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NAHC Report: Issue# 2539, 10/30/2014
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ARTICLE ARCHIVES MEMBER RESOURCES eNEWSLETTERS CARING STORE
CMS Issues Final Rule on Home Health Prospective Payment System Rates
Countdown to the Midterm Elections: Less than a Week Until Nov. 4
For Your Information: NAHC members have been extended an invitation to a new webinar on the recently passed IMPACT Act
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CMS Issues Final Rule on Home Health Prospective Payment System Rates
Includes Elimination of Problematic Face-to-Face Physician Narratives

The Final Rule for 2015 Medicare HHPPS payment rates was released by CMS late Thursday afternoon. CMS also finalized some of the other proposals - including eliminating the physician narrative to the face-to-face requirements.

Below is a quick summary of the Final Rule, along with preliminary analysis from NAHC staff in bold. A more detailed analysis of the final HHPPS rule will be available once NAHC staff has more time to review the rule in its entirety.

1. CMS eliminates the physician narrative requirement that has plagued physicians and home health agencies. GREAT NEWS

2.  CMS keeps its widely-panned proposal to require physicians to have sufficient documentation in their own files to support the certification of homebound status and skilled care need. However, CMS will permit HHAs to provide their record to the certifying physician so that it can be included in considering whether sufficient documentation exists to support the certification. Also, CMS modifies the rule to require that certifying physicians supply their records to the HHAs whenever a claim is audited for compliance. This may be a problem still. SLIGHT IMPROVEMENT OVER PROPOSED RULE

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Countdown to the Midterm Elections: Less than a Week Until Nov. 4
With the Midterm elections right around the corner, home care and hospice advocates are encouraged to ramp-up their outreach and advocacy efforts

In less than a week – on November 4 - the Midterm elections will be held and will determine the make-up of both chambers of Congress. 33 Senate seats and the entire House of Representitives is standing for election this cycle. At stake in this election is the control of the United States Senate, and the size of the GOP majority in the House. This week, two highly-respected election forcasters - Sturat Rothenberg and Larry Sabato - have both predicted that the Senate will revert to GOP control once all the votes have been counted.

The Midterm elections will inevidably shake-up of the Congressional committees that work on issues that are important to the home care and hospice community. Congress is scheduled to reconvene for an end of the year “lame duck” session on Wednesday, November 12.

NAHC is fortunate to have many allies on both sides of the aisle, and NAHC members have a rare and important opportunity to engage with their House and Senate candidates and ask questions that could affect the entire home care and hospice community once the new Congress is sworn in. The final days of an election, in particular, are a golden opportunity to ask questions of candidates and engage them in a discussion on their views on access to home care and hospice.

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NAHC members have been extended an invitation to a new webinar on the recently passed IMPACT Act
The IMPACT Act is new legislation that will lead to a uniform post acute care patient assessment process

The webinar faculty includes Lisa Graebert from the House Ways and Means Committee. Lisa was one of the authors of that legislation. Registration details are below.

Join the webinar to learn what the IMPACT Act means for your organization!  You will hear from Lisa Grabert at the US House of Representatives on the Ways and Means Committee, and Barbara Gage and Kelsey Mellard both at the Post-Acute Care Center for Research.  This webinar is intended for all PAC providers, administrators, payers, techies, and other health reform enablers!

Title: The IMPACT Act. What does it mean to you?

Date: Tuesday, November 4, 2014.

Time: 12:00pm – 1:00pm EST

After registering you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the Webinar.

Space is limited. Reserve your Webinar seat now here.

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