Arizona Medicaid Joins Insurers to Fight Caregiver Crisis

Arizona’s state Medicaid program is partnering with three health care insurers to help solve  the state’s looming caregiver crisis, which is even more acute that the problem facing the country as a whole, according to a report in the Arizona Daily Star. The goal of the new program, which unites Arizona Health Care Cost Containment…

Legislation to Extend Key Home Care Programs Proposed in Senate

Bipartisan leadership of the Senate Finance Committee has announced proposed legislation providing for the extension of several programs within Medicare and Medicaid. Commonly referred to as an “extenders package” the legislation provides for the continuation of programs that are currently on track to exhaust their current funding allocation. Notable to home care and hospice providers…

The Year in Review: Home Health and Hospice in Congress in 2019

Congress Actively Pursued Key Home Health and Hospice Concerns NAHC scored some big victories for patients and providers While 2019 was frequently marked by intense partisan wrangling in Congress, a year-end review by the National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) shows that elected officials still found time to pursue a number of issues…

CMS Wants Members for New Technical Expert Panels

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is looking for members to serve on two Technical Expert Panels (TEPs) – a Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) Measures TEP and a Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) Scorecard Measures Gap Development TEP. CMS has contracted with The Lewin Group (Lewin) to work on a…

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…

CMS Proposes Revised Instructions to the Advanced Beneficiary Notice

On August 20, 2019, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a Paperwork Reduction Act notice for the Advanced Beneficiary Notice (ABN), form CMS-R-131.  In the Federal Register, CMS announced an information collection for the extension, without change, to the current ABN form. However, CMS is proposing changes to the instructions for the ABN…

FY2020 Hospice Medicare and Medicaid Base Rates at a Glance

–Hospice Medicare FY2020 Pricer Now Available Beginning October 1, 2019, hospice base payment rates will increase by 2.6 percent, as published in the final FY2020 Hospice Payment Rule.  As a reminder, those rates reflect the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) decision to rebase payment rates (thereby increasing payments) for Continuous Home Care (CHC),…

Measures to Enhance Home Care and Prevent Spousal Impoverishment Advance in Congress

Late Tuesday night the House of Representatives passed H.R.3253, the Empowering Beneficiaries, Ensuring Access, and Strengthening Accountability Act. This legislation extends the Medicaid Money Follows the Person (MFP) program, as well as spousal impoverishment protections for four and a half years. The bill was led by Representatives Dingell (D-MI), Guthrie (R-KY), Pallone (D-NJ), Walden (R-OR),…

CMS Expands Role for NPs and PAs in PACE Program

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Service (CMS) issued a final rule that updates the requirements for the Programs of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) under the Medicare and Medicaid programs. The rule revises a number of provisions for the PACE program, including application and waiver procedures, sanctions, enforcement actions and termination, administrative requirements,…

House of Representatives Approves Short-Term Extension of Key Medicaid Programs

On Monday, March 25th the House of Representatives approved H.R.1839, the Medicaid Services Investment and Accountability Act of 2019, another short-term extension of the Medicaid Money Follows the Person program, and an extension of the spousal impoverishment protections under Medicaid home and community based services (HCBS). As detailed in the NAHC Report, the Money Follows…