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…

NAHC to Congress: Permanently Fund Medicare Outreach and Enrollment

The National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) has joined with like-minded organizations to urge Congress to permanently and fully fund Medicare outreach and enrollment for low-income beneficiaries. Specifically, NAHC would like Congress to include in the fall “Extenders Package” a provision to make funding permanent for Medicare outreach and enrollment and increase that…

Summary of Key Points in the CMS Open Door Forum on Home Health, Hospice

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) held a Home Health, Hospice & DME Open Door Forum (ODF) on May 15, 2019.  Below is a summary of the ODF topics pertaining to home health and hospice. Hospice CMS reviewed the FY2020 Hospice Proposed Rule key points.  It was clear from the questions at the…

CMS Updates Info on New Medicare Cards

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) sent out a brief update on the new Medicare cards that were shipped out to all beneficiaries from April 2018 to April 2019. You can find the Medicare Beneficiary Identifier (MBI) on the remittance advice of a prior claim or from your Medicare Administrative Contractor’s portal (get access…

More Older Adults With Joint Replacements Recover At Home, Not Rehab

Judith Graham KAISER HEALTH NETWORK Older adults and their families often wonder: Where’s the best place to recover after a hip or knee replacement — at home or in a rehabilitation facility? Increasingly, the answer appears to be home if the procedure is elective, friends and family are available to help and someone doesn’t have…