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:: NAHC Report
 
NAHC Report: Issue# 2542, 11/4/2014
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ARTICLE ARCHIVES MEMBER RESOURCES eNEWSLETTERS CARING STORE
An Analysis of CMS’ Final Rule and its Modifications to the Face-to-Face Requirement
Additional Resources Now Available Online for Hospice CAHPS
For Your Information: U.S. Celebrates National Home Care & Hospice Month in November
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An Analysis of CMS’ Final Rule and its Modifications to the Face-to-Face Requirement

The Final Rule issued recently by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) includes a myriad of important policy changes in addition to the 2015 payment rates for home health services. Among those important changes is the modification to the rule requiring a face-to-face encounter with a physician as a condition for payment in Medicare. The face-to-face encounter requirement has been burdened with complexity and vagueness since it was originally promulgated in 2011. The difficulties with the rule, particularly the physician narrative requirement, led NAHC to file a lawsuit against CMS in early June.  This article reviews the changes to that rule.

Physician Narrative Requirement Eliminated
The Final Rule eliminates the daunting physician narrative requirement beginning with episodes of care that start on January 1, 2015 or later. CMS explains that it is eliminating the requirement “to simplify the face-to-face encounter regulations, reduce burdens for HHAs and physicians, and to mitigate instances where physicians and HHAs unintentionally fail to comply with certification requirements.”
While CMS is eliminating the narrative requirement, it is doing so prospectively only. CMS rejected requests that it rescind the rule retroactive to 2011 and reopen past claim denials that were issued based on insufficient narratives.

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Additional Resources Now Available Online for Hospice CAHPS

As hospices gear up to ensure readiness for compliance with forthcoming Hospice CAHPS requirements, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is providing routine updates to materials related to CAHPS on its CAHPS Hospice Survey site.

Below, please find items that were posted early in the first week of November 2014:

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) have been Updated (posted 11/3/2014)
Additional questions have been added to the Hospice CAHPS FAQs page. The updated FAQs are also available by clicking on the left hand navigation button “FAQs” on the What’s New page.

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U.S. Celebrates National Home Care & Hospice Month in November

Val J. Halamandaris, President of the National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) announced the themes for National Home Care and Hospice Month in November. Each November, the home care and hospice community honor and reflect upon the hero’s—nurses, caregivers, home care aides, therapists, and social workers—who make a remarkable difference in the lives of the patients and families they serve. These critical workers play a central role in their patients’ lives, and NAHC recognizes their efforts with this year’s themes:

Home Care: Home is the Center of Health Care

Hospice: Hospice = Love in Action

Private Duty: Loving Care Tailored to Each Family’s Needs

NAHC honors November as National Home Care Month with the theme, “Home is the Center of Health Care,” the product of a brainstorming session at the NAHC Strategic Planning Congress in February 2013. The session brought together members of NAHC’s board of directors and the heads of its Forum of State Associations, along with key leaders from the home care and hospice industry. They exchanged their thoughts under the leadership of Dr. Lance Secretan, management expert, author, editor and former corporate CEO. Their joint expression of home care’s goals gained approval from NAHC’s board of directors.

NAHC and its affiliate Hospice Association of America (HAA) honor November is National Hospice Month with the theme “Hospice = Love in Action.” Hospice care provides humane and comforting support for terminally ill patients and their families, including pain control, palliative medical care, and social, emotional and spiritual services. Hospice fulfills basic human needs of feeling comfortable in familiar surroundings and of attaining physical and emotional peace during the last stage of life.

NAHC and its affiliate Private Duty Home Care Association (PDHCA) honor November is Home Care and Hospice Month with the theme “Loving Care Tailored to Each Family’s Needs.” PDHCA is a trade association of home care providers dedicated to providing an array of home care services, including non-medical and supportive services to the aged, infirm, or disabled client to help maintain safety and independence at home, wherever home is.

For more information on the National Association for Home Care & Hospice – National Home Care & Hospice Month and Home Care Aide Week, visit www.nahc.org.

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