Congress Passes “Doc Fix” Bill, Delays Shift to ICD-10

This week, Congress passed what’s known as a “doc fix” bill, delaying not only cuts to Medicare physician payments, but also pushes back the implementation of ICD-10 coding system for one year.  The temporary “fix” delays a 24% reduction in Medicare physician reimbursement until October 2015, which initially would have taken effect March 31 as […]

Home Health Agencies to Test Palliative Care Under New CMS Program

As many as 30 Medicare-certified home health agencies will test a care model that provides palliative support services in their routine home care offerings, in accordance with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced on March 18, 2014, the launch of the “concurrent care” demonstration under […]

Bipartisan Letter Wants to Delay Home Health Rebasing Rule

A bipartisan letter from several House Representatives is calling for the postponement and re-evaluation of a rebasing rule that will cut home health payments by 14% over the next three years. Representatives Ralph Hall (R-TX), Tom Price (R-GA), David McKinley (R-WV) and Doris Matsui (D-CA) sent a letter earlier this week to House Speaker John […]

Home Health Groups Applaud Latest Wave of CMS Moratoria

Both local and national home health care trade associations have voiced their approval of the recent announcement from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) that prevents the enrollment of new providers in the Medicare program for select cities.  Last week, CMS announced its temporary moratoria on the enrollment of new home health agencies. […]

CMS Tweaks Rule to Cut Home Health Payments by $200 Million in 2014

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) on Friday tweaked a rule that will result in $200 million less paid to home health agencies in 2014.  The rule for calendar year 2014 cuts Medicare payments under the Home Health Prospective Payment System (HH PPS) by 1.05%, which is slightly lower than the 1.5% outlined […]

Lawmakers Propose to Cap Medicare Home Health Episodes

Lawmakers aim to limit Medicare payments for home health agencies that have, on, average, a higher number of episodes of care, according to a recently proposed bill from the House Energy and Commerce Committee. The bill, H.R. 3245, was introduced by Congressmen Brett Guthrie (R-KY) and Jim Matheson (D-UT), who both serve on the Committee, […]

NBC: Two Sides to the Home Care Wage Debate

Home care workers gained a “victory” as the result of the wage rule decision last week that granted overtime and minimum wage protections to the workforce, writes CNBC in an article on the changes. Yet opponents say the change will not benefit those receiving care, nor those providing it.  “The move is a major victory […]

Louisiana Senator Voices Concerns for Home Health Rebasing Cuts

Last week, home health leaders applauded Senator Mary Landrieu (D-LA) for sending a letter to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) voicing her concerns against proposed home health rebasing cuts.  The letter to HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius urges the federal agency to reconsider the proposal from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) that […]

Home Health Groups Applaud Long-Term Care Commission’s Efforts

Trade groups representing the home health industry are voicing support for several aspects of the Commission on Long-Term Care’s final report to Congress, which includes a recommendation that would expand access to Medicare coverage for home care.  The vision of the bipartisan, federally-appointed long-term care panel is to create “a more responsive, integrated, person-centered, and […]

AARP Supports Wage Protections for Home Care Workers

Following the announcement Tuesday of a new rule that would grant minimum wage and overtime protections to the nation’s two million home care workers, AARP has weighed in on the topic by expressing its support. “AARP has long advocated for increasing access to home and community-based services for older adults and persons with disabilities,” said […]