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NAHC Report: Issue# 2463, 7/9/2014
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CMS Regulatory Updates for Home Health and Hospice
Rehabilitation Helps Prevent Depression from Age-Related Vision
For Your Information: CMS Announces its Next Open Door Forum for Home Health, Hospice and DME
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CMS Regulatory Updates for Home Health and Hospice

CMS recently issued several regulatory updates to home health and hospice providers. The updates are described below:

CR8690: MACs, SMRCs Must Display Issues Under Review on their Websites

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has issued Change Request (CR) 8690, under which - effective September 5, 2014 - Medicare’s Administrative Contractors (MACs) must, prior to beginning a service-specific review, post a review description by provider type on their website.  MACs must keep the website current by posting active reviews. 

CMS indicates that MACs should, at their discretion, state on their website what additional documentation is needed from providers to make a claim determination. CMS also suggested that MACs, at their discretion, create an archive of old review topics that are no longer under active review.  CMS also notes that MACs have the discretion to notify providers about a service-specific review by sending individual notices to affected providers and should, at their discretion, state in the written notices what additional documentation is needed from providers to make a claim determination. 

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Rehabilitation Helps Prevent Depression from Age-Related Vision
NIH-funded study brought together eye care and mental health professionals

Depression is a common risk for people who have lost their vision from age-related macular degeneration (AMD), but a new study shows that a type of rehabilitation therapy can cut this risk in half. The study was funded by the National Eye Institute (NEI), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

"Our results emphasize the high risk of depression from AMD, and the benefits of multi-disciplinary treatment that bridges primary eye care, psychiatry, psychology, and rehabilitation," said Barry Rovner, M.D., a professor of psychiatry and neurology at the Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia. Dr. Rovner and his colleagues published their findings in Ophthalmology.

AMD is a leading cause of vision loss in the United States. About 2 million Americans age 50 and over have vision loss from AMD, and about 8 million have an earlier stage of the disease, with or without vision loss. AMD causes damage to the macula, a spot near the center of the retina that is needed for sharp, straight-ahead vision. It can affect one eye or both, which is called bilateral AMD. As the disease progresses, it can cause a growing blurred area near the center of vision, and lead to difficulty with everyday activities, including the ability to drive, read, write, watch television, cook, and do housework.

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NAHC and HHNA Invite Participation in a Free Teleconference
on July 11, 2014

Subject: What Do the Proposed Changes in the Face to Face Rule Means to You and Where Do We Go From Here?

Presented by: National Association for Home Care and Hospice (NAHC) and the Home Health Nurses Association (HHNA). Faculty: Val J. Halamandaris, President; Elaine Stephens, Executive Vice President; Jeff Kincheloe, Vice President for Government Affairs; Bill Dombi, Vice President for Law; and Mary Carr, Vice President for Regulatory Affairs.

Who may participate: All home care providers who register in advance with NAHC members and members of HHNA being given priority.

To reserve your place in line: Please send an email to Cheryl Lee  (  The first 500 people who send in an e-mail will participate.

Time of the conference:  Friday, July 11 at 2 pm EST.  The call in number is 1-800-289-0459.  The conference code will be emailed Friday morning prior to the call.

What other topics will be discussed? The names of the top ten nurses from whom which the Nurse of the Year will be selected; Details of the Preconference Being Offered at the NAHC Annual Meeting (October 19-22, 2014 in Phoenix, AZ): How to Give Referral Sources  the Service for which they are looking. An Overview of the 116 Educational Session being offered at the NAHC Annual meeting. New Benefits specifically for home health nurses being offered to NAHC and HHNA members.

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