NAHC Asks CMS/HHS for Reg Flexibility to Fight COVID-19

The National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) has made a series of requests to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) for regulatory action designed to enable home health and hospice to fulfill its potential as the health care setting most suited to stopping the spread of the novel coronavirus COVID-19 while…

CMS Issues Regulatory Waivers in Response to COVID-19

On March 13, 2020, President Trump declared a national emergency related to the COVID-19 pandemic. On January 31, 2020, Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar declared a national public heath emergency. These  two declaration  permit the  Secretary of HHS to invoke the 1135 waiver authority for  certain federal  regulations  in order…

Congress Passes Coronavirus Funding Bill

Telehealth waivers passed, but do not apply to home health or hospice In response to spread of COVID-19, the novel coronavirus, Congress passed an $8.3 billion supplemental appropriations package designed to combat the spread of the novel coronavirus. This new federal spending that will largely be directed to the Department of Health and Human Services…

President’s Budget Reinforces Goal of Unified Post-Acute Payment System, Takes Aim at Hospice in Nursing Homes

On Monday, February 10, 2020, a general outline of the President’s fiscal year (FY) 2021 budget was submitted to Congress. The FY2021 budget proposes to reduce spending on programs administered by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) by $1.6 trillion over the next 10 years, including $500 billion from Medicare and $920 billion…

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…

House Legislation Takes Aim at CMMI Models

Bill Presses for Greater Transparency, Strengthened Oversight Key members of two House committees with jurisdiction over Medicare and Medicaid have introduced legislation to increase oversight and accountability of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation (CMMI). CMMI is the division of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) having broad authority to test innovative…

HHS Warns of Potential Cyber Threat to Health Care Entities

Below is an announcement from the HHS Office for Civil Rights related to a cyber threat potentially impacting healthcare and public health (HPH) sector entities. The purpose of this bulletin is to notify you of a number of vulnerabilities identified in Microsoft Windows operating systems which if not addressed, pose significant threat to the environment.…

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…

‘Conscience Rule” Vacated

As reported in NAHC Report in July 2019, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) agreed to postpone the effective date of the Protecting Statutory Conscience Rights in Health Care; Delegations of Authority  rule. The rule, commonly referred to as “the conscience rule”, was set to take effect in July and had been delayed…

OIG Report Recommends CMS Use CERT Data to Identify High Risk Home Health Agencies

CMS Remains Opposed to Using CERT Data to Identify Improper Payments, Prefers TPE & RCD The Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of the Inspector General (OIG) recently released a report pertaining to home health agencies (HHA), The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Could Use Comprehensive Error Rate Testing Data To Identify High-Risk Home…