Little Training, Oversight Puts Home-Based Caregivers in Tough Position

Each day, thousands of home-based caregivers are put into life-and-death situations with little training and virtually no direct supervision, mainly because state payments are too low to cover additional training and oversight expenses, reports the Star Tribune. The Minneapolis-based newspaper interviewed more than two dozen personal care attendants and found that only one had received […]

GAO: CMS Lacks Reliable Data, Oversight

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) has found that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) does not have reliable data or sufficient oversight to measure and prevent duplication of postpayment claims reviews.  CMS should provide additional oversight and guidance regarding data, duplicative reviews and contractor correspondence to improve effectiveness and efficiency of postpayment […]

CMS Pilot Survey Shows High Satisfaction Scores in Home, Hospice Settings

Average overall rating of hospice care is 93 out of 100, according to the latest results of a survey by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).  In the Hospice Experience of Care Survey, more than 1,100 individuals reported experiences from decedents receiving hospice care from 29 different hospice organizations. The survey is meant to act […]

CMS Issues 4 Home Health Policy Change Requests

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has issued four change requests that provide guidance on home health policy and claims processing issues, seeking to improve compliance and prevent program vulnerability. The first, Change Request 8699, prevents duplicate payments when overlapping inpatient and home health claims are out of sequence. The request improves safeguards […]

CMS Finalizes $230 Million Hospice Payment Rate Increase for 2015

Hospices serving Medicare beneficiaries will see an estimated 1.4%, or $230 million, increase in their reimbursements for fiscal year 2015, according to a final rule issued by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). The payment increase would be the net result of a hospice payment update to the hospice per diem rates of […]

New LG Tech Update Targets Direct Care Workers

Changing health care legislation has pushed the adoption of electronic health records (EHRs) in the industry, but new technologies are emerging to keep up with the industry’s evolving needs.  LG CNS, a subsidiary of LG focused on information technology services, has rolled out a new version of its Point of Care Solution (POCS) in order […]

NAHC to CMS: Hospices Need More Time to Comply With Cost Reporting Changes

The National Association for Home Care and Hospice (NAHC) has sent a letter to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), pushing the agency to give hospice organizations more time to comply with upcoming cost report changes. Industry organizations await CMS’ final version of the revised Hospice Cost & Data Report, which proposes significant […]

CMS Cuts Back on Hospice Drug Restrictions

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has scaled back its restrictions requiring all hospice drugs to be approved before they can be dispensed.  Now, prior authorization will only be necessary for four categories of prescription drugs: analgesics, anti-nauseants, laxatives and anti-anxiety medications, according to a recent CMS memorandum. “We recognize that the operational […]