Take this Survey on Home Health Aide Adequacy

TAKE THE SURVEY NOW! As part of the 2022 proposed home health rate update rule, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is asking for information on the adequacy of home health aide staffing. This request is made in response to a 2019 MedPac Report that noted between 1998 and 2017 home health visits declined…

MedPAC Recommends Reducing Medicare Payment to Home Health Agencies

Earlier this week, as expected, the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) March 2021 Report to Congress recommended a five percent reduction in payments to home health agencies (HHA) for calendar year 2022. The commissioners reported that the average Medicare profit margin in 2019 for HHAs was 15 percent and predicts a 14 percent profit margin…

MedPAC calls for 20 Percent Cut to Hospice Aggregate Cap

The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) has recommended to Congress that Medicare base payment rates for hospice for Fiscal Year 2022 remain at current levels and to cut the hospice aggregate cap by 20 percent. In addition, MedPAC recommended that the aggregate cap be wage adjusted. MedPAC’s chapter on hospice services explores the latest data…

MedPAC Recommends Home Health Rate Cut

During their recent January 14-15 meeting, the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) recommended to Congress a five percent base rate cut for home health services. The recommendations follows the base rate discussions held during MedPAC’s previous meeting in December 2020.  Prior to the vote, commissioners received a presentation form MedPAC staff on the current state…

MedPAC Recommends Hospice Payment Freeze, Cap Cut for FY2022

Recommendations will advance to Congress As NAHC Report anticipated, the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC), an advisory body to Congress, met this week to finalize payment and policy recommendations that will be incorporated in its annual March Report to Congress.  Among the items MedPAC acted on were payment recommendations for the hospice sector in fiscal year (FY)…

MedPAC Calls for Home Health Payment Rate Reduction

The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) convened for a series of sessions discussing recommendations the panel will vote on in 2021 and present to the Congress as formal recommendations for the various sectors of the Medicare program. This is an annual process where commissioners discuss recommendations in December, vote in January, and present to the…

MedPAC Tees Up Hospice Freeze and Aggregate Cap Cut for FY2022 Recommendations

Last week the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) reviewed the latest available data on Medicare hospice utilization and discussed potential hospice payment recommendations for FY2022 with an eye toward their inclusion in the annual March Report to Congress.   Commission members expressed preliminary support for inclusion of the following recommendations: For fiscal year 2022, eliminate…

New Target Area for Hospice PEPPER

The 2021 release of the Hospice Program for Evaluating Payment Patterns Electronic Report (PEPPER), anticipated spring  2021, will include at least one new target area – Average Number of Part D Claims per Hospice Episode.  This target area will measure the count of Medicare Part D claims for beneficiaries billed during hospice episodes in the…

MedPAC Discusses Future Directions in Hospice Payment Reforms

–Seeks Solution for Long-Stay Incentives and Troublesome Utilization Patterns On October 1, the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) began discussions of future directions for hospice payment policy. Hospice has undergone payment changes in recent years, including creation of a two-tiered payment system for Routine Home Care (RHC) and more recent recalibration of payments between the…

MedPAC Finds Pandemic Devastated Nursing Homes, Assisted Living Facilities

Steep decline in home care services has mostly recovered. The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) recently reconvened for a series of sessions in their continued efforts to optimize the Medicare program. Leading off the September meeting was a session focused on the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the Medicare program. As expected, the MedPAC…