Update to Home Health Grouper for COVID-19

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently announced a change to the effective date for the new ICD-10 diagnosis code for COVID-19 to April, 1 2020, and issued supplemental guidance. According to the announcement, due to the urgent need to capture the reporting of this condition on  health care  claims and surveillance data,…

CMS Issues Revised COVID-19 Guidance for Nursing Homes with Clearer Exception for Hospice Workers

NAHC advocacy wins key revision for hospice care The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has revised a memo issued last week to allow hospice workers to access facilities to provide care to patients. Last week NAHC reported on memos released by The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) Safety and Oversight Group…

NAHC Has Info You Need about Coronavirus

New cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) are being identified all over the United States and there is justifiable concern about the potential spread and severity of this virus in this country and abroad. Home health and hospice agencies must prepare for the impact a widespread outbreak of coronavirus could have on agency operations. The National Association…

Surveyors to Enforce CDC Guidance for the 2019 Coronavirus

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has issued a letter to surveyors that addresses infection control adherence for health care facilities related to the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV), and reminds surveyors that providers must consider emerging infectious diseases in their emergency preparedness plans. The letter includes interim guidance issued by the Centers for…

CDC Revises Guidance for Infection Control in Heath Care Personnel

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a new publication titled: Infection Control in Healthcare Personnel: Infrastructure and Routine Practices for Occupational Infection Prevention and Control Services. The document is an update of four sections of Part I, and their associated recommendations, of the Guideline for infection control in health care personnel…

Final Government Pain Report Stresses Importance of Patient-Centered Focus

—Acknowledges Misapplication of 2016 CDC Guidelines and Challenge of Medication Shortages In late May 2019 the Pain Management Best Practices Inter-Agency Task Force, a federal advisory committee established by the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act of 2016, released its final report on acute and chronic pain management best practices, calling for a balanced, individualized, patient-centered…

CDC: Some Older Adults Should be Revaccinated Against Measles

People who were vaccinated against measles prior to 1968, with either inactivated (killed) measles vaccine or measles vaccine of unknown type should be revaccinated with at least one dose of live attenuated measles vaccine. This recommendation is intended to protect those who may have received killed measles vaccine, which was available in 1963-1967 and was…

CDC Clarifies Applicability of Opioid Prescribing Guidelines, Excepts End-of-Life and Palliative Care

The Centers for Disease Control has released a letter clarifying that its 2016 Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain was not intended to apply to cancer treatment, palliative care, or end of life care. Recent efforts by policymakers to stem the nationwide epidemic of opioid abuse  culminated in the enactment of the 2018 SUPPORT…

CDC Report: One in Four U.S. Adults is Disabled

About 25 percent of all U.S. adults, roughly 61 million people, have a disability that impacts major life activities, according to a new report this month from the Center for Disease Control’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. “At some point in their lives, most people will either have a disability or know someone who has…

Proposed 2019 Budget Cuts CMS and ONC

The House Appropriations Committee has released a draft 2019 budget for the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) that proposes boosting the department by about $1 billion to $89.2 billion, but contains significant cuts for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC).…