OIG: CMS & States Must Work Together on Background Checks for Long-Term Care Employees

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) must help states completely implement background checks for long-term caregiver employees, according to a new report released by the Office of Inspector General (OIG) of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Nine million beneficiaries rely on long-term-care services each year for safe, dependable care and…

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…

Administration Budget Calls for Spending Cuts, Prior Authorization, Unified Post-Acute Payment System

On Tuesday the White House released the President’s Fiscal Year 2020 Budget. Released annually, the President’s budget does not carry the weight of law, but does provide a robust view of the administration’s priorities, and the direction it would like to take the country. The Department of Health and Human Services outlined a projected budget…

OIG: Non-Profit Hospital May Offer Free Home Care

A federal rule against offering patients free care does not prohibit a hospital from providing free home care if the goal is to reduce readmissions, according to an advisory opinion the Office of Inspector (OIG) General of the Department of Health and Human Services. The federal government forbids the provision of free services to patients…

OIG Adds Hospice Item to Work Plan

Recently the HHS Office of the Inspector General (OIG) added a hospice item to its work plan, Protecting Medicare Hospice Beneficiaries From Harm.  The OIG is planning a study to determine the extent and nature of hospice deficiencies and complaints and identify trends.  This study is a companion to Trends in Hospice Deficiencies and Complaints…

OIG Assembles Background Info, Recommendations Centered on Previous Hospice Analyses, Investigations in “Portfolio” Report

The Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector (OIG) included plans, as part of its FY2017 Work Plan, for a hospice portfolio report; that report (Vulnerabilities in the Medicare Hospice Program Affect Quality Care and Program Integrity:  A Portfolio), issued on July 31, compiles 15 OIG recommendations related to seven specific areas…

Congressional Leaders Press HHS for Answers on Cybersecurity in Health Care

Key leaders in the Senate and House of Representatives sent a bipartisan letter to the Department of Health and Human Services last week, raising concerns about the department’s implementation of the Cyber Security Sharing Act (CISA) of 2015 and requesting important updates, including information about the Cyber Threat Preparedness Report (CTPR). The letter, signed by…

NAHC Files Comments Opposing Medicaid Changes that Restrict Access to Care

The National Association for Home Care and Hospice (NAHC) strongly opposes proposed rules changes regarding state analysis of access to care, public reporting, and application of requirements for an access monitoring review plan of Medicaid programs, wrote NAHC President William A. Dombi in comments submitted to the Department of Health and Human Services and Centers…

Proposed Rule Will Reduce Access to Medicaid Services

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is currently receiving comments on a proposed rule that would ultimately allow for states to make rate cuts in their Medicaid reimbursements, resulting in diminished access to care for Medicaid beneficiaries. Under current law, states are required to set Medicaid rates at a level that would ensure…

Members of Congress Ask CMS to Test New Models of Care

The authors of the Patient Choice and Quality Care Act (H.R. 2797/S. 1334) have written a letter to Seema Verma, the Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), asking her to test some of the new models of care for patients with advanced illnesses that are outlined in their legislation. As you…