CMS Issues Final Rule to Advance Interoperability

On March 9, 2020, both the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) issued for display on the ONC web site final rules that advance the goals of interoperability of electronic health care records (EHR). On April 22, 2020 these rules went on…

What Has Changed for Home Health During the Public Health Emergency? NAHC has the Answers

On March 30, 2020, the Centers for Medicare &Medicaid Services (CMS) issued an interim final rule with comment (IFC) that  provides relief from regulations governing health care provider operations in response to the COVID -19 pandemic. The National Association for Home Care and Hospice (NAHC) conducted a national webcast presenting the regulatory waivers that had…

CMS Issues New Waivers under the Conditions of Participation

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has waived some significant provisions of the home health Conditions of Participation. The following items under the CoP have been waived by CMS. The initial evaluation under 484.55 (a) will not require an on-site visit and may be conducted remotely or through medical review. This does not…

OIG Report on Hospice Aide Supervisory Visits

Deficiencies found and remedies recommended by OIG The Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Office of the Inspector General (OIG) recently released another report pertaining to the quality of hospice care.  In this report, Registered Nurses Did Not Always Visit Medicare Beneficiaries’ Homes At Least Once Every 14 Days To Assess The Quality Of…

CMS’ Verma Marks 2nd Anniversary of Patients over Paperwork Initiative with Listening Session

NAHC shares recommendations as part of stakeholder sessions On October 29, 2019, Administrator Seema Verma celebrated the second anniversary of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) signature Patients Over Paperwork (PoP)  initiative by hosting an event that marked progress made to date with addresses by Verma, CMS staff and provider representatives.  In the…

NAHC Comments on Role of Physician Assistants and Other Non-Physician Practitioners in Hospice

The National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) has submitted comments to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) on a proposed amendment to Section 418.106(b)(1) of the hospice Conditions of Participation (CoPs) to permit a hospice to accept drug orders from a physician, Nurse Practitioner (NP), or Physician’s Assistant (PA). The proposed…

Burden Reduction Includes Changes to Use of Pseudo Patients in Aide Competency, Drug Management, And More

A recent final rule released by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) relating to burden reduction is receiving applause especially from the home health community.  The final rule, Regulatory Provisions to Promote Program Efficiency, Transparency, and Burden Reduction; Fire Safety Requirements for Certain Dialysis Facilities; Hospital and Critical Access Hospital (CAH) Changes to…

Long Awaited Discharge Planning Rule Posted

It has taken four years for the final rule for discharge planning for hospitals, critical access hospitals, and home health agencies to be posted.  This rule also impacts hospices as it changes the requirements for referring patients from these  facilities to hospice care. This final rule is s slated to be published in the Federal…

CMS Proposes Expanded Role for Physician Assistants in Hospice CoP

As reported previously, the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 (BBA 2018) included a provision permitting physician assistants (PAs), beginning January 1, 2019, to serve as hospice attending physicians.  This change affords patients whose primary care practitioner is a PA to receive the same continuity of care that has been available for patients served by nurse…

CMS Holds Hospice, Home Health “Patients over Paperwork” Listening Sessions at NAHC Conference

–Sessions part of CMS’ expansion of “customer engagement” initiatives Approximately one year ago the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced its “Patients over Paperwork” initiative, under which the agency began in-depth discussions on steps that could be taken to reduce unnecessary regulatory burdens on health care providers, increase efficiencies, and improve the beneficiary…