House Approves Labor-HHS Spending Blueprint for FY2020

Last week the House of Representatives approved legislation that provides discretionary funding for the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). In total, H.R. 2740 would dole out a combined $192 billion for the Departments of Labor, HHS, and Education, and their related agencies. Every year in the appropriations process specific funding levels need to…

NAHC Submits Comments on Advancing Interoperability

The National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) in association with the Health Care Technology Association of America (HCTAA, an advisory council to NAHC) summited comments on two proposed rules that address advancing interoperability in health care programs. On February 11, 2019 the Department of Health and Human Services issued two proposed rules. One …

Recently Added OIG Work Plan Item May Impact Home Health and Hospice Providers

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Inspector General (OIG) work planning is dynamic and adjustments are made throughout the year to meet priorities and to anticipate and respond to emerging issues. A Work Plan has been developed, made public, and updated monthly with new issues.  This month, there are two new issues…

Federal Task Force Seeks Comment on Draft Pain Management Report

Among other actions, the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act of 2016 (CARA – Public Law 114-198) authorized creation of a Pain Management Best Practices Inter-Agency Task Force (Task Force) charged with: Identification and review of existing best practices for pain management Determination of whether gaps or inconsistencies between such best practices exist, and Development of…

New Report on Hospice and Nursing Home Contracting

PLEASE NOTE THAT TODAY IS THE FINAL DAY NAHC REPORT WILL BE PUBLISHED IN 2018. WE WILL RETURN ON JANUARY 2, 2019. The office of the Assistant Secretary of Planning and Evaluation (ASPE) of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recently released a report, Trends in Nursing Home-Hospice Contracting and Common Ownership Between…

3 Federal Departments Endorse Site-Neutral Payment, Lifting Regulations

The Departments of Health and Human Services, Labor, and Treasury endorsed site-neutral payment and lifting three regulations that limit competition in health care in a new report issued on December 3, 2018. The report, Reforming America’s Healthcare System through Choice and Competition, is in response to an executive order from President Donald Trump calling for…

Request for Information on Improving Outcomes for Medicare Beneficiaries with Social Risk Factors

The Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS), acting through the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE), is evaluating the effect of individuals’ socioeconomic status on quality measures and measures of resource use under the Medicare program. The first product of this effort, a December 2016 Report to Congress: Social Risk Factors and Performance…

Reports: Medicare Advantage Plans Improperly Denying Claims

— Anthem Adds Home Care Benefits Under Relaxed Medicare Advantage Rule Medicare Advantage plans are improperly denying medical insurance claims to patients and physicians, according to a report from the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and a separate report in the New York Times. Roughly 20…

Adam Boehler is the New Head of the CMMI

Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar has named Adam Boehler as the new director of the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI), as well as a deputy administrator at the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Boehler, the former CEO of Landmark Health, has been rumored to be the Trump administration’s…

Omnibus Spending Bill Has New Money for HHS, Opioid Treatment

The U.S. Senate and House of Representatives approved a $1.3 trillion omnibus spending bill that includes a $10 billion increase in funding for the Department of Health and Human Services and an additional $3.6 billion for treatment of opioid addiction and mental health services. Despite hinting at a veto, President Trump announced at a 1:00…