MedPAC Recommends Home Health Rate Cut

During their recent January 14-15 meeting, the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) recommended to Congress a five percent base rate cut for home health services. The recommendations follows the base rate discussions held during MedPAC’s previous meeting in December 2020.  Prior to the vote, commissioners received a presentation form MedPAC staff on the current state…

CMS Open Door Forum Addresses HIT, Home Health CAHPS and Claims Processing Issues

The January 26, 2021 the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) held a Home Health, Hospice, and DME (Durable Medical Equipment) Open Door Forum addressed several issues of interest to home health providers. A summary of the issues pertaining to home health are below. (Matters of interest for hospice providers were covered earlier this week…

CMS Open Door Form Focuses on Quality Reporting Programs

On December 16, 2020 the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) held a Home Health, Hospice & DME (Durable Medical Equipment) Open Door Forum (ODF).  The majority of the updates provided by CMS for home health and hospice were related to the respective quality reporting programs, and questions asked by participants surrounded the upcoming…

New Innovation Model Tests Flexibility in Home Health and Hospice Benefits

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has announced a new payment and care delivery model being tested by the CMS Innovation Center.  The Geographic Direct Contracting Model (also known as the “Model” or “Geo”) will test whether a geographic-based approach to value-based care can improve quality of care and reduce costs for Medicare beneficiaries…

Study: Medicare Home Health Benefit Not Sufficient to Meet Needs of Post-Acute Beneficiaries

Policy changes could increase value of home health benefit in COVID-19 era Home health care would be very effective providing services to Medicare beneficiaries, but the current design of the home health benefit is insufficient to meet the needs of post-acute beneficiaries, concludes a new study from the Commonwealth Fund. The report’s authors believe policy…

Reporting Requirements for Home Health & Hospice Affected by Hurricane Laura

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is granting exceptions under certain Medicare quality reporting and value-based purchasing programs to home health agencies located in areas affected by Hurricane Laura due to the devastating impact of the storm. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is granting exceptions under certain Medicare quality reporting…

Rise in Patients Discharged to Home Health

The percentage of patients discharged from short-term acute care hospitals (STACH) to home health has risen from 11 percent in May 2019 to 19 percent one calendar year later, according to a new report from ATI Advisory. The number of patients discharged from STACH declined from over 800,000 patients in May 2019 to 558,296 in…

CHAP Shares Standards for the Home Infusion Therapy Supplier

The Medicare home infusion therapy (HIT) supplier benefit is a new Medicare Part B benefit established in the 21st Century Cures Act. The new benefit covers the professional services associated with the provision of Part B infusion drugs, such as, nursing services that are furnished in accordance with a plan of care. The services include…

Recommendations and Clarifications for HHAs on the No-Pay RAP

Beginning January 1, 2021, home health agencies (HHAs) will be required to submit a request for anticipated payment (RAP) that will be paid at 0 percent, prior to each claim. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) finalized the No-pay RAP policy in the CY 2020 Home Health Prospective Payment System Rate Update rule.…

Quality Reporting Program Tip Sheets and Training and Education Resources

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has announced that the COVID-19 PR Tip Sheets are now available for the home health quality reporting program (HH QRP) and the hospice quality reporting program (HQRP). The purpose of the tip sheets is to help providers understand the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) public…