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),…

Medicare Sequester Extended Two Years

The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2019, signed into law last week by President Donald J. Trump, includes an extension of the Medicare sequestration cuts for an additional two years. This across the board cut of two percent applies to all Medicare provider payments. The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2019 will increase federal spending by $320…

Medicare Home Health Services Proposed Rule: RAP Phase-Out

Analysis and recommendations for home health agencies By NAHC President William A. Dombi The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has proposed that the split payments made to home health agencies under the Request for Anticipated Payment (RAP) process will end in 2021. As an interim step, no “new” HHAs will receive RAPs in…

CMS Proposes to Require a Notice of Admission

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is proposing to eliminate the advance, split percentage payments for all home health agencies (HHAs) in 2021. Therefore, agencies will no longer submit Requests for Anticipated Payment (RAPs) beginning January 1, 2021. The RAP submission opens a home health prospective payment system (HHPPS) episode in the CMS…

House Approves Labor-HHS Spending Blueprint for FY2020

Last week the House of Representatives approved legislation that provides discretionary funding for the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). In total, H.R. 2740 would dole out a combined $192 billion for the Departments of Labor, HHS, and Education, and their related agencies. Every year in the appropriations process specific funding levels need to…

Office of Inspector General Continues Focus on Home Health Agencies

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Office of the Inspector General (OIG) issues updates to its work plan on a monthly basis through out the year. Since our last report on the OIG’s recent activity updates (NAHC Report https://report.nahc.org/recently-added-oig-work-plan-item-may-impact-home-health-and-hospice-providers/), the OIG announced this month a revision of an issue for home heath agencies…

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,…

CMS Updates Medicare Financial Management Manual

Editor’s Note:  The follow article was written by Ted Cuppett CPA, Director of The Health Group LLC, in Morgantown, WV, and a member of the NAHC Home Care and Hospice Financial Managers Association (HHFMA) Work Group.  It is gratefully reprinted with Ted’s permission. On May 24, 2019, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS)…

Medicare Beneficiary Survey Shows Most Are Pleased with Care, in Good Health

The 2017 Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey (MCBS), released earlier this month by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), reveals that most beneficiaries are pleased with their care, in reasonably good health, and have little or no difficulty accessing health care. The preliminary estimates from the 2017 MCBS survey find that 77 percent of…

CMS Finalizes Changes to the Appeals Regulations

On May 7, 2019, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a final rule that that fine-tunes several of the regulations governing the Medicare appeals process. CMS finalized all the provisions in the rule as proposed. Removal of Requirement That Appellants Sign Appeal Requests CMS finalized its proposal to allow appellants in Medicare…