Review Choice Demonstration Clears Hurdle, Likely Starting Soon

The Review Choice Demonstration (RCD) is likely right around the corner for Illinois home health providers. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced March 4 it had received Paperwork Reduction Act approval for RCD from the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB). Since OMB approval, the agency has been finalizing the […]

Trump Administration Looking to Cut Dialysis Costs with Home Focus

Hoping to curtail health care spending, the Trump administration is exploring ways to shift treatment for kidney disease into the home and away from dialysis clinics, a far costlier setting. Overall, the U.S. government spends roughly $114 million to treat chronic kidney disease and end-stage renal disease, according to a Monday report by Reuters. To […]

Paul Ryan: ‘Fee-For-Service Doesn’t work,’ MA the Future of Medicare

As if home care agencies needed any more encouragement to dive into the Medicare Advantage (MA) world, they got some last week — courtesy of a well-known Capitol Hill veteran. Home care providers have been positioning their businesses to appeal to potential MA players since April 2018, when Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) […]

Home Health Spending Rate Projected to Surpass All Other Care Categories

Roughly $108.8 billion is projected to be spent on home health care in the United States in 2019, according to a newly released analysis from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Office of the Actuary. U.S. expenditures on home health care are projected to hit $186.8 billion by 2027. An aging population, a […]

CMS Moves Step Closer to Required EVV Survey

Federal health care policymakers have taken another step toward rolling out a required nationwide electronic visit verification (EVV) survey. The 21st Century Cures Act originally required home care providers and state agencies to begin adopting EVV systems by Jan. 1, 2019. EVV requirements are meant to reduce instances of fraud and abuse in the delivery […]

Home Health Care Creating Savings Under CJR Model

A staple mandatory bundled payment program geared toward hip and knee replacements has saved hundreds of dollars per episode over the past couple of years, recent research has found. The main reasons: a reduction in skilled nursing facility (SNF) reimbursements and an increase in the use of home health care. Medicare policymakers launched the Comprehensive […]

CMS Outlines Further Expansion of Medicare Advantage Benefits for In-Home Services, the Chronically Ill

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is proposing to further expand Medicare Advantage (MA) flexibilities for certain in-home services and supports for chronically ill Americans starting in 2020, the agency announced Wednesday. The move is in line with CMS’ larger goals of broadening the scope of the MA program, which has quickly grown […]

Hospice Leaders Applaud MA Carve-In Approach — But Also Voice Concerns

Hospice leaders are, for the most part, encouraged by the move to explore a Medicare Advantage (MA) carve-in for hospice through an expanded demonstration. But several questions remain, they caution, with the bulk of them focusing on whether the hospice benefit could somehow be diluted or lessened. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) […]

[Updated] CMS to Test Hospice Carve-In Under Medicare Advantage

The Medicare Advantage (MA) carve-in that many industry insiders pegged as “inevitable” has finally arrived. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) on Friday morning announced it is expanding the MA Value-Based Insurance Design (VBID) model, using VBID to test out several wide-ranging updates to MA offerings, including a hospice carve-in set to take […]

The Top Trends in Home Health Care for 2019

2018 was a banner year for the Medicare-certified home health care industry. Big providers got even larger through creative mergers and acquisitions. Admissions and utilization numbers held strong. New telehealth opportunities started to emerge. And, in general, revenues remained high. The upcoming year brings much uncertainty, however, with the main culprit being the Patient-Driven Groupings […]