Tag: home health

Breaking news: CMS releases 2021 proposed payment rule: Telehealth is here to stay

CMS’ 2021 proposed PPS payment rule aims to make recently relaxed telecommunications requirements permanent beyond the public health emergency (PHE). That means regardless of the PHE, beginning Jan. 1, 2021, home health agencies can continue to use telecommunications as long as it “is related to the skilled services being furnished, is outlined in the plan […]

Innovation center models used by CMS for COVID-19

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced plans on June 2 to change some of the innovation center models to account for the COVID-19 public health emergency (PHE). As part of this announcement, CMS issued a table which has specific model adjustments related to financial methodologies, quality reporting and model timelines that are […]

Bill introduced to allow verbal physician orders in home health during pandemic

The Improving Care in Home Health Agencies Act has been presented to the U.S. House of Representatives on May 22, allowing for verbal physician orders. This would replace signed and dated orders and certification from Medicare home health services in an emergency timeframe. The legislation, if passed, would apply to the COVID-19 pandemic. The legislation’s […]

FDA provides panel to evaluate diagnostic tests available for COVID-19

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is providing a SARS-COV-2 reference panel for the evaluation of diagnostic tests for COVID-19. The panels safeguard the quality of the tests and validation of new assay. They also test the calibration and monitoring of assay performance. The FDA panel is available to commercial and laboratory developers who […]

CMS releases FAQs on Medicare fee-for-service billing

CMS released Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on Medicare fee-for-service billing. These FAQs are supplemental to those previously released by CMS in March. To view those, visit https://go.cms.gov/2yIS29R. CMS noted in the release that in many instances, the general statements of the FAQs referenced above have been superseded by COVID-19-specific legislation, emergency rules and waivers granted […]

Officials warn to stay prepared for second wave of COVID-19 infections

Whether your home health agency is already working toward recovery from a peak load of COVID-19 patients or is still amidst the onslaught, remember there will be a second wave of patients in a few months. Take your lessons learned and update policies, protocols and action plans in anticipation of patient numbers that may be […]

EPA issues disinfecting guidance to reduce COVID-19 risks as America reopens

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has issued a cleaning and disinfecting guidance for public spaces, workplaces, businesses, schools and homes. “Reducing the risk of exposure to COVID-19 by cleaning and disinfection is an important part of reopening public spaces that will require careful planning,” the April 28 EPA statement says. The guidance contains resources broken […]

OIG releases updates on corporate integrity agreements

The Office of the Inspector General (OIG) released updated information related to Corporate Integrity Agreement (CIA) deadlines, OIG review deadlines and OIG enforcement activity. The OIG is working closely with CMS, Health & Human Services (HHS) and law enforcement partners to support health professionals’ response to the pandemic. They are taking burdens on providers and […]

CMS addresses reopening the health care system in regions with low incidence of COVID-19

New guidance from CMS might help agencies address patient concerns and show providers in the community that your agency is beginning to try to get back to normal operations and are operating within similar parameters, says Robert Markette, an attorney with Indianapolis-based Hall, Render, Killian, Heath & Lyman. CMS has issued new recommendations concerning communities […]

COVID-19: OTs can temporarily perform initial assessments

Now occupational therapists from home health agencies can perform initial assessments on certain homebound patients. This allows home health services to begin and lets home health nurses do more direct patient care. This is part of CMS’ latest efforts to relax a number of rules so that health care facilities can increase their frontline medical […]