With Access To Care In Question, Number of Medicare-Certified Home Health Agencies Continues To Fall

The number of Medicare-certified home health agencies in the United States continues to dwindle, the latest data from the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) reveals. While not a dramatic drop, the decrease in the home health provider ranks is important considering pending cuts from the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). Advocates fear […]

Making Sense of a Unified Post-Acute Value-Incentive Program

Home health agencies have had to navigate several changes since 2020, from the payment mechanics of the Patient-Driven Groupings Model (PDGM) to the new policies of the public health emergency (PHE). Yet there’s another change on the distant horizon that forward-thinking operators can’t afford to forget about: a unified payment system for post-acute care providers, […]

MedPAC: COVID-PDGM Combo Had Little Effect on Home Health Supply

In its report to Congress, the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) recommended that the Medicare base payment rate for home health should be reduced by 5%, something that will come as a shock to almost no one in the industry. The report, released Tuesday, also recommended that home health agencies be required to report telehealth […]

Home Health Profit Margins Projected to Remain Strong in 2021

Margins for Medicare-certified home health agencies are projected to remain strong in 2021, despite ongoing challenges tied to the COVID-19 pandemic and the shift to the Patient-Driven Groupings Model (PDGM). Margins are anticipated to be so robust, in fact, that Congress should reduce the 2021 Medicare base payment rate for home health agencies by 5% […]

Investing More Heavily in Home-Based Senior Care Shouldn’t Mean ‘Abolishing Nursing Homes’

The COVID-19 emergency has prompted policymakers and health care executives to rethink senior care in the United States, particularly when it comes to greater investment around the home. But increased support for home-based care services should not automatically mean the death of nursing homes and other long-term care facilities. That is a “false dichotomy” that […]

SNF Prediction Tool Could Keep Home Health Diversions High

A risk tool that makes it possible to accurately predict which hospital patients will end up being discharged to a skilled nursing facility (SNF) could lead to more care being shifted into the home. That’s according to a recent study published in the June issue of JAMDA. Conducted by researchers from Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard […]

OIG: Nonprofit Hospital Can Offer Free In-Home Services Despite Anti-Kickback Rules

A hospital can provide free home care to reduce readmissions, despite a federal ban on giving patients freebies that could influence their care decisions. That’s according to a recent advisory opinion from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Office of the Inspector General (OIG). OIG’s advisory opinion comes in response to a […]

MedPAC Calls for Up to $2 Billion in Home Health Cuts for 2020

The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) is once again calling for steep cuts to the Medicare base payment rate for home health agencies. MedPAC’s recommendation comes despite the U.S. health care system’s steady march into the home and the fact more care is being delivered in residential settings. Specifically, MedPAC officials are recommending that Congress […]

Vermont Home Health Agencies Face Big Financial Hit Under Proposed Medicare Changes

Seven of Vermont’s 10 home health and hospice agencies will lose significant funding as a result of recent changes to Medicare’s rural add-on payments. In 2018, rural home health agencies across the country received a 3% rural add-on payment increase. The payment bumps, which providers have been receiving for several years, help in dealing with […]

White House Budget Calls for Home Health Payment Cuts

The White House on Monday released its proposed 2019 federal budget, which calls for the home health groupings model (HHGM) to be implemented along with a unified post-acute payment system, and allocates more money to crack down on home health fraud. The budget document provides insight into what policies President Donald Trump’s administration would like […]