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DOL Releases New FMLA Model Forms

Last month, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) released new model forms that employers can use to coordinate employee leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). Released on July 16, 2020, the revised medical certification and notices forms were immediately effective and available for employers to use. The DOL also published a Request […]

CMS releases COVID-19 self-isolation counseling checklist

CMS has released a checklist to help providers counsel patients who are self-isolating after they are tested for COVID-19 and prior to the onset of symptoms, CMS said in a news alert. A counseling checklist is available through CMS on their website, along with links to more information. View this at https://www.cms.gov/files/document/counseling-checklist.pdf. This checklist was […]

CMS Updates Medicare Payment Policy for SNFs

CMS released an update to the SNF Medicare payment rates and the quality programs on July 31. The updates include routine technical rate-setting updates to the SNF PPS payment rates, finalizes adoption of the most recent OMB statistical area delineations, and applies a 5 percent cap on wage index decreases from FY 2020 to FY […]

Q4 PEPPPERS to be delivered to home health agencies soon

PEPPERs for the fourth quarter of calendar year 2019 will be delivered to home health agencies on August 12, 2020. According to the PEPPER website, PEPPERs will be available electronically to the agency’s CEO, president, administrator, compliance officer or quality assurance/performance improvement officer with the certification number (which is also referred to as Provider Number […]

CMS releases data detailing COVID-19 impact on Medicare beneficiaries

CMS released the first monthly update of data showing the impact on COVID-19 on Medicare beneficiaries. For the first time, American Indian/Alaskan Native Medicare beneficiaries have been included in the data. The data shows that American Indian/Alaskan Native beneficiaries have the second highest rate of COVID-19 related hospitalizations among racial/ethnic groups after Black beneficiaries. Other […]

New Podcast: Telehealth in SNFs: COVID-19 and Beyond

Expert Maureen McCarthy, president of Celtic Consulting, LLC, and CEO and founder of Care Transitions, LLP, a care coordination service provider, joins us to talk about billing telehealth in SNFs amid COVID, and the future of telehealth in SNFs. Subscribe on SoundCloud, Spotify, or Apple Podcasts.

Senate Proposal Pushes COVID-19 Liability Protection for Employers

A new COVID-19 relief package being considered in the U.S. Senate calls for significant liability protection for employers as they resume business during the pandemic. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell introduced the Health, Economic Assistance, Liability Protection and Schools (HEALS) Act on July 27. A key feature of interest to employers is the liability protection […]

OIG: Medicare overpaid HHAs nationally $191.8 million in audit period

A recent OIG report suggests that the MACs could be recouping money they believe was incorrectly paid for home health episodes that ended with five to seven visits, slightly above the LUPA thresholds in PPS. And they could be enforcing stricter oversight of periods just above new LUPA thresholds in PDGM. Twenty out of 25 […]

Senators request Demographic Data on COVID-19 infections and deaths in nursing homes

A group of senators has requested demographic data on nursing home COVID-19 infections and deaths in nursing homes amid concerns that the disease disproportionately affects communities with higher populations of persons of color. The democratic senators, Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Bob Casey of Pennsylvania, Ron Wyden of Oregon, and Patty Murray of Washington penned a […]