otherwise have only one choice, the Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) benefit, is long…

CMS Issues Final FY2022 Hospice Payment Rule and Quality Reporting Program Update

Payment Update drops to 2.0%, “Labor Shares” Undergo Slight Adjustment Late on Thursday, July 29, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released a final rule governing hospice payment and policy changes for fiscal year 2022 (FY2022). While the final rule does not stray far from that proposed on April 8, there are some changes:…

HHS Announces Millions of $ to Fight Burnout in Health Care Workforce

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), announced the availability of an estimated $103 million in American Rescue Plan funding over a three-year period to reduce burnout and promote mental health among the health workforce. These investments, which take into particular consideration the needs of…

Choose Home Care Act is Vital New Bipartisan Legislation to Expand Access to Home Care

The National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) today commend the introduction of the Choose Home Care Act of 2021, bipartisan legislation designed to increase access to care at home by providing eligible Medicare beneficiaries with an additional care option following hospitalization. This is an important Medicare policy change that will strengthen and modernize…

Federal Speech Rulings May Embolden Health Care Workers to Call Out Safety Issues

Kaiser Health News Harris Meyer Karen Jo Young wrote a letter to her local newspaper criticizing executives at the hospital where she worked as an activities coordinator, arguing that their actions led to staffing shortages and other patient safety problems. Hours after her letter was published in September 2017, officials at Maine Coast Memorial Hospital…

Hill Hearing Highlights Differing Approaches to Support Direct Care Workers

A July 20 hearing of the House of Representatives Committee on Education & Labor (E&L) revealed sharp differences in preferred solutions to the challenge of building a strong direct care workforce, even as members largely agreed what those challenges are and that the federal government has a role to play in overcoming them. During the…

CMS Issues Quarterly OASIS FAQs

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has issued the July, 2021 quarterly Outcome and Assessment Information Set (OASIS) frequently asked questions (FAQs). The FAQs clarify issues related to assessment time frame, conditions for a valid referral, look-back period for risk for hospitalization, wound assessment, and medication intervention time frame. CMS also responded to…

NAHC Seeks Feedback on Proposed Changes to Home Health COPs

In the CY2022 home health rate update proposed rule, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is proposing several changes to the Conditions of Participation at §484.80 for the home care aide supervisory visits. Although, for the most part, the changes are welcomed, there might be some areas of concern for home health providers.…

California, Dept. of Veterans Affairs Strengthen Covid Rules for Health Care Workers

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) will require its 115,000 front line health care workers to be vaccinated against the novel coronavirus COVID-19 over the next two months, making it the first federal agency to mandate vaccination. Meanwhile, California, easily the largest state in the union, has enacted new guidance that will require all state…

CMS Issues System Changes for the Home Health NOA

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) Change Request 12227 outlines the business requirements describing the changes to the Medicare systems to implement processing of the notice of admission (NOA) and claims.  NOAs will be submitted using type of bill (TOB) 32A and may be cancelled using TOB 032D. All claims for periods of…