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NAHC Report: Issue# 2543, 11/5/2014
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OIG Releases 2015 Work Plan
New ACA Employer Mandate Survey Continues: Survey Response Reminder
For Your Information: November is Home Care and Hospice Month
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OIG Releases 2015 Work Plan

The Office of the Inspector General (OIG) recently released its annual work plan.  The Work Plan for 2015 specifically addresses issues for home health and hospice. 

Overall, the Office of Inspector General (OIG) has identified reducing waste in Medicare Parts A and B and ensuring quality, including in nursing home, hospice care, and home- and community-based care, as top management challenges facing the Department. OIG has focused its efforts on reducing improper payments, improving quality and access, and fostering economical payment policies.

Work planning for fiscal year (FY) 2015 and beyond will consider the following:

  • Quality of care
  • Appropriate payments
  • Oversight of payment and delivery reform

Protecting an expanding Medicaid program from fraud, waste, and abuse takes on a heightened urgency as the program continues to grow in spending and in the number of people that it serves. The OIG’s continuing and new reviews of Medicaid in fiscal year (FY) 2015 address: prescription drugs; billing, payment, reimbursement, quality, and safety of home health services, community-based care, and other services, equipment, and supplies; State management of Medicaid, information system controls and security, and Medicaid managed care.

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New ACA Employer Mandate Survey Continues: Survey Response Reminder
294 responses to the survey have been submitted — NAHC is seeking many more

The employer mandate responsibilities In the Affordable Care Act are scheduled to take effect on January 1, 2015. Employers of 100 or more full-time equivalent employees (FTEs) will be required to either offer a qualified health plan to all their full-time employees or face a potential financial penalty. For purposes of this law, a “full-time employee” is an individual who works 30 hours or more per week. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has determined that the requirement will be applied on a monthly basis using 130 hours per month as the standard for full-time.

For employers of 50-99 FTEs, the mandate takes effect on January 1, 2016.

The employer mandate involves a fairly complex formula for determining whether and how it applies to businesses. Each business should be individually evaluated to determine if and how the requirements apply to it. The cost of a qualified health insurance can be quite high. Likewise, the penalty cost can be as well, with the penalties set at $2000 each for all full-time employee (after the first 30 are exempted) when the employer does not offer a qualified plan so long as one of the full-time employees qualifies to receive a federal subsidy.

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November is Home Care and Hospice Month

During November the home care and hospice community honor the millions of nurses, home care aides, therapists, and social workers who make a remarkable difference for the patients and families they serve. These heroic caregivers play a central role in our health care system and in homes across the nation. To recognize their efforts, we call upon all Americans to commemorate the power of caring, both at the home and in their local communities and join with the National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) by celebrating November as Home Care and Hospice Month with the following 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 National Home Care Month with the theme Home is the Center of Health Care, the product of a brainstorming session at the 2013 NAHC Strategic Planning Congress. The session brought together members of NAHC’s board of directors and heads of its Forum of State Associations, along with key home care and hospice leaders. They exchanged their thoughts under the guidance of Dr. Lance Secretan, management guru and former corporate CEO, who helped them define their vision of what home care can become.

NAHC and its affiliate Hospice Association of America (HAA) honor National Hospice Month with the theme Hospice = Love in Action. Hospice provides pain control and palliative care to patients who are terminally ill. It also addresses their social, spiritual, and emotional needs, along with those of their family members. For decades, patients have counted on hospice to give them comfort, peace, and closure in the twilight of life.

NAHC and its affiliate Private Duty Homecare Association (PDHCA) honor Home Care and Hospice Month with the theme Loving Care Tailored to Each Family’s Needs. Private duty offers services to suit every client, whether it involves medical or nonmedical care, grooming or going on errands, helping clients get ready for the day or making them gourmet meals. These services help the aged, infirm, or disabled stay safe and independent at home, wherever they might call home.

For More information visit the NAHC website, here.

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