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 […]

Sinfonia Healthcare Corp Launches Home Health Services in Virginia

Arizona-based home health company Sinfonia Healthcare Corporation (NASDAQ:PRSC) is launching operations beyond the Grand Canyon state into Virginia. Sinfonía announced its newest home health operation, Sinfonía Family Services of Virginia, Inc,. on Wednesday. The Farmville, Va.-based operator will offer services statewide, including home-based and school-based counseling, substance abuse treatment, medical services for the mentally ill, […]

Home Health Leaders See Future Cuts Driving More Consolidation

The ever-present and impending funding cuts to the home health industry have yet to signal that the sky is falling, but while some providers may be feeling the strain financially, others are more optimistic of the future to come—with short term consolidation in the meantime.  Regulatory cuts to home health Medicare payment rates, such as […]

Kindred Ups Bid to Buy Genitiva — Again

Following an ongoing series of acquisition rejections, Kindred Healthcare (NYSE:KND) has again increased its offer to buy Gentiva Health Services (NASDAQ:GTIV). Gentiva recently rejected Kindred’s offer to acquire all outstanding shares of the company’s common stock for $14.50 per share, saying the offer undervalued the company and was not in the best interests of its shareholders. […]

Miami Patient Recruiters Plead Guilty in $20 Million Home Health Fraud

Four patient recruiters have pleaded guilty for their participation in a home health fraud scheme that bilked the federal government out of an estimated $20 million in Medicare dollars.  The four recruiters, Estrella Perez, Solchys Perez, Abigail Aguila and Monica Macias pleaded guilty last week to various charges including conspiracy to defraud the United States, for […]