Rural Access to Home Health Services, PACE Among Lawmakers’ Future Spending Priorities

U.S. lawmakers have repeatedly highlighted a need to rethink the nation’s long-term care landscape in recent months, partly in response to the COVID-19 pandemic but also because of the country’s rapidly changing demographics. A recently published budget report from the House Appropriations Committee obtained by Home Health Care News offers further insight into that call […]

As Becerra Awaits HHS Confirmation, Biden Reportedly Narrows Picks to Head CMS

There’s a new name being circulated for President Joe Biden’s top pick to lead the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). Chiquita Brooks-LaSure — a former policy official who played a key role in guiding the Affordable Care Act through passage and implementation — is now the likeliest candidate to run CMS, according […]

Biden Administration Includes ‘Home Care Workforce Crisis’ in New Pandemic Plan

President Joe Biden focused on the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic during his first full day in office Thursday. In doing so, he once again drew attention to home-based care and getting the current “workforce crisis” under control. “Our national strategy is comprehensive,” Biden said during an address from the White House. “It’s based on science, not […]

[Updated] HHS Announces Plans to Expand the Home Health Value-Based Purchasing Model

Home health providers are getting one of their biggest wishes granted. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced Friday that it is expanding the Home Health Value-Based Purchasing (HHVBP) Model. First implemented in 2016, the HHVBP Model is currently active in just nine states: Massachusetts, Maryland, North Carolina, Florida, Washington, Arizona, Iowa, […]

Biden Picks California Attorney General Becerra to Lead HHS, COVID-19 Response

President-elect Joe Biden has picked Xavier Becerra, the current attorney general of California, to lead the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), according to several news reports. Prior to serving as California’s top prosecutor, Becerra represented the Los Angeles area in Congress for 12 years. HHS is currently headed by Secretary Alex Azar. […]

FDA Signs Off on First At-Home Coronavirus Test

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Tuesday issued an emergency use authorization for the first COVID-19 diagnostic at-home test. The move will not have an immediate impact on in-home care providers, but it could give them one more tool in their pandemic toolbox in weeks to come. The FDA specifically signed off on the […]

Home Health Agencies Still Waiting for Details After Feds Float Plans to Distribute Point-of-Care COVID-19 Tests

Although the concrete details are unknown, the federal government appears to be taking steps toward distributing point-of-care COVID-19 diagnostic tests to home health agencies, which have largely been prioritized behind skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) and other congregate aging services providers. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced on Aug. 27 that it […]

OIG: CMS Could Have Saved $192M with Stronger LUPA Oversight

Federal watchdogs are once again setting their sights on perceived improper billing practices by home health agencies. In an audit report published last week, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Inspector General (OIG) found that stronger oversight of Low Utilization Payment Adjustments (LUPAs) in home health care could have saved […]

M&A Experts: COVID-19 Has ‘Camouflaged the Initial Impact of PDGM’

Home health care is beginning to manage the COVID-19 crisis at a more sustainable pace, and early signs have suggested that the Patient-Driven Groupings Model (PDGM) may not have been the boogeyman that some providers suspected it was. But the rosy outlook of the first six months of PDGM may be premature. Federal relief funding […]