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NAHC Report: Issue# 2518, 10/1/2014
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ARTICLE ARCHIVES MEMBER RESOURCES eNEWSLETTERS CARING STORE
Is There A New Round of Face-to-Face Physician Encounter Audits?
Updated Life Safety Code Information for Hospice Inpatient Facilities
For Your Information: TMF Health Quality Institute Hosts Review of Hospice PEPPER on Thursday, October 2 at 1:00pm CST
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Is There A New Round of Face-to-Face Physician Encounter Audits?
NAHC’s face-to-face lawsuit still pending in Federal court

New England-based home health agencies are reporting what appears to be a new round of audits of Medicare home health claims focused on compliance with the face-to-face physician encounter rule by the Medicare Administrative Contractor, NGS. These audits involve prepayment reviews and high-dollar claims appear to be the primary targets. HHAs report that claim denials include the sufficiency of the physician narrative and a rejection of added face-to-face supporting documentation that is composed after the claim submission. 

NAHC has not yet had comparable reports of renewed face-to-face encounter audits occurring outside New England.

This action follows CMS’s recent letter to Congressman James McGovern (D-MA) that rebuffed his requests that CMS suspend audits related to the physician narratives and restore payment on claims previously denied for insufficient physician narratives. The McGovern effort was part of a broad-based congressional request from a bi-partisan group 0f House members to the Administrator to remedy the past face-to-face encounter denials in the wake of the CMS proposal to abandon the physician narrative requirement.

The September 9, 2015 letter to Congressman McGovern from CMS Administrator Marilyn Tavenner states that while “CMS has not approved Recovery Audit Contractors to review documentation on the face-to-face encounter for home health,” the Medicare Administrative Contractors (MACs) and the Supplemental Medical Review Contractor can continue to review home health claims on all bases to determine compliance.

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Updated Life Safety Code Information for Hospice Inpatient Facilities

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently released new information regarding the use of power strips in patient rooms that is applicable to some hospice inpatient facilities. Survey and Certification Letter 14-46-LSC, titled “Categorical Waiver for Power Strips Use in Patient Care Areas,” explains that CMS has determined that the 2000 edition of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 101® Life Safety Code (LSC) - certain sections of which must be met by hospices providing inpatient care directly - contains provisions on the use of power strips in health care facilities that may result in unreasonable hardship for providers or suppliers. 

CMS is allowing a categorical waiver that permits the use of power strips in some areas if the provider is in compliance with all applicable 2012 LSC power strip requirements and with all other 2000 LSC electrical system and equipment provisions. The 2012 edition of the LSC has extended allowances on the use of power strips in patient care areas.

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TMF Health Quality Institute Hosts Review of Hospice PEPPER on Thursday, October 2 at 1:00pm CST
Discount rates have expired but there are still rooms available at the regular rates

The TMF Health Quality Institute has scheduled a webinar for Thursday, October 2, 2014, during which a review of the Hospice PEPPER (Program for Evaluating Payment Patterns Electronic Report) will be provided.

Specifically, the session will focus on:

  1. Updates for the new Hospice PEPPER (version Q4FY13), summarizing statistics for federal fiscal years 2011, 2012 and 2013
  2. The NEW method for accessing the Hospice PEPPER via the Secure PEPPER Access portal on PEPPERresources.org

It is not necessary to pre-register for this event. Simply click on the link approximately 10 minutes prior to the scheduled start time to ensure participation.

Date and Time: Thursday, October 2, 2014 1:00pm CST.

Event address for attendees: https://tmfpepper.webex.com/tmfpepper/onstage/g.php?d=920733053&t=a  
Event number: 920 733 053
Event password: autumn

Handout: A handout will be available the day before the session on the Hospice Training and Resources page of PEPPERresources.org.  The session will be recorded; the recording will be posted on the Hospice Training and Resources section of PEPPERresources.org at a future date.  

You are encouraged to listen to the audio portion of the webinar through the online broadcast platform using your computer speakers. Although this program is being brought to you at no charge, if you prefer to listen to the session via telephone, the cost of the connection will be your responsibility and will depend on the telephone services/plan that you have.  To listen by phone, use the following number and access code:
Teleconference number: 1-415-655-0003. This number will be active 15 minutes prior to the start of the session.
Access code: 920 733 053   

Registered Nurses and Hospice Staff

Renown Health, based in Reno, Nevada, is looking for experienced, supportive Registered Nurses and hospice staff.

In keeping with our commitment to providing compassionate and continuum care at every stage of life, we are opening Renown’s first-ever hospice program and we're looking for experienced RNs and hospice staff with at least two years of prior hospice experience.

Renown Health is northern Nevada’s largest integrated health network and a nationally recognized healthcare leader. Based in Reno, Renown serves a 17-county region comprised of northern Nevada, Lake Tahoe and northeast California. The Reno-Tahoe region holds a range of lifestyle options that spans from downtown Reno to the shores of Lake Tahoe. With over 300 days of sunshine annually, it’s easy to understand why so many people choose to explore the natural beauty of our region. Experience as much or as little as you want as you thrive in our small-town feel and friendliness and all the financial benefits that come from a state with no state income tax.

Learn more at: http://careers.renown.org/ or contact Anne Larson, Recruiter, at 775-982-6306. EEO/M/F/V/D

 

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