Congress Passes “Doc Fix” Bill, Delays Shift to ICD-10

This week, Congress passed what’s known as a “doc fix” bill, delaying not only cuts to Medicare physician payments, but also pushes back the implementation of ICD-10 coding system for one year.  The temporary “fix” delays a 24% reduction in Medicare physician reimbursement until October 2015, which initially would have taken effect March 31 as […]

Home Care Group Plans CMS Lawsuit Over Home Health Rule

A home care industry trade group is exploring the possibility of filing suit against the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services if it goes forward with implementing home health care face-to-face requirements under a health care reform provision. The National Association for Home Care & Hospice argues that more guidance and clarity is needed from […]

The Hill Column: Please, Congress, Don’t Cut Home Health Funds

Proposed cuts to Medicare funding for home healthcare are endangering one of the few solutions the United States has in caring for seniors, writes former Congressional Budget Office director and American Action Forum President Douglas Holtz-Eakin in a The Hill column this week.  While policy makers have taken a step in the right direction by reversing […]

Home Health Agencies to Test Palliative Care Under New CMS Program

As many as 30 Medicare-certified home health agencies will test a care model that provides palliative support services in their routine home care offerings, in accordance with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced on March 18, 2014, the launch of the “concurrent care” demonstration under […]

Home Health Posts Largest Job Losses in Healthcare

The number of home health job losses escalated in February as the industry posted the largest monthly decline within the healthcare sector, according to recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). February saw 3,800 home health jobs lost during the month, the BLS data notes—a slight increase from December 2013, when the sector […]

Obama Budget to Curb DME Medicaid Reimbursement

The Obama Administration’s all-ecompassing 2015 Budget includes provisions that aims to limit Medicaid reimbursement for durable medical equipment (DME) in efforts to reduce federal spending in the coming year and beyond.  One of the main provisions included in the 2015 Budget details using Medicare bid rates under the DME Competitive Bidding Program for Medicaid reimbursement, […]

DOJ Announces $4.3 Billion Record Year for Health Care Fraud Busts

Last year was a record year for cracking down on health care fraud, with $4.3 billion in recovery from fraud busts nationwide. The Department of Justice and the Department of Health and Human Services announced last week the record performance for the year, as well as a total for $19.2 billion over the last five.  […]

Home Health Study Highlights Who Medicare Cuts Will Impact

New analyses on home health beneficiaries highlights suggests older women and minorities will be disproportionately impacted from cuts to Medicare reimbursements stemming from the Affordable Care Act. A majority of home health beneficiaries and caregivers are women, and Medicare home health beneficiaries are among the most vulnerable of all Medicare beneficiaries, finds analysis completed by […]

CMS Seeks Comment on New Competitive Bidding Round for DME

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is seeking public comment in the process of moving toward national implementation of its competitive bidding system for durable medical equipment.  CMS has been rolling out the program—currently operating in 100 areas across the U.S.—gradually. It  and has been met with strong opposition from home health care providers […]

CMS Changes Rules on Vaccines for Hospice Patients

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently emphasized policy enforcement on reimbursement windows for respite care and changed its policy on what kinds of care providers can give vaccines to hospice patients. Respite care, when in-home caregivers are essentially given a short break from their duty, can only be billed to Medicare in […]