CMS Proposes to Bump Hospice Medicare Payments Up $230 Million for 2015

Hospices serving Medicare beneficiaries may see a $230 million, or 1.3%, payment increase in their reimbursements for fiscal year 2015, according to a recent proposal from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). On May 2, CMS proposed an update to the wage index and payment rates for the Medicare Hospice Benefit.  The payment […]

CMS Readies Fingerprint Background Checks for Home Health Providers

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will finally begin implementing its long-heralded fingerprint-based background checks for home health providers. As part of enhanced enrollment screening provisions contained in the Affordable Care Act, CMS announced it is beginning to phase in the implementation of fingerprinting background checks—an initiative three years in the making. The […]

OIG Finds $2 Billion in Medicare Home Health Claims Paid in Error

Federal investigators have uncovered some flaws with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) face-to-face rule—flaws costing $2 billion worth of erroneous home health Medicare claims, a recent report finds.  Documentation standards for face-to-face encounters did not meet Medicare requirements for 32% of home health claims, resulting in $2 billion that should not have […]

U.S. Senators Want to Limit FDA Oversight on Mobile Health Tech

Two United States Senators have introduced a bill seeking to limit federal oversight on mobile health technology in order to reduce the regulatory burden on the healthcare information technology industry and protect jobs.  Senators Angus King (I-Maine) and Deb Fischer (R-Neb.) are sponsoring Senate Bill 2007, Preventing Regulatory Overreach to Enhance Care Technology Act of […]

Bipartisan Letter Wants to Delay Home Health Rebasing Rule

A bipartisan letter from several House Representatives is calling for the postponement and re-evaluation of a rebasing rule that will cut home health payments by 14% over the next three years. Representatives Ralph Hall (R-TX), Tom Price (R-GA), David McKinley (R-WV) and Doris Matsui (D-CA) sent a letter earlier this week to House Speaker John […]

CMS Issues Second Wave of Home Health Moratoria

Following in the footsteps of its initial home health moratorium last year, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will now bar new agencies from enrolling in four additional U.S. metros.  CMS today announced a new temporary moratoria on the enrollment of home health agencies in Fort Lauderdale, Detroit, Dallas and Houston, as well […]

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 […]

USA Today: States Hone in on Home Care Worker Laws

In response to growing concerns over the qualifications and training of some home care workers, states are paying closer attention to the rules and regulations around home health care workers and home care aides, and the different training and requirements that apply to each.  Home health aides, regulated under the Center for Medicare and Medicaid […]

Increasing Regulatory Pressures Could Spur Home Care Consolidation

Although home health care represents one of the nation’s fastest-growing industries, a recent study suggests consolidation might lie ahead as agencies wrestle with maintaining profitability under increasing regulatory pressures. In the past five years, an aging U.S. population, the prevalence of chronic disease and a movement toward cost-efficient treatment options from private and public payers […]

CMS Tweaks Rule to Cut Home Health Payments by $200 Million in 2014

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) on Friday tweaked a rule that will result in $200 million less paid to home health agencies in 2014.  The rule for calendar year 2014 cuts Medicare payments under the Home Health Prospective Payment System (HH PPS) by 1.05%, which is slightly lower than the 1.5% outlined […]