CMS Announces New Hospital, Home Health Discharge Planning Requirements

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released a final rule Thursday that makes changes to discharge planning requirements for home health providers. Broadly, the changes are part of CMS’s efforts to make patients a more active part of their care transitions out of the hospital and into other settings. “This delivers on President […]

MedPAC: Home Health Continues to Shift Away from Post-Hospital Care

Home health providers continue to see a rise in patients coming from the community instead of hospitals and other institutional settings, recently released Medicare data shows. From 2001 to 2017, the number of home health episodes not preceded by a hospitalization or other post-acute care (PAC) stay increased by nearly 124%, according to updated figures […]

MedPAC Questions Home Health Providers’ Reporting on Patient Functional Ability

For years, the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) has floated the idea of a unified payment system for all post-acute care providers — skilled nursing facilities (SNFs), in-patient rehabilitation facilities (IRFs), long-term care hospitals (LTCHs) and home health agencies. MedPAC and its team of 17 commissioners provided additional insight into what a potential unified model […]

Encompass Health’s April Anthony: PDGM Is an ‘Overcorrection’ to Therapy

As currently structured, the Patient-Driven Groupings Model (PDGM) will completely change how and when home health providers deliver therapy services. It will do so in multiple ways, most notably by eliminating the use of therapy service thresholds as a factor in payment determinations. It’s a move the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) has long recommended. […]

LHC Group CEO: MedPAC ‘Off on Some Island’

In its latest report to Congress, the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) recommended cutting the home health reimbursement rate by 5% in 2020 while continuing its push for a unified, site-neutral payment system for all post-acute care providers. Those recommendations are short-sighted and fail to recognize the value that home health care providers have created […]

MedPAC Pushes 5% Home Health Payment Cut, Says Program Integrity Remains a Challenge

The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) submitted its Medicare payment policy report to Congress on Friday, again recommending a 5% home health payment rate reduction for the coming year and maintaining its view that program integrity remains problematic. MedPAC is required to report to Congress each March on the Medicare fee-for-service (FFS) payment systems, the […]

Trump Administration Calls for Medicaid Overhaul, $846 Billion in Medicare Cuts

The Trump administration on Monday released its proposed budget for fiscal year 2020, calling for government-wide domestic spending cuts of 5%, a site-neutral payment system for health care providers and a major Medicaid overhaul. The proposed budget — unlikely to make it past a democrat-controlled House of Representatives — also seeks to curb Medicare spending […]

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 […]