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:: NAHC Report
 
  NAHC Report: Issue# 2633, 3/30/2015
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ARTICLE ARCHIVES MEMBER RESOURCES eNEWSLETTERS CARING STORE
HHC Star Rating Preview Reports Available Soon
More Congressional Support for Rural Add-on Extension
For Your Information: Reminder: Hospice Self-Calculation of Aggregate Cap – Meet March 31 Deadline or Payments will be Suspended
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HHC Star Rating Preview Reports Available Soon

On March 26, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) conducted a webinar to introduce home health agencies to the Home Health Compare (HHC) Star Rating preview report.

Star ratings will be published on HHC in mid-July 2015.  The HHC Star Ratings will be based on OASIS data, from January through December 2014, and claims data, from October 2013 through September 2014. These are the same data underlying the quality measures scores that will be published on HHC in April 2015 under the current schedule.

The HHC Star Ratings will be updated quarterly. Agencies will have an opportunity to review their star rating each quarter prior to them being posted on HHC. The first preview report will be available in late March.

The HHC Star Rating Provider Preview Report includes an overall HHC Star Rating for the provider, a description of how the HHC Star Rating is calculated, and a “scorecard” showing the actual calculation of the HHC Star Rating for the provider.

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More Congressional Support for Rural Add-on Extension

The 3 percent rural add-on payment for home health services is currently set to expire at the end of 2015. Last week, NAHC reported that the House-passed bill to permanently replace the sustainable growth rate (SGR) includes a two-year extension of the 3 percent rural add-on. Subsequently, the Senate adjourned for a two-week recess before voting on the bill. However, Senate leaders have indicated they plan to consider it after returning on April 13. The Senate is expected to pass the legislation, including the rural add-on, with strong support on both sides of the aisle.

Before the House took this action extending the rural add-on for two years, U.S. Senators Susan Collins and Maria Cantwell, last week, introduced S. 839, a bill that would extend the rural add-on for another five years. Senator Collins had previously expressed to NAHC her interest in introducing this bill. The support from these Senators and others in Congress contributed significantly to the inclusion of the two-year extension in the SGR bill.

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Reminder: Hospice Self-Calculation of Aggregate Cap – Meet March 31 Deadline or Payments will be Suspended

All Medicare-participating hospice providers must self-calculate their 2014 hospice aggregate cap and report it to their assigned Medicare Administrative Contractor (MAC) by MARCH 31, 2015. Failure to submit the cap calculation by the deadline will result in payment suspension.  Hospices will be required to submit aggregate cap calculations on an annual basis from here on out.

This is a result of a new Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) requirement for hospices to self-calculate and report their aggregate cap status to their assigned MAC within five months following the close of the cap year, beginning with the 2014 cap year. The National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) has made a concerted effort to keep hospice providers apprised of issues related to the requirement. Hospices are also required to pay back or make payment arrangements for any liability within this same time frame.

For more information about the hospice cap reporting requirements and how to meet the requirements, please see this previous NAHC report story that provided answers to frequently-asked questions.

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