Home Health Alliance: Medicare Cuts Make for an Unhappy New Year

Upcoming payment changes to the Home Health Prospective Payment System under the Affordable Care Act have made the start to the new year unhappy, according to a home health alliance that’s urging the Obama Administration to prevent or reverse the planned cuts.  A final rule released the Friday before Thanksgiving cuts Medicare home health payments […]

Home Health Spending Tops $77 Billion Despite Low National Growth

The home health industry experienced billion dollar growth in 2012, despite low national health spending overall, according to a recent report from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). While national health spending slowed for the fourth consecutive year at an annual rate of 3.7% in 2012, home health spending growth accelerated 5.1% to […]

CMS Moves Closer to Fingerprint Background Checks in Home Health

Three years following a final rule that will allow for fingerprinting of workers—a measure targeting Medicare fraud—the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is finally making plans to contract with a company to conduct the background checks, according to a Modern Healthcare report. The fingerprint screening is one of several mechanisms now allowed by the […]

CMS Data Show Hospital Readmissions Fell 18% in 2013

The Affordable Care Act appears to be having an impact on lowering the number of costly hospital readmissions, as reforms under the law have helped drive down the 30-day readmission rate by as much as 18% in 2013, according to data released this week by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).  During the […]

Miami Home Health Fraudsters Sentenced for $8 Million Scheme

Two former owners of a home health care company in Miami, Florida were sentenced this week for their roles in a health care fraud scheme that bilked the federal government out of $8 million in Medicare dollars. The former owners of Flores Home Health Care Inc., Miguel Jiminez and Marina Sanchez Pajon, were sentenced to […]

CMS Redefines ‘Homebound’ for Medicare-Eligible Services

The Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has released a clarified definition of ‘homebound’ regarding eligibility for Medicare-reimbursable services. Individuals can be considered “confined to the home,” or homebound, if they meet two criteria that more closely align the Benefit Policy Manual to the Social Security Act’s definition, says CMS. The first criteria requires […]

DME Users Voice Hardships of CMS Competitive Bidding Program

Users of durable medical equipment (DME) have called upon a home health advocacy group in their efforts to voice hardships caused by the latest round of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Competitive Bidding program. Round 2 of CMS’s Competitive Bidding Program went into effect July 1, 2013, and since then more than […]

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 Releases New DME Competitive Bidding Payment Info

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced on Oct. 1 the single payment amounts for Round 1 Recompete of the Medicare Durable Medical Equipment, Prosthetics, Orthotics and Supplies (DMEPOS) Competitive Bidding Program. Payment amounts for DME will decrease by a projected 37%, on average, from Medicare’s fee schedule rates across the six categories included […]

Congress Members Band Together Against Home Health Cuts

Nearly 150 House Representatives have sent a letter to the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) expressing concern regarding proposed cuts to Medicare home health reimbursements and how they could affect patient access to skilled home health care. The 142 bipartisan lawmakers signed a Sept. 25 letter urging CMS to conduct a complete analysis […]