Category: Home Health

CMS reminds providers to use submit claims using SSN-free Medicare cards

Agencies have about four months to ensure they submit all claims using new Medicare beneficiary identifiers (MBIs). Providers will be required to use those MBIs on claims beginning Jan. 1, 2020. CMS completed all seven waves of its mailings earlier this year, and the push to transition to the new MBIs is ongoing. The federal […]

Reminder: Updated hospice payment rates, wage index to take effect Oct. 1

Payment rates for hospice care, the hospice cap amount, and the hospice wage index updates finalized in the 2020 hospice payment rule will take effect Oct. 1, and CMS has released a transmittal and MLN matters article on the changes. CMS finalized rate increases for continuous home care, general inpatient care and inpatient respite care. […]

CMS posts webinar on Primary Care First Seriously Ill Population Model

CMS has set out to provide further information regarding the Primary Care First (PCF) Seriously Ill Population (SIP) model option with a two-part webinar series, hosted by the PCF Model Options Team. The model “encourages advanced primary care practices, including providers whose clinicians are enrolled in Medicare who typically provide hospice or palliative care services,” […]

OIG recommends changes for home health, hospice, personal care services to reduce fraud

In a July report, the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (OIG) revisited its top 25 unimplemented recommendations for reducing fraud, waste and abuse. Several of the recommendations involve home health, hospice or personal care services. The OIG recommends the implementation of a statutory mandate requiring surety bonds for home health […]

Improving interoperability a goal for one-third of home health agencies, research shows

With the advancement of technology in the digital era, many providers want more access to electronic referrals. Many home health agencies plan to focus on closing the gap between what referring providers want and what agencies provide in terms of interoperability, according to the results of a survey from Brightree. Home health agencies’ interoperability proposals […]

New analysis details where the cost for home health aides is highest — and lowest

The price patients and clients pay for home health care  can vary greatly from state to state or city to city. Care was most affordable — as a percentage of annual household income — in Maryland (64.5%), West Virginia (68.5%), District of Columbia (68.9%), Connecticut (71.3%), and New Jersey (711.8%), according to a recent study […]

Home Health Compare refresh shows drop in number of agencies earning five stars in HHCAHPS

About 878 agencies nationwide earned five stars in the ratings system involving HHCAHPS, according to the ratings released in July 2019. That’s a significant decrease from May 2019. In May, there were 1,553 5-star HHCAHPS agencies nationwide. Unlike star ratings in quality of care, the patient satisfaction star ratings have previously fluctuated significantly each quarter.  Number of […]

New courses available through CMS’ Hospice Quality Reporting Program

Two new courses are available under CMS’ Hospice Quality Reporting Program. The first course, Introduction to the Hospice Quality Reporting Program (HQRP), provides an overview of the Hospice Item Set (HIS) and the Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS ®) Hospice Survey. These five lesson make up the course:   What is the […]

Use Medicare beneficiary numbers on claims or face rejections starting in 2020

Beginning in 2020 there only will be a few exceptions for when providers will be allowed to use Social Security-based Health Insurance Claim Numbers (HICNs) on claims. After Jan. 1, 2020, agencies must use the new Medicare beneficiary identifiers (MBIs). Until then, CMS will accept claims whether they include an MBI or an HICN. The transition […]

CMS puts more weight on behavioral assumptions, but increases payments by 1.3%

CMS is seeking to reduce agency payments even more than expected to account for assumed behavioral changes agencies will make as part of the Jan. 1, 2020, implementation of the Patient-Driven Groupings Model (PDGM). Even with the shift from 6.42% to an 8.01% reduction in agencies’ payments due to behavioral changes, the home health industry […]