Top Home Health Care Stories of 2017
Home Health Care News broke more records in 2017 for readers and viewership. With all that went down during the year, we kept our readers up to date on the latest industry news.
From covering the rankings of the biggest providers to the proposal of the mega-threatening Home Health Groupings Model (HHGM) and the upcoming Conditions of Participation (CoPs), here’s our list of the top posts of the year:
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued its long-awaited proposed prospective payment system (PPS) 2018 update in July, which included a reduction in overall payments and the introduction of the home health groupings model (HHGM) for implementation in 2019.
CMS issued its final rule outlining the Medicare and Medicaid Conditions of Participation (CoPs) for home health agencies. Prior to the new finalized rule, the CoPs had not been updated in roughly two decades, when many of the requirements were first created.
CMS proposed delaying the implementation date for the new home health CoPs until January 2018. The proposal came after home health industry associations and providers pushed back against the original implementation timeline for the CoPs, which were finalized in early January.
4. January 30—Top 3 CoP Changes to Impact Home Health Agencies
The finalized home health CoPs will have wide implications for agencies, but not all the changes are new or likely to be costly. In total, the new CoPs are expected to cost $234 million annually, according to CMS, or about $30,000 per agency, according to the National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC).
For every new regulation, two must be cut. That’s one of the latest directives coming from President Donald Trump, who signed an executive oder on Jan. 30 that aimed to cut back on burdensome regulations for American businesses and reduce regulatory spending.
Late last year, Kindred Healthcare (NYSE: KND) announced its intention to completely exit the skilled nursing sector and place its bets on the home health and hospice business. The Louisville-based post-acute care services since reportedly received takeover interest.
7. November 1—CMS Finalizes Home Health Payment Rule Without HHGM
The home health groupings model (HHGM) was defeated, after CMS released its final rule for the home health prospective payment system (PPS) 2018 update without finalizing HHGM for 2019 implementation.
8. March 31—Pre-Claim Paused in Illinois, Delayed in Florida
One day before the pre-claim review demonstration (PCRD) was set to begin in Florida, the program was put on pause, CMS announced. The pause could preface major changes to the demonstration, including the possibility it will become optional for home health participants, one major industry association revealed.
Home health agencies should be prepared for a major unwelcome surprise that could hit in the near future—a comprehensive, complex overhaul of the Medicare payment system. When CMS proposes its 2018 payment rates, the agency could also seek to establish a new payment methodology known as HHGM.
For a few years now, the home care industry has focused on a handful of “disrupters”—venture-backed startups that popped into the space with splashy funding rounds and new technology. Just a few years after coming into the market, one of those disrupters, California-based HomeHero, announced it was closing its doors.
Written by Amy Baxter