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:: NAHC Report
NAHC Report: Issue# 2258, 8/22/2013
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AARP Releases Article on Home and Community-Based Services
Craft a Letter to the Editor Or Op-Ed Piece Voicing Opposition To Home Care And Hospice Cuts And Copays
For Your Information: NAHC Needs Your Help and Participation in its Face-to-Face Encounter Documentation Denials Survey
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AARP Releases Article on Home and Community-Based Services

On August 19th, AARP released an article entitled Home- and Community-Based Services [HCBS]: The Right Place and the Right Time,” where it called on the federal Commission on Long-Term Care (the Commission) to embrace HCBS.

Cost Effectiveness of HCBS

The article provided ample support for the cost effectiveness of HCBS over institutionalization.  For example, it cited that the cost of institutionalizing one person with physical disabilities in a nursing home is equal to the cost of providing HCBS to three such people.  Citing its own March 2009 and March 2013 studies, AARP mentioned that not only was HCBS cost effective, but it has slowed Medicaid cost growth even while including more people. 

Mixed Results of Rebalancing

The article painted a mixed picture of rebalancing.  Some states have now met the objective of rebalancing by spending over half of their Medicaid LTSS budgets on HCBS; these include Texas, California, Alaska, Oregon, Minnesota, Washington, and New Mexico.  However, the other states have not met this benchmark.  According to AARP’s LTSS Scorecard, in 2011, the percentages spent on HCBS varied from 64 percent (New Mexico) to 11 percent (North Dakota).  The median percentage for all states, according to the Scorecard, was only 30%. 

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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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Craft a Letter to the Editor Or Op-Ed Piece Voicing Opposition To Home Care And Hospice Cuts And Copays
Advocacy in August Tips for Success

As part of a series on Congressional Recess actions NAHC members and home care and hospice advocates can do to stay invovlved, the tips below focus on on submitting a letter to the editor or op-ed piece to your local newspaper.

Letters to the Editor usually must be written in response to an article that has run in a publication's recent issues, such as a newspaper's issues in a given week. Articles covering Medicare, Medicaid or perhaps even broader health care issues could provide an opportunity for a letter.

Even if home care or hospice is not mentioned specifically, a letter to the editor can provide additional information that was not part of the article in discussion.

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