OSHA’s Virus Protection Program Could Put Home Health Agencies Under the Microscope

In response to an executive order from President Joe Biden, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has launched a national emphasis program aimed at protecting workers from COVID-19 while on the job. OSHA, part of the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), is responsible for assuring “safe and healthy working conditions” for most workers in […]

Top Home Health, Home Care Legal Concerns for 2021

Wage-and-hour litigation, confusing state-level regulations and an increase in federal audits were among the biggest legal trends of 2020. While many of these issues will remain in the year ahead, 2021 will also bring several more legal hurdles for home-based care providers. The decision of whether to mandate COVID-19 vaccinations for home health and home […]

House Bill Looks to Keep Medicare Sequestration ‘Holiday’ in Place for Home Health Agencies, Others

U.S. Representatives Brad Schneider (D-Ill.) and David McKinley (R-W.Va.) introduced the Medicare Sequester COVID Moratorium Act last week. If passed, the bill would extend the temporary suspension of Medicare sequestration payment reductions, giving home health agencies and other providers more financial flexibility headed into an uncertain 2021. Since 2014, the U.S. Centers for Medicare & […]

CMS’s Stark Law Changes Could Mean More Value-Based Business for Home Health Operators

In an effort to boost value-based care, the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently announced that it has finalized changes to the Physician Self-Referral Law — often referred to as the Stark Law. For home health providers, the changes could mean more opportunities for value-based care arrangements moving forward, experts believe. Broadly, […]

HHS Loosens Provider Relief Fund Restrictions, Allows Agencies to Cover Lost Revenue

In response to ongoing opposition from both lawmakers and providers, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recently announced it has made changes to its rules surrounding COVID-19 relief funding. The department’s amended rules now allow providers to use Provider Relief Fund (PRF) money toward lost revenue that’s potentially unrelated to COVID-19. “After reimbursing […]

CMS Announces New ‘Phased-In Approach’ to the Review Choice Demonstration

The U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced Friday it will not resume a full-blown resumption of the Review Choice Demonstration (RCD) for home health agencies in participating states later this month. Instead, CMS is “phasing in” RCD for agencies in North Carolina and Florida. Agencies in Illinois, Ohio and Texas will be […]

August to Usher in Onslaught of Home Health Audits

For months now, home health providers have had to worry about an onslaught of new issues, from volume disruptions and personal protective equipment (PPE) shortages, to cash flow problems and lack of telehealth reimbursement. One long-time stressor they haven’t had to fret about, though, is being audited by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services […]

HHS Delays Provider Relief Fund Spending Reports Until 2021

Home health providers that received more than $10,000 from the COVID-19-inspired Provider Relief Fund will need to account for all of the grant funds they spent by Feb. 15 at the latest, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced earlier this week. When the Provider Relief Fund was established, health care providers […]

Here Today, Gone Tomorrow: Home Health Providers May See Spike in Whistleblower Lawsuits

Home health providers have had to navigate through a slew of regulatory changes over the past three months. Some of those changes will end up permanent, while others are bound to go away. Non-physician certification, telehealth technology and new infection control protocols are examples of long-lasting changes linked to the COVID-19 virus. Meanwhile, cash flow […]