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NAHC Report: Issue# 2568, 12/15/2014
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NAHC’s Forum of State Associations Sends Letter to CMS Supporting a Phase-in Approach to Face-to-Face Enforcement
House and Senate Pass a Continuing Resolution
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NAHC’s Forum of State Associations Sends Letter to CMS Supporting a Phase-in Approach to Face-to-Face Enforcement

NAHC’s affiliate, the Forum of State Associations (FSA), recently  sent a letter to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Administrator Marilyn Tavenner urging a phased-in approach to the new face-to-face documentation requirements. The new requirements are scheduled to take effect on January 1, 2015. FSA’s letter closely follows one sent by NAHC President Val J. Halamandaris to Ms. Tavenner on the same issue.

According to the letter:

“We write in strong support for a phase-in of the enforcement of the new physician documentation requirements in the Medicare home health services face-to- face physician encounter rule scheduled to take effect on January 1, 2015…

As of this date, neither the industry nor physicians have received any instruction beyond the language change in the final rule. A provider call is scheduled for December 16th. Even if all of the industry’s questions are answered on 12/16/14, there is simply insufficient time with the holiday schedule to conduct internal staff education, develop internal process and checks, along with informing physician referral sources at both private practices and hospitals of the expected changes in their work flow processes.

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House and Senate Pass a Continuing Resolution
The $1.1 trillion measure, signed by the President, averts another shutdown and keeps federal agencies funded for nine more months

After a rare Saturday session, the Senate passed a House-approved, $1.1 trillion that will keep the government funded for nine more months, averting another shutdown until the end of FY2015. The bill was essentially a continuation of the $1.1 trillion budget deal that was brokered back in January between House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Senate Budget Committee Chairwoman Patty Murray (D-WA).

While the spending bill was approved in both the House and the Senate, there was opposition by both the liberal and conservative factions in both chambers, though ultimately not enough to hamper final passage of the bill.

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2014-15 Hospice Salary & Benefits Report Now Available

Hospice licensed practical nurses (LPNs) earned 4.59% more than LPNs in Home Care agencies, according to the 2014-2015 Hospice Salary & Benefits Report, just published by Hospital & Healthcare Compensation Service (HCS).  The national hourly rate (50th percentile) for Hospice LPNs was $21.43 compared to $20.49 for Home Care LPNs.  The difference in pay for 2013 was 3.03%. 


Home Care


% Difference









National 50th percentile hourly data from the 2014-2015 Hospice Salary & Benefits Report

The national turnover rate for Hospice LPNs was 18.83%, compared to 24.59% for Home Care LPNs.  The average number of patient visits per day for Hospice LPNs was 5.04, compared to 6.29 for Home Care LPNs.  (Actual patients are the average number of face-to-face patient visits, including travel and paperwork time.)

The Hospice Salary & Benefits Report, which is published under a cooperative arrangement between Hospital & Healthcare Compensation Service (HCS) and the National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC), had 703 participating hospices and hospice programs that employ more than 41,600 full-time employees.  The complete 260-page Report contains 64 jobs, reporting on salaries, bonuses, and hourly & per visit rates.  Data are reported by state, nine regions, nationally, according to agency type and number of hospice patient days.  Also included are 18 fringe benefits, planned percent increases, turnover rates, and personnel policies.

The Hospice Report may be purchased through the NAHC online CARING Store for $275.Pllease click here to learn more.

 A separate HOMECARE Salary & Benefits Report is available for $325 and contains data from 1,689 home health agencies.  In addition to the Reports, the salary/hourly/visit results may be purchased in Excel. 
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