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NAHC Report: Issue# 2414, 4/22/2014
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Congressman Lee Terry Meets with 10 NAHCHA Agency Provider Members
New Hospice PEPPER Now Available
For Your Information: Hospice Track at NAHC’s Financial Management Conference & Exhibition
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Congressman Lee Terry Meets with 10 NAHCHA Agency Provider Members

Ten Nebraska Association of Home and Community Health Agencies (NAHCHA) provider members recently met with Congressman Lee Terry (R-NE) and his legislative staffer Spencer Head at The Visiting Nurse Association of the Midlands in Omaha. Congressman Terry received updates on rebasing of Medicare home health payments, face-to-face requirements, impact of potential Medicaid expansion, and the benefits of reimbursing home health providers who use telemonitoring technology for clients.

Rebasing of Medicare Home Health Services

NAHCHA agency provider members explained the serious impact of Medicare home health cuts that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) put into effect on January 1, 2014. These cuts are so immense that they will cause 52.4 percent of home care providers in Nebraska to operate at a loss. That means 38 of Nebraska’s 58 Medicare-certified home health agencies will be under water by 2017.

Rebasing is a requirement of the Affordable Care Act, but home health associations and providers question CMS’ approach and simply ask that CMS postpone these damaging cuts and devote more time to a thoughtful analysis of the data.

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New Hospice PEPPER Now Available

The fiscal year 2013 fourth quarter (Q4FY13) release of the Hospice Program for PEPPER (Program for Evaluating Payment Patterns Electronic Report) with statistics through September 2013 is now available for download through the Secure PEPPER Access page. To obtain the hospice PEPPER, the chief executive officer, president, or administrator of the hospice should:

    1. Review the Secure PEPPER Access Guide.
    2. Visit the Secure PEPPER Access page.
    3. Review the instructions and obtain the information required to authenticate access.
    4. Click on the button to Access the Secure Portal.
    5. Complete all the fields.
    6. Download your PEPPER.

This release of the Hospice PEPPER will be available to download for approximately one year. For complete links read the full article.

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Hospice Track at NAHC’s Financial Management Conference & Exhibition

NAHC and its affiliated Home Care & Hospice Financial Managers’ Association (HHFMA) recently announced the educational sessions for its upcoming Financial Management Conference & Exhibition. The conference is being held July 13 – 15 in Chicago, IL.

This year, attendees have four different tracks to choose from – based on their and their agencies’ unique needs. The four tracks are:

  • Home Health
  • Hospice
  • Changing Healthcare Delivery
  • Leadership

Below are some of the highlights from this year’s Home Health track:

Hospice Payment Refinement
This presentation will review the CMS proposed rule for Fiscal Year 2015 and model how the proposed rule will impact agencies.  The session will also look back at the FY 2014 proposed rule comments on rebasing the routine home care rate and the site of service adjustment, and will provide an overview of the payment reimbursement curve. 

Regulatory Change is Inevitable: Are We Prepared and What Will Medicare Learn from the Data?
The pace of regulatory and legislative changes in the hospice industry is at an all time high… his session will discuss the status of several regulatory changes that have or will occur in the hospice industry. We will discuss the additional burden placed on hospices to report additional patient-specific data elements, what impact it has on an agency and the industry and what Medicare will learn from this additional information.

Hospice Cost Savings: Finding Efficiencies
The outlook for 2014 Medicare home health and hospice rates are foggy at best with the threat of rate rebasing combined on top of the continuation of sequestration. Costs will continue to increase with new Medicare regulatory requirements, labor shortages, and modernization efforts in technology and delivery models…This program offers insights and ideas on successful ways to squeeze out even more efficiencies than you thought possible. Everything from back office costs to care utilization must be on the table for consideration. 

To see all of this year’s Financial Management Conference Educational Sessions, please click here.

To register to attend this year’s Financial Management Conference, please click here.

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