Small Home Health Agencies Fighting to Stay Afloat Amid COVID-19 Crisis, Regulatory Uncertainty

Home health providers are currently waiting in the calm before the storm, bracing themselves for the COVID-19 surge that has already affected hospitals, skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) and other settings. Unfortunately, industry experts say, they’re readying their operations without necessary support from policymakers, who have seemingly been slow to fully embrace in-home care as a […]

Industry Insiders: Too Early to Tell How Coronavirus Will Affect Admission Patterns, PDGM Reimbursement

During and after the COVID-19 public health emergency, U.S. home health providers will likely have to navigate sudden changes to both their patient volumes and admission sources. When it comes to the latter, any drastic shifts in referrals and admissions could throw a huge wrench into the planning that went into Patient-Driven Groupings Model (PDGM) […]

Accelerated Payments from CMS Can Help Medicare Providers Stay Afloat, But Come with Potential Dangers

Advanced payments from the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) can help home health agencies navigate cash flow challenges associated with the COVID-19 virus. But providers will need to approach accelerated payments with caution, armed with accurate, objective assessments of their internal financial situations. During times of natural disasters, CMS normally offers expedited […]

‘No Strings Attached’: CMS Sending $30 Billion to Home Health Agencies, Other Medicare Providers

If home health and hospice providers discover an unexpected Medicare payment from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) later this week, they shouldn’t be too alarmed — it’s not a billing error. The surprise deposit isn’t a mistake, but rather a no-strings-attached bump to help maintain operational stability amid coronavirus disruption. CMS Administrator […]

For Home Health Providers to Support Hospitals, More Federal Barriers Need to Be Lifted

Home health providers are positioning themselves as the answer to lessening the burden on U.S. hospitals during the COVID-19 pandemic, but the federal government will need to continue cutting through the red tape for providers to be effective. The past four weeks have elicited concerns about hospital over-capacity issues, as the number of confirmed coronavirus […]

[Updated] CMS Loosens Medicare Homebound Requirements, Suspends Review Choice Demo

Home health providers are receiving more temporary policy support in response to the novel coronavirus pandemic. On Monday, the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced another round of COVID-19 regulatory waivers and new rules aimed at reinforcing the operations of Medicare-reimbursed providers. Among changes for home health agencies, in particular, CMS stated […]

CMS Expands Medicare Accelerated Payment Program to Help with COVID-19 Cash Flow Challenges

Health care policymakers are already taking advantage of the recently enacted Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act to help out Medicare-reimbursed providers struggling with cash flow. On Saturday, the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced it was expanding its accelerated and advance payment program for Medicare providers, citing a need […]

Dropping Therapy Utilization May Leave Seniors at Risk During COVID-19 Crisis

The implementation of the Patient-Driven Groupings Model (PDGM) has caused some home health providers to cut back on therapy utilization. But prehabilitation could have a positive impact during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, experts argue. While trying to navigate PDGM’s fundamental changes to therapy visits and reimbursement, many home health providers made wholesale changes to their […]

Home Health Advocates to CMS: Stop Waiting to Cut ‘Meaningless Red Tape’

Officials from the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) attempted to provide additional clarity to home health providers responding to the coronavirus pandemic Friday, speaking with stakeholders during a late morning conference call that quickly hit capacity. Among topics discussed, CMS offered guidance on telehealth policies, face-to-face rules and Medicare’s homebound requirement. More […]

VNA Health Group CEO: Home Health Agencies Face Uncertain Future Without Policy, Payment Support

So far during the COVID-19 pandemic, much attention has been given to hospitals and skilled nursing facilities, as health care officials look to maximize bed capacity and avoid spreading the virus in long-term care settings. While home health, home care and hospice providers have been called out as key resources in the nation’s response to […]