Category: News

Home health improper payments climb slightly

A new report from the Department of Health and Human Services found improper payment for home health claims climbed slightly in 2021, despite a decline in the overall improper payment rate, according to a CMS release. From the HHS report: Insufficient documentation for home health claims continues to be prevalent. The improper payment estimate for […]

New data looks at hospital discharges, top home health diagnosis groups

Despite a decrease in hospital discharges to skilled nursing facilities in 2020, the rate of discharges to home health remained largely unchanged. That was one of the results shared in the 2021 Home Health Chartbook, released Nov. 10, 2021, by the Alliance for Home Health Quality and Innovation and the National Association for Home Care […]

Booster monitoring part of CMS vaccine mandate

As the Food and Drug Administration authorizes booster shots for all adults, it’s important for agencies to note that employee booster monitoring is part of the CMS vaccine mandate rules released Nov. 4, 2021. The updated Conditions of Participation for agencies, § 484.70 (d), includes 10 requirements for agency policies and procedures around the vaccine […]

Recent guidance by CMS addresses backlog of nursing home surveys

Over the pandemic, nursing home surveys fell behind because COVID-19 restrictions, creating a backlog for survey agencies (SAs). CMS is taking the following steps which will allow SAs to focus their efforts on identifying concerns for all aspects of quality of care, quality of life, and ensuring health and safety, as outlined in their guidance: […]

CMS releases pocket guides for OASIS assessments

Home health agency staff have new tools from CMS to help with OASIS assessments. These pocket guides are expected to assist in assessing and coding self-care and mobility, falls and pressure ulcers/injuries. The pocket guides provide a quick reference for important terms and definitions that promote coding accuracy. They are approximately 2 x 3.5 inches […]

Salary Report: Home health RNs receive 2.98% rate increase

The average hourly rate for Registered Nurses (RNs) in home health agencies increased 2.98% in 2021, according to the 2021‐2022 Home Care Salary & Benefits Report, released recently by Hospital & Healthcare Compensation Service (HCS) and published in cooperation with the National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC). In a comparison of national average […]

Guidance for MACs expected to address payment error

CMS recently published a new change request to provide Medicare Administrative Contractors (MACs) with guidance on new LUPA add-on amounts for occupational therapy visits under new regulations in the home health final rule. The change request also addresses system issues with the payment grouper process. With the start of PDGM in 2020, all home health […]

LHC Group: Pandemic, hurricane exacerbates Q3 staffing challenges

In a message to investors last month, LHC Group noted the impact that the pandemic and Hurricane Ida had on results in the third quarter. The combination of Hurricane Ida and clinicians on quarantine led to a sequential decline of 1.5% in average daily home health census from 85,553 in the second quarter of 2021 […]

Provider pays $18.5M to resolve face to face, other Medicare claim allegations

Pennsylvania home health and hospice provider Geisinger Community Health Services (GCHS) will pay $18.5 million to resolve allegations of civil liability for submitting claims to Medicare for services that violated Medicare rules and regulations, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania. After it discovered the problems, GCHS took corrective action […]

How to Get Started Supporting Caregivers

There are more than 53 million caregivers in the United States – and from the legislation at the federal and local levels, they are emerging as the new protected class of workers. And it’s about time. For decades, caregivers have been neglected in the workplace. Millions have found themselves ineligible for protection under federal law […]