CMS Delays Release of Final Home Health Payment System for 2014

In the wake of the government shutdown that left many government agencies under capacity for 16 days, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced this week it will be postponing the release of its Home Health Prospective Payment System Final Rule until “on or before” November 27. The rule will take effect January 1, CMS said. 

“Although we are still assessing the impact of the partial government shutdown on completion of the calendar year 2014 Medicare fee for service payment regulations, we intend to issue the final rules on or before November 27, 2013, generally to be effective on January 1,2014,” the agency said on its website. 

The other delays include the release of Medicare’s End-Stage Renal Disease Prospective Payment System, Quality Incentive Program, and Durable Medical Equipment, Prosthetics, Orthotics, and Supplies; Changes to the Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment System and Ambulatory Surgical Center Payment System; and Revisions to Payment Policies under the Physician Fee Schedule and Other Revisions to Part B for CY 2014 Final Rule with Comment Period.

The publication date was originally expected to take place November 2. 

The proposed rule, published in June, includes cutting payments to home health agencies by 1.5% in 2014, or $290 million based on several policies and adjustments.

“The proposed decrease reflects the effects of the 2.4 percent home health payment update percentage ($460 million increase), the rebasing adjustments to the national, standardized 60-day episode payment rate, the national per-visit payment rates, and the non-routine medical supplies (NRS) conversion factor ($650 million decrease), and the effects of ICD-9-CM coding adjustments ($100 million decrease),” CMS said upon the rule proposal. 

Written by Elizabeth Ecker

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