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:: NAHC Report
 
  NAHC Report: Issue# 2701, 7/10/2015
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ARTICLE ARCHIVES MEMBER RESOURCES eNEWSLETTERS CARING STORE
CMS Holds Its July Home Health and Hospice Open Door Forum
US House of Representatives Passes Health Innovations Bill
For Your Information: NAHC Live Web Event on Hospice Vulnerabilities to be Held on July 16
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CMS Holds Its July Home Health and Hospice Open Door Forum

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) hosted its Home Health, Hospice, and DME Open Door Forum on July 8. A summary of home health and hospice issues are provided below. 

2016 Home Health Payment Rate Update

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a proposed rule (CMS-1625-P) that would update the Medicare Home Health Prospective Payment System (HH PPS) rates and wage index for calendar year (CY) 2016. In the CY 2016 proposed rule, CMS is implementing the third year of the four-year phase-in of the rebasing adjustments to the HH PPS payment. A 2.3 % basket market update is proposed along with a decrease in the national, standardized 60-day episode payment amount by 1.72 percent in each year for CY 2016 and CY 2017 to account for nominal case-mix growth between CY 2012 and CY 2014.

In addition, CMS recalibrated the case mix weights, again, for 2016 and plans to implement annual case mix weight adjustment as part of the payment rate updates. CMS officials announced that the recalibrated case mix weights (Table 9) issued in the propose rule contains errors. CMS has re-issued Table 9 and is posted on the web site. Finally, CMS is proposing to implement a Home Health Value-Based Purchasing (HHVBP) model effective for CY 2016. CMS estimates that the net impact of this proposed rule would result in a decrease in Medicare payments to HHAs of 1.8 percent ($350 million decrease) for CY 2016.

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US House of Representatives Passes Health Innovations Bill

The US House of Representatives passed the 21st Century Cures Act (H.R. 6) by a vote of 344-77 on Friday, July 10. As the National Association for Home Care & Hospice previously reported the legislation contains language of interest to home care and hospice requiring the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to research ways to improve electronic health records, interoperability, and telehealth. It also instructs CMS to report to Congressional committees of jurisdiction on means of expanding telehealth and barriers to its expansion in Medicare, as well as a section on ensuring the interoperability of health information. As currently written, the bill does not make any changes to current telehealth services provided by CMS.

During a press conference earlier this week announcing the scheduled floor consideration of the bill, House Speaker John Boehner praised the legislation as a “breakthrough initiative.”

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NAHC Live Web Event on Hospice Vulnerabilities to be Held on July 16

On Thursday, July 16, 2015, at 1 p.m. Eastern, the National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) will host a live Web event exploring hospice vulnerabilities and providing guidance on how hospices can assess risk and tailor its practices to achieve full compliance.  Registration is available at reduced rates for NAHC members; attendees can choose to participate live or purchase access to a program recording for viewing at a later date. Nursing CEs will be offered.  For previous NAHC Report article on the event, click here.

To register, please go to NAHC’s online CARING STORE.

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