Tag: home health agencies

MedPAC calls for 5% rate cut, telehealth reporting

The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) called for a signifcant payment cut for home health providers in its annual report to Congress on Tuesday, March 15, 2022. MedPAC had two recommendations regarding home health agencies: Congress should reduce the Medicare base payment rate for home health agencies by 5%. CMS should require that home health […]

Guilty plea in home health kickback scheme

Federal prosecutors claim five South Florida home health agencies are linked to an alleged scheme involving kickbacks and bribes in exchange for Medicare referrals for services the patients did not need and, in many cases, never received, according to a release from the Department of Justice’s Southern District of Florida. On Friday, Ernesto Espinosa, 71, […]

DOL recovers $137,838 in wages, damages for overtime violations

The U.S. Department of Labor shows it is still targeting home health agencies in its enforcement of wage and hour rules. In the latest example, the DOL announced the recovery of $137,838 in back wages, including $68,919 and an equal amount in liquidated damages. The DOL reported that Essential Home Health of Lubbock, Texas, paid […]

Employee vaccine status not a HIPAA issue, but other rules still apply

A home health agency is allowed to ask whether its employees are vaccinated. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) provided this guidance, particularly singling out home health agencies as an example, in a broader Q&A on employee vaccination status and HIPAA guardrails, released September 30. The HHS guidance notes that the HIPAA privacy […]

CMS, OSHA release vaccine requirements

CMS will require that eligible home health and hospice staff have received their shot or shots for full COVID-19 vaccination by Jan. 4, 2022, in order for the provider to participate in the Medicare and Medicaid programs. OSHA also has released its vaccine requirements for employers with more than 100 employees. Medicare and Medicaid providers […]

OIG: CMS should offer agencies more infection control guidance

CMS should develop and share more information on COVID-19 infection prevention and control best practices that home health providers can use to comply with requirements and guidance, according to a new report from the Department of Health and Humans Services Office of Inspector General (OIG). Six of eight home health agencies recently audited by the […]

Home health kickback schemes among recent federal charges

Prosecutors in the Southern District of Florida recently announced charges in two investigations of alleged kickbacks for home health referrals. Those charged where among more than 50 defendants in health care fraud cases in the district in the last six weeks, according to a news release. “South Florida is ground zero for health care fraud.  […]

New Jersey vaccine requirements includes home health agencies

New Jersey will require health care workers to get the COVID-19 vaccine or submit to regular testing, including employees of licensed home health agencies operating within the state. Gov. Phil Murphy announced the new requirements on Aug. 6, 2021, noting workers should be fully vaccinated by Sept. 7. At that point, if a worker hasn’t […]

CMS extends comprehensive care model for joint replacement

CMS recently issued a final rule extending and changing the Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement (CJR) Model, which was implemented to support better and more efficient care for beneficiaries who are undergoing inpatient surgeries for hip and knee replacements. The CJR program is an opportunity for home health agencies to form and deepen strategic partnerships […]

Telehealth proposal would require patient consent, set visit limits

The new version of the Home Health Emergency Access to Telehealth (HEAT) Act bill introduced in the U.S. Senate on April 22, has industry leaders hopeful for action this session, but a change to the law will likely come with conditions. The bill, S.1309, would authorize Medicare reimbursement for home health services provided through telehealth […]