REMINDER: Time is Running Out to Access iQIES

Home health agencies (HHAs) are reminded to obtain access to the Quality Improvement and Evaluation System (iQIES) by December 23. Failure to so will prevent submission of Outcome and Assessment Information Set (OASIS) data, impacting the agency’s ability to comply with quality reporting requirements and the need for claims matching after January 1, 2020. Claims…

Home Health Spending Hits a New High, Growth Robust

Home health spending in the United exceeded $102 billion in 2018, a new high, according to the Office of the Actuary of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) in figures published yesterday in Health Affairs. Total U.S. health care spending was approximately $3.65 trillion in 2018. That means home health care spending accounted…

National Provider Survey of Home Health Agencies

Selected  home health agencies will be receiving a survey requesting information on the use of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) performance measures in home health quality improvement programs. CMS is required, by provisions in the Affordable Care Act, to conduct an assessment of the quality and efficiency impact of the use of…

CMS Releases List of Potential Future Quality Measures

The National Quality Forum (NQF) recently posted the list of Measures Under Consideration  (MUC) for future use in the hospice quality reporting program (HQRP) and the home health quality reporting program (HH QRP). The list is released annually, and there is an opportunity for stakeholder comment. In fact, comments are due next week – November…

CMS Provides Critical Updates on Home Health and Hospice in Latest Open Door Forum

On November 6, 2019 the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) held an Open Door Forum (ODF) for home health, hospice, and durable medical equipment (DME) providers.  During the ODF, CMS provided the following updates for home health and hospice. Key topics include Review Choice Demonstration, PDGM billing, Transition to IQUIES, the CY2020 Home…

What the 2020 Medicare Home Health Final Rule Means

The National Association for Home Care & Hospice held a free-to-all webinar on Wednesday, November 5, 2019, to discuss the 2020 Medicare Home Health Final Rule and answer any questions. If you missed the webinar and would like to view the recording, please GO HERE. On October 31, 2019, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid…

CMS Webinar and Open Door Forums on Key Topics this Week

How to Submit Medicare Part A Cost Reports Electronically on Tuesday Open Door Forum on Review Choice Demonstration, Quality Updates, CAHPS & More on Wednesday Submitting Your Medicare Part A Cost Report Electronically The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Medicare Learning Network will present a new webinar, Submitting Your Medicare Part…

Action needed: Register for an iQIES Account

The Quality Improvement and Evaluation System (QIES), which providers and vendors use to submit assessment data, is being upgraded to make the system more reliable, scalable, secure, and accessible.  The enhancements will occur in phases (by provider type) and began with Long- Term Care Hospitals (LTCHs) in March 2019, followed by Inpatient Rehabilitation Facilities (IRFs)…

Burden Reduction Includes Changes to Use of Pseudo Patients in Aide Competency, Drug Management, And More

A recent final rule released by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) relating to burden reduction is receiving applause especially from the home health community.  The final rule, Regulatory Provisions to Promote Program Efficiency, Transparency, and Burden Reduction; Fire Safety Requirements for Certain Dialysis Facilities; Hospital and Critical Access Hospital (CAH) Changes to…

Long Awaited Discharge Planning Rule Posted

It has taken four years for the final rule for discharge planning for hospitals, critical access hospitals, and home health agencies to be posted.  This rule also impacts hospices as it changes the requirements for referring patients from these  facilities to hospice care. This final rule is s slated to be published in the Federal…