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  NAHC Report: Issue# 2644, 4/15/2015
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NAHC President Val J. Halamandaris Praises ‘Doc Fix’ Passage
Registration in CMS IACS System to Resume
For Your Information: NAHC Offers Hospice “Survey Readiness” Educational Opportunity
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NAHC President Val J. Halamandaris Praises ‘Doc Fix’ Passage
Congress passes SGR legislation; President Obama vows to sign it

Late last night, an overwhelming majority of U.S. Senators passed Medicare legislation that reforms the physician payment formula known as the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR).  With the House having already passed identical legislation last month, the ‘doc fix’ bill now goes to President Barack Obama who has already praised the legislation and vowed to sign it.

The Senate passed the bill with 92 senators voting in favor and only 8 senators voting against.  Last month, the House pass the same bill by an overwhelming margin, with 392 members voting in favor, 37 against, and four not voting.

Val J. Halamandaris, President of the National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC), praised both houses of Congress for passing the bill.

“The Wicked Witch is dead,” Halamandaris said.  “This bill lifts a black cloud that has been perpetuated over the ill, aged, and disabled for over a decade.  The flawed physician payment formula has been like a game of Russian roulette with a gun at the head of the physicians of America.  I want to thank Speaker John Boehner and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi for reaching across the aisle to negotiate this miraculous agreement.  I also want to thank Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Minority Leader Harry Reid for ushering the compromise through the Senate, as well as President Barack Obama for supporting and agreeing to sign it.  This bill is a good thing for the providers that have financed 17 previous patches through reductions in their payment rates.”

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Registration in CMS IACS System to Resume

In late January the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) began a planned one-week transition of the Provider Statistical and Reimbursement Report (PS&R) application from the IACS system to the EIDM system.  The transition met with unanticipated technical problems and was postponed until further notice.  In the meantime, providers who were not active in the IACS system at the start of the systems transition have not been able to register in the IACS system and have been unable to access their PS&R reports; this has created difficulties for a number of hospice providers relative to self-calculation and reporting of the 2014 aggregate cap as well as for home health providers that were under deadline to meet cost reporting requirements.

Two of CMS’s HHH contractors (CGS and National Government Services) have announced that effective April 15, 2015, CMS is re-enabling registration in the IACS system. CMS IACS Registration help can be accessed here:

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NAHC Offers Hospice “Survey Readiness” Educational Opportunity
Registration Currently Available for April 22 Event

In October 2014, President Obama signed The IMPACT Act into law requiring that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), for the first time ever, ensure that each Medicare-certified hospice undergo a survey at least once every 36 months.  The requirement became effective in early April 2015, so CMS and state survey agencies have been gearing up to tackle the increased survey frequency.  However, some hospices have not had a state survey since before the revised Hospice Conditions of Participation (CoP) went into effect in late 2008.  Much may have changed since the last time a surveyor came on-site to assess the hospice’s adherence to the CoP. 

In anticipation of the greater frequency of surveys and need for hospices to prepare, the National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) is offering a 90-minute web event designed to help hospice agencies  ensure that they are survey-ready.  The session will review the CMS’ implementation plans for the IMPACT Act and walk through the hospice federal recertification survey process.  NAHC will review the steps the surveyor(s) will take and the reports, forms, and documents hospices should have on hand or have ready access to for each of these steps.  NAHC will also advise on how to handle concerns identified by the surveyor and how to manage the survey process and the surveyor(s).  For instance, what should a hospice be prepared to provide the surveyor during the entrance interview and how much time does the hospice have to supply the information to the surveyor.

The web event—titled “Hospice Survey Preparedness and Readiness”—will occur Wednesday, April 22, from 3:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. (Eastern).

NAHC President Val J. Halamandaris, JD, will moderate the web event.  The session will include panel presentations by hospice policy experts Katie Wehri, CHC, CHPC, Hospice Operations Expert, and Theresa Forster, Vice President for Hospice Policy & Programs at NAHC.

The registration fee for participation is $125 for members and $225 for non-members. No refunds are allowed after April 20, 2015. Until that date, a 25 percent administrative cancelation fee will be charged for all cancelations. Cancelation must be made in writing to

Regarding continuing education credits (CEUs), 1.5 CEUs will be applied for Nurses.

For those unable to participate and others interested, a recording will be available for purchase after the event.

If you have questions, please email or call 866.863.3903 to receive assistance from a NAHC representative.

Click here to register for the event.

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