Obama Budget Contains Numerous Post-Acute Care Cuts

President Obama introduced his fiscal year (“FY”) 2015 budget yesterday, and there are many proposed cuts to post-acute care providers.  Some of the highlights include a number of bundled payment initiatives, a $100 co-pay for home health patients not discharged from a hospital and re-admission penalties for skilled nursing facilities... Continue Reading →

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CMS Extends and Expands Home Health Enrollment Moratoria

Effective January 31, 2014, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (“CMS”) has issued a temporary moratoria for the enrollment of home health agencies in Fort Lauderdale, Florida; Detroit, Michigan; Dallas, Texas; and Houston, Texas.  CMS also announced it is extending the current enrollment moratoria in Chicago, Illinois and Miami,... Continue Reading →

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Rebasing Has Arrived – CMS Publishes Home Health PPS 2014 Proposed Rule

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On June 27, 2013, CMS released the proposed home health prospective payment rule (the “PPS Rule”) for calendar year 2014.  While refinements to the ICD-9-CM and discussions of ICD-10-CM implementation are of interest, the most notable change to the PPS Rule for 2014 is CMS’s long-awaited proposal for rebasing home... Continue Reading →

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CMS Revises Policy as to Surveys to Be Conducted Following Complaint Investigations Resulting in Condition-Level Noncompliance

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (“CMS”) recently released a Survey and Certification letter updating the State Operations Manual (“SOM”) guidelines  on surveys of deemed status long-term care (“LTC”) providers when the provider has been found to have a condition level instance of noncompliance, including immediate jeopardy (“IJ”), in... Continue Reading →

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Sequestration Cuts Impact Nursing Homes and Post-Acute Care Providers

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In a transmittal issued on April 5, 2013, CMS provided guidance on survey activities that will be affected by the sequestration cuts.  The transmittal provides guidance on several areas that will have an immediate and potentially negative effect on nursing homes and post-acute care providers.  These changes will affect the survey process as conducted... Continue Reading →

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Inappropriate and Questionable Billing by Medicare Home Health Agencies

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Data collected and analyzed by the Office of Inspector General (OIG) since 2010, indicate that home health agencies (HHAs) are predisposed to commit Medicare fraud, waste and abuse. In 2010, Medicare inappropriately paid $5 million for erroneous claims submitted by HHAs. With one in four claims being suspect, the OIG... Continue Reading →

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CMS Releases 2012 Nursing Home Action Plan

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The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) just released the 2012 Nursing Home Action Plan; a guide for CMS’ efforts to continue to improve nursing home safety and quality.  The plan features 5 actionable strategies, including: enhance consumer engagement; strengthen survey processes, standards, and enforcement; promote quality improvement; create... Continue Reading →

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Home Health Agency Patient Surveys Now Available for Consumers

Consumers can now compare results from home health agencies (HHA) patient surveys on the Quality Care Finder website.  These results are designed to create incentives for HHAs to improve quality of care, as well as to give patients additional information as to the type of care they will receive from a... Continue Reading →

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CMS Revises Initial Certification Process for HHAs

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has issued revisions to the process Home Health Agencies (HHA) must undergo prior to initial certification.  The revised process adds an additional review of enrollment criteria performed by the Regional Home Health Intermediary (RHHI) or Medicare Administrative Contractor (MAC).  ... Continue Reading →

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Proposed Wage Regulations for Home Care Workers

The Department of Labor published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in late December aimed at giving the nation’s nearly two million home care workers minimum wage and overtime protections.  These workers have long been working  under an exemption from the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) as “companion” employees.  ... Continue Reading →

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