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NAHC Report: Issue# 2537, 10/28/2014
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VA to Pay Non-Contract Providers Using Medicare Payment Models
An update on The Disposal Act
For Your Information: NAHC is sharing information on two upcoming free webinars presented by the Texas Nurses Association and Texas Organization of Nurse Executives on Ebola.
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VA to Pay Non-Contract Providers Using Medicare Payment Models

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has begun issuing notices that inform home health providers of the VA’s revised payment methodology for skilled home health services. Beginning October 1, 2014, the VA will require an Outcome and Assessment Information Set (OASIS) to be completed  to generate a health insurance prospective payment system (HIPPS)  code in order to reimburse non-contracted home health agencies for skilled home health services using the Medicare home health prospective payment system (HHPPS). For non-contracted hospice providers the VA will continue to pay a per diem rate.

On February 18, 2010, the VA issued a proposed rule to implement certain payment methodologies for all non-contracted inpatient and outpatient health care professionals and providers, which included paying according to Medicare fee schedules and prospective payment systems, as applicable. When the final rule was published on December 17, 2010 the regulation included an exception for implementing the payment methodologies for home health and hospice services. The VA cited administrative and systems problems that prevented their ability to implement the Medicare payment system for home health and hospice services on such short notice. Since the final rule, the VA had delayed the effective date for the payment changes several times.

The effective date was finally set for June 1, 2014 with an implementation date of October 1, 2014.

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An update on The Disposal Act

NAHC and its affiliated Hospice Association of America (HAA) continue to receive questions about the recently effective Disposal of Controlled Substances final rule.  In September, NAHC Report reported on this final rule as it pertains to hospices.

The Disposal Act provides that, ‘‘if a person dies while lawfully in possession of a controlled substance for personal use, any person lawfully entitled to dispose of the decedent’s property may deliver the controlled substance to another person for the purpose of disposal under the same conditions as provided’’ for ultimate users (21 U.S.C. 822(g)(4)). What this means is that a member of the decedent’s household can give the medications to hospice staff for disposal if that staff person is legally authorized to receive it and dispose of it. Otherwise, home hospice and homecare personnel are not authorized to receive pharmaceutical controlled substances from ultimate users for the purpose of disposal.

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NAHC is sharing information on two upcoming free webinars presented by the Texas Nurses Association and Texas Organization of Nurse Executives on Ebola.
Further updates, information and resources on Ebola as it pertains to the home care and hospice community will be published in NAHC Report as they become available.

On Thursday, Oct. 30, the Texas Nurses Association and Texas Organization of Nurse Executives will bring together experts to share how to effectively handle Ebola cases, including chief nursing officer preparation, critical resource mobilization, balanced communications, and practical application of new processes and procedures.

The Ebola virus presents unique challenges to the nation’s health care system, which the recent events in Texas clearly demonstrated. Preparedness across the spectrum of care, whether a specialized clinical setting, community hospital, or primary care setting, is key to effectively treating patients and protecting nurses and other health care workers.

We have brought together a panel of health care experts for a complimentary webinar on Tuesday, Oct. 28 to discuss what you need to know to protect yourself from contracting Ebola while providing quality patient care.

Registration for these two complimentary webinars is separate. Contact hours will be awarded for successful completion of this nursing education activity.

Click here to register for our webinar on Tuesday, Oct. 28 at 1 p.m. EDT: Ebola Preparedness and Response: What Every Nurse Needs to Know

Click here to register for our webinar on Thursday, Oct. 30 at 1 p.m. EDT: Lessons Learned From Texas: How You Can Help With the Ebola Threat

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