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…

July 2020 Refresh of Home Health Compare Will Not Occur

Effective January 1, 2020, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS)  is processing all Home Health OASIS submissions and all reporting requirements through iQIES. Due to unforeseen circumstances, CMS has determined that there will not be a refresh for the Compare site in July 2020. Thus, CMS will not release the Home Health Provider…

CMS Updates State Operations Manual Appendices

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) updated the appendices of the State Operations Manual (SOM) to include regulatory revisions based on recent federal regulation changes that are part of the Omnibus Burden Reduction (CMS-3346-F; CMS-3334-F; CMS-3295-F; CMS3277-CN).  See previous NAHC coverage here  for a summary of the provisions of this rule. The SOM…

The CMS Proposes New Medicare Cost Report Form for Home Health Agencies

A special to NAHC Report from Dave Macke, Shareholder, CHFP, FHFMA The Centers for Medicare Services (CMS) originally issued a proposed rule on April 16, 2019, to change the Medicare cost report form set for home health agencies.  This notice provided for an original 60 day comment period.  On February 24, 2020, the CMS issued a…

CMS Open Door Forum: Updates on PDGM, Claims Processing Issues, Quality & More

On February 26, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) held its monthly Home Health, Hospice and DME Open Door Forum (ODF).  Following are updates related to the home health agency portion of the call. PDGM CMS reviewed two MedLearn (MLN) Matters articles recently issued that provide information and education on the Patient Driven…

CMS Issues iQIES Log to Assist Providers

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has released an Internet Quality Improvement and Evaluation System (iQIES) issues log to assist providers and other stakeholders in knowing what processing issues exist and the status of resolution. CMS agreed to develop the log at the request of stakeholders when providers began experiencing multiple problems with OASIS submission…

Future Quality Measures for Home Health and Hospice

The final recommendations for quality Measures Under Consideration (MUC) from the National Quality Forum (NQF) Measures Application Partnership (MAP) have been posted and they include one measure for hospice and one for home health. Both received Conditional Support for Rulemaking from MAP. MUC for the home health quality reporting program (HH QRP) and the hospice…

MedPAC Calls for Cuts to Home Health and Hospice

The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) recommended a seven percent payment reduction to the base home health payment rate for 2021 and the elimination of the update to the FY2021 base payment rates for hospice, at their meeting on January 16. In past years the commission has recommended a five percent reduction in the home…

CMS Updates Medicare Benefit Policy Manual for Home Health Agencies

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid (CMS) recently released Transmittal 265/Change Request (CR) 11577 Manual Updates Related to Calendar Year (CY) 2020 Home Health Payment Policy Changes, Maintenance Therapy, and Remote Patient Monitoring This CR updates the Medicare Benefit Policy Manual, (Publication 100-02), Chapter 7, to reflect policy changes finalized in the CY 2019 and…

NAHC Wants Proposals to Build a Summit to Solve America’s Long-Term Care Workforce Problems

The National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) is extending a request for proposals (RFP) from all interested stakeholders to organize a coalition-based Workforce Summit that will develop evidence-based strategies and solutions to address the workforce challenges faced by the industry. The Workforce Summit will be a catalyst for change, providing specific ideas, plans,…