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:: NAHC Report
NAHC Report: Issue# 2256, 8/20/2013
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ARTICLE ARCHIVES MEMBER RESOURCES eNEWSLETTERS CARING STORE
HHQI National Campaign Unveils New Cardiovascular Initiative
CMS ISSUES Change Request 8416: FY2014 HOSPICE PAYMENT RATES, CAP, WAGE INDEX, PRICER
For Your Information: Andrea L. Devoti, NAHC Board Chair Invites You to Join Her at the NAHC Annual Meeting & Exposition on Oct. 31 – Nov. 3
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HHQI National Campaign Unveils New Cardiovascular Initiative

Heart disease kills 600,000 people and stroke kills an additional 130,000 people in the United States each year. While these numbers are startling, they represent a key opportunity for home health providers to help save lives, and the Home Health Quality Improvement (HHQI) National Campaign is eager to support you.

Since 2007, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ HHQI National Campaign has been providing free, evidence-based educational resources, individualized data reports, networking opportunities and assistance for home health and cross-setting providers to reduce avoidable hospitalizations and improve care quality. The campaign is executed under contract by WVMI & Quality Insights, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving health care across the nation.

Most recently, the HHQI National Campaign announced its support of the Department of Health and Human Services’ Million Hearts® initiative by introducing cardiovascular best practices to the home health community through the new cardiovascular health improvement effort.  We are excited about this initiative and the impact the HHQI Campaign can have on spreading the Million Hearts message, tools and educational resources to home health agencies across the country.

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NAHC Needs Your Help and Participation in its Face-to-Face Encounter Documentation Denials Survey

Recently two of the CMS contractors a have announced widespread audits of home health providers with a key focus on compliance with the face-to-face (F2F) encounter documentation requirements. The documentation requirements have become more stringent recently with contractors now expecting physicians to write detailed descriptions of the patient’s condition in order to support the need for skilled services and homebound status.

NAHC has heard that one contractor has denied 399 claims out of 801 within an 11-day period related to the revised guidelines for the F2F documentation.    

NAHC once again needs to present the case to CMS that home care agencies are in an untenable position with the more stringent F2F requirement guidelines.

Before making such a case, however, NAHC needs to gather solid data to present to the regulators. NAHC has developed a survey with specific questions regarding the number and reasons for F2F denials, and asks its members to take a few moments to offer their insight.

The following survey should only take a few minutes to complete and will provide us with valuable information.

Please click here to access the survey. Your feedback is very important.

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CMS ISSUES Change Request 8416: FY2014 HOSPICE PAYMENT RATES, CAP, WAGE INDEX, PRICER

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued Change Request (CR) 8416/Transmittal 2766 on August 16, 2013. The release contains updates to the hospice payment rates, hospice wage index, and Pricer for Fiscal Year (FY) 2014, as well as an update to the hospice cap amount for the cap year ending October 31, 2013. 

CMS indicates that hospice payment rates will be increased by 1.7 percent in FY2014. Hospices must keep in mind, however,  that wage index values will be decreasing overall due to the fifth year of the seven-year phase-out of the budget neutrality adjustment factor (BNAF).  Additionally, if the 2 percent sequester remains in effect, Medicare’s Administrative Contractors (MACs) will reduce payment by that amount when issuing reimbursement.

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