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NAHC Report: Issue# 2437, 5/27/2014
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House Returns from Recess
Proposed Revisions to Home Health Conditions of Participation sent to OMB for Review
For Your Information: Home Health Track Educational Sessions Announced for NAHC’s Financial Management Conference & Exhibition

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House Returns from Recess
Action is needed to advance recently introduced rebasing bill

The House is back in session this week after the Memorial Day recess, and action is needed to continue to advance H.R. 4625, the Medicare Home Health Rebasing Relief and Reassessment Act. Introduced by Rep. Ralph Hall (R-TX), the bill seeks to suspend CMS’ flawed rebasing rule for 12 months and require that CMS reassess the rule and submit a report to Congress on alternative rebasing methods, including methods offered by stakeholders.

Currently, there are no other cosponsors, and NAHC urges all of its members to contact their elected officials and ask them to support this legislation. It is especially important to get a Democrat to cosponsor the legislation so that the bill can be touted as a bipartisan measure. The more sponsors the bill has, the more likely it is to see additional House action. The more bipartisan sponsors the bill has, the greater the likelihood that the Senate will take action, as well. 

There has recently been a lot of interest from several Democratic Representatives, but so far, none have committed to become the bill’s first Democratic cosponsor. Now that the House is back in session, Representatives can officially sign on to the measure and show their support for the home care and hospice community.

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Proposed Revisions to Home Health Conditions of Participation sent to OMB for Review
OMB review is a requirement of the regulatory review process, though timing of OMB’s review is uncertain

The proposed revisions to the Home Health Conditions of Participation have been sent to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review.  OMB review is a required element of the regulatory review process that occurs prior to a proposed regulation being made public. The review process could take anywhere from a few days to a few years to complete. 

Given that this is a busy regulatory review time for OMB - since most of the payment rules are under review and they take precedence - it will most likely be a few months at a minimum before the proposed CoPs for home health are posted and published.  Until then, the content is not available for comment or review.

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Home Health 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:

Home Health Cost Containment Strategies
Faced with Medicare rate cuts of 3.5% from rebasing in 2014 with additional cuts scheduled for the next 3 years alongside shifts to a managed care payment model, Home Health agencies need to find new sources of cost savings and operating efficiencies in order to survive… This program offers insights and ideas on successful ways to squeeze out even more efficiencies than you thought possible. 

Episode Management: Managing Clinical and Financial Outcomes Before They Occur
The success of care management in home health requires a shift in focus from making visits to managing episodes of care… Episode Management provides the structure for concurrent monitoring of clinical and financial outcomes while there is still influence of control during the episode.

Minimize Denials:  Practicing Effective Home Care Compliance
Agencies must put processes in place to ensure they compliance is monitored.  Learn the common documentation flaws and operational practices, including failure to conduct appropriate pre-billing audits, that could increase your compliance risk. 

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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