CMS Streamlines 1135 Waiver Requests

The Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has announced a new tool to streamline 1135 waiver requests during declared public health emergencies. The COVID -19 pandemic has brought to light several challenges related to the submission, tracking and issuance of 1135 waivers due to the volume of requests for flexibilities by the provider and…

NAHC Receives Clarification on CMS Policies for Home Health Agencies

The National Association for Home Care & Hospice ( NAHC) has received additional clarification on Medicare coverage policies for home health agencies. Earlier this month NAHC reported on responses from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) on several key outstanding question. In that report NAHC noted follow-up was needed on two of CMS’…

Hospice Quality Reporting Program: Common Questions

As previously reported, NAHC received some answers to outstanding questions hospices had about the Hospice Quality Reporting Program (HQRP), relating primarily to changes from the Hospice Visits When Death is Imminent (HVWDII) measure to the Hospice Visits in Last Days of Life (HVLDL) measure and the Hospice Care Index (HCI). The Centers for Medicare &…

Recovery Audit Contractor Adds Continuous Home Care Issue

The Recovery Audit Contractor (RAC), Performant, added a hospice issue this month to the list of CMS-approved issues, Issue 0201 – Hospice Continuous Home Care: Medical Necessity and Documentation Requirements. The review will determine if hospice Continuous Home Care (CHC) services were reasonable and necessary to achieve palliation and management of the patient’s acute medical…

CMS Updated Provider Demographic Data Process

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will be transitioning to a new data source for a provider’s demographic data for hospice and home health agencies as well as other Post-Acute Care (PAC) provider types (Skilled Nursing Facilities / Nursing Facilities (SNF/NFs), Inpatient Rehabilitation Facilities (IRFs), and Long-Term Care Hospitals (LTCHs)). While not specified…

Comprehensive Error Rate Testing Review Update

Effective August 11, 2020, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) resumed Comprehensive Error Rate Testing (CERT) program activities that were temporarily suspended in response to the public health emergency (PHE). Specifically, the CERT program resumed sending documentation request letters to and conducting phone calls with providers or suppliers to request medical documentation for…

Reports: Biden to Nominate Chiquita Brooks-LaSure as CMS Admin

According to reports, President Joe Biden will select Chiquita Brooks-LaSure to be the next administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), the largest component of the Department of Health & Human Services (HHS), with ten offices around the country, more than 6000 employees, and over $1 trillion in annual expenditures. CMS has…

Home Health Quality Reporting Program Update

HH CAHPS Survey Exemptions & OASIS Quarterly Q&A HH CAHPS Survey Exemptions It is the responsibility of all Medicare-certified HHAs to participate every month in the Home Health CAHPS Survey to obtain the full Annual Payment Update (APU) from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). There are only two scenarios under which a…

NEW TRAINING EVENT – Section N: Medications – Drug Regimen Review Web-Based Training

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is offering a web-based training course that provides an overview of the assessment and coding of the Drug Regimen Review standardized patient assessment data elements (SPADEs) found in the Medications Section of the guidance manuals. This 45-minute course is intended for providers in Home Health Agencies (HHAs),…

Webinar: Bridging the Digital Divide for HCBS Beneficiaries (Part I)

The Department of Health & Human Services will host an important new webinar, “Bridging the Digital Divide for HCBS Beneficiaries,”  produced by the Administration for Community Living (ACL) and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). This webinar is part of a monthly series that invites subject matter experts and practitioners from across the…