Bill to Expand Telehealth Advances in Senate

A bill working its way through the Senate could expand in-home care, including by make it easier for seniors with chronic illnesses to access telehealth. Members of the Senate Finance Committee on May 18 voted to advance the Creating High-Quality Results and Outcomes Necessary to Improve Chronic (CHRONIC) Care Act of 2017 (S. 870). Among other things, the […]

Amedisys CEO Says Improving Home Health Growth is ‘Non-Negotiable’

As Amedisys Inc. (Nasdaq: AMED) promoted its new branding and image, its core service line—home health care—dwindled in growth, first-quarter 2017 earnings results revealed. However, the Baton Rouge, Louisiana-based company saw an overall stellar start to 2017, including an increase in revenue and significant growth in its hospice segment. Amedisys beat analysts’ expectations for the quarter, reporting adjusted […]

‘Rural Safeguard’ Funding Needs Extension, Advocates Say

A 3% cost bump provided by Medicare that helps pay for the added expense of providing home health care services to those in rural areas should be extended, according to The Partnership for Quality Home Healthcare. The 3% Medicare payment, known as the “rural safeguard,” has been an add-on payment to home health providers operating […]

Agency Sues ZPIC and Price, Seeks Class Action Status

Just before Thanksgiving in 2016, Rizaldy Villasenor got some unexpected news that would impact his home health care business and cause him to lay off employees and discharge many of the company’s patients. A Medicare subcontractor slapped the Chicago-based agency, MedPro Health Providers, LLC, with an audit and determined improper payments had been made. That subcontractor, AdvanceMed, […]

CMS Proposes Six-Month Delay for Home Health CoPs

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has proposed delaying the implementation date for the new home health Conditions of Participation (CoPs) until January 2018. The proposal comes after home health industry associations and providers pushed back against the original implementation timeline for the CoPs, which were finalized in early January 2017. Instead of going […]

Hospice Utilization Continues to Decline Nationwide

Among Medicare-eligible patients, hospice utilization has been declining for years. Specifically, hospice utilization among Medicare-eligible patients nationwide totaled about 2.55% in 2015, down from 2.59% in 2014 and 2.67% in 2013, according to a new analysis from Healthcare Market Resources. The Pennsylvania-based health care market intelligence firm calculated hospice utilization by dividing the number of […]

Rural Patients Less Likely to Use Home Health

Where a patient lives has a lot of influence over whether they receive inpatient or home health care after a hospital discharge, according to one recent study. As such, Medicare spending is variable based on urban or rural care settings. Out of a sample of 1.56 million discharges of urban patients from urban hospitals and […]

Monday Briefing: MedPAC Urges Sooner PPS Implementation

Happy Monday! To kick off your week, start with our Monday Briefing to get caught up on new you might have missed over the weekend and news around the industry. Keep reading to check out our most popular posts from last week. To start, a MedPAC update: The Medical Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC), the commission […]

HHS: Medicare Appeals Backlog Will Be Worse by 2021

After being directed by a court order to clear out the Medicare backlog of home health care claims appeals, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is predicting the backlog will only grow by the time the backlog is meant to be eliminated. In December last year, HHS was ordered to clear its backlog of pending […]

CMS: Independence at Home Saved Less Than Originally Reported

Primary care in a home setting is a money-saver, according to the second-year results from the Independence at Home program from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). However, the program did not save Medicare as much as originally thought, according to a corrected analysis of the performance year 2 results. In August 2016, CMS […]