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:: NAHC Report
NAHC Report: Issue# 2230, 7/3/2013
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ACA Employer Mandate Delayed for One Year
Summary of Changes for the OASIS C-1
For Your Information: Hospice Software Developer/Vendor Call on July 16, 2013
NAHC/Home Care & Hospice Events
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ACA Employer Mandate Delayed for One Year

The daunting obligation for home care companies to provide health insurance to all their full-time workers or face significant financial penalties has been postponed for at least a year. The Treasury Department announced that the so-called employer mandate - slated to take effect in January - would not go into effect until January 1, 2015 to provide businesses with the opportunity to implement any necessary changes in their operations. This surprising, but very welcome development comes on the heals of increasing complaints that some businesses were facing major changes in their employment practices such as cutting working hours in order to avoid penalties that might otherwise force closure.

Earlier this year, NAHC conducted a nationwide survey of home care companies that revealed a serious risk that access to care would be lost or significantly compromised as a result of the ACA employer mandate. The study showed that nearly 90% of private pay personal care services companies would suffer a penalty equal to $2,000 for each full-time employee.

Under the ACA, companies that do not offer health insurance are subject to a $2,000 annual penalty for each employee after the first 30 working 30 hours or more per week if just one employee qualifies for and receives an insurance subsidy.

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Hospice Software Developer/Vendor Call on July 16, 2013

CMS will host a Hospice technical informational call for software vendors and developers for the Hospice Item Set (HIS) on Tuesday, July 16, 2013.  Call-in information is as follows:

Date:  Tuesday, July 16, 2013
Time:  2:00 P.M. – 3:30 P.M. ET
Conference Call Number:  1-866-712-2205
Conference Code:  4260581739

This call will cover topics such as:

  • Introduction of the Division of National Systems at CMS
  • Overview of the QIES ASAP (Assessment Submission and Processing) System
  • Draft/Final Hospice Technical Data Submission Specifications (v1.00.0) related to the submission of Hospice Item Set (HIS) effective July 1, 2014
  • These Data Submission Specifications may be found here.
  • CMS provided Validation Utility Tool (VUT)
  • Submitted Q & A's

The agenda for the call will be available prior to this call on the QTSO website.

Please Note:

  • CMS encourages vendor and provider software developers to familiarize themselves with this website and review the website regularly for important technical information and updates.
  • CMS encourages vendors to register on this website to receive important announcements from CMS. Registration is completed on the QIES Technical Support Office website (QTSO) website.

Hospice software developers/vendors are encouraged to review specifications and submit questions specific to the Hospice July 2014, release to the Hospice Technical Issues mailbox,

The subject line must be "VENDOR CALL".  Questions to be addressed on this call must be e-mailed prior to 6:00 pm ET on July 9, 2013.

  **CMS strongly recommends that all Hospice Software Developers/Vendors attend this call.**

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Summary of Changes for the OASIS C-1

As noted in a previous NAHC report article, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has issued a draft version of the Outcome and Assessment Information Set (OASIS) C-1.
The proposed version - OASIS - C1 - reflects changes to accommodate coding of diagnoses using the ICD-10-CM coding set that take effect Oct 1, 2014. Additinally, revisions reflect issues raised by stakeholders - such as updating clinical concepts and modifying item wording and response categories to improve item clarity.

Further, CMS has removed items not currently used for payment, quality, or risk adjustment to reduce the burden associated with the OASIS data collection.

Below is a summary of the key changes to the OASIS C-1 assessment instrument.

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