NAHC Analysis: Impact of COVID Relief and Spending Bill on Home Care and Hospice

President Donald J. Trump signed legislation in late December to fund U.S. federal government operations through the 2021 Fiscal Year and provide $900 billion of stimulus supports to address the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. NAHC offers the following summary of the over 5600 page legislation. Generally, we confine our summary to those provisions that…

CMS Proposes New Rules to Address Prior Authorization and Reduce Burden on Patients and Providers

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a proposed rule on Thursday, December 10, intended to improve the electronic exchange of health care data among payers, providers, and patients, and streamline processes related to prior authorization to reduce burden on providers and patients. According to CMS, the proposed rule aims to improve data sharing…

CMS Toolkit to Accelerate State Efforts to Enhance Home and Community-Based Services

Today, CMS launched a new toolkit designed for state Medicaid agencies to strengthen their infrastructure and develop robust home and community-based services (HCBS) for eligible beneficiaries. This toolkit is the latest in a series of CMS efforts to promote high quality, person-centered HCBS to safely transition older adults and individuals with disabilities back to their…

CMS Releases Interim Final Rule for COVID-19 Vaccine & Treatment, and CARES Act Provisions

Late in the day on Wednesday, October 29, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released an Interim Final Rule with Comment Period (IFC) primarily addressing COVID-19 vaccine coverage. The provisions of the IFC are effective immediately on the date of posting in the Federal Register or as otherwise specified in the rule. The…

Federal Short-Term Spending Measure Contains Good News for Home Care & Hospice

On Wednesday September 30, the United States Senate approved a Continuing Resolution (CR), a short-term funding measure, averting a shutdown and providing government funding into December, and several provisions in the CR are helpful for home care and hospice. Key among these is relaxations on how the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is to…

CMS Announces New Federal Funding to Support Transition from Nursing Homes to Community

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced on Wednesday, September 23, the availability of up to $165 million in supplemental funding to states currently operating Money Follows the Person (MFP) demonstration programs in 33 states. This funding will help state Medicaid programs jump-start efforts to transition individuals with disabilities and older adults from…

CMS Seeks Input on Quality Measures for HCBS

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has issued a request for Information(IRFI) seeking public input on a draft set of recommended quality measures for Medicaid-funded home and community-based services (HCBS). CMS and states have worked for decades to support the increased availability and provision of high quality HCBS for Medicaid beneficiaries. HCBS provide…

FY2021 Hospice Medicare and Medicaid Base Rates – At a Glance

Beginning October 1, 2020, hospice base payment rates will increase by 2.4 percent, as published in the final FY2021 Hospice Payment Rule.  As is customary, the Medicaid program waits until Medicare rates are finalized to issue guidance on the applicable corresponding hospice payment rates.  The Medicaid Financial Management Group recently issued a memorandum containing the…

New Dept of Labor Rule Leaves Home Care Unclear on Leave Exemption

On late Friday, the U.S. Department of Labor issued a “Temporary Rule” in response to an August 3, 2020 decision of a federal court in New York that invalidated the department’s earlier rulemaking. While there remains a legal issue as to whether the court’s ruling is limited to New York, DOL chose to issue a…

HHS Extends Application Deadline for Medicaid Providers, Will Reopen Portal to Certain Medicare Providers

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced an application deadline extension for the Phase 2 general distribution to Medicaid, Medicaid managed care, Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and dental providers, as part of an effort to provide financial relief to health care providers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. HHS also plans to allow…