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:: NAHC Report
 
  NAHC Report: Issue# 2810, 12/17/2015
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ARTICLE ARCHIVES MEMBER RESOURCES eNEWSLETTERS CARING STORE
Legislation Introduced to Preserve Rural Home Health Services
Update on Expanded Home Health, Hospice Denial Reason Codes
For Your Information: 2016 Private Duty Home Care Conference
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Legislation Introduced to Preserve Rural Home Health Services
Senate bill would extend the 3 percent payment differential for Medicare home health services delivered in rural areas for another five years

Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) and Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) have introduced legislation (S. 2389) to extend the rural add-on for Medicare home health services delivered in rural areas, which is currently set to expire at the end of 2017.

In a Congressional Record statement, Senator Collins explained that she introduced the bill to ensure Medicare patients in rural areas continue to receive the home health services they need. “Failure to extend the rural add-on payment would only put more pressure on rural home health agencies that are already operating on very narrow margins and could force some of the agencies to close their doors altogether,” Senator Collins said. “If any of these agencies were forced to close, the Medicare patients in that region could lose all of their access to home care.”

The Affordable Care Act in 2010 reinstated a 3 percent Medicare payment add-on for home health services delivered to residents of rural areas. Under the legislation the rural add-on payment became effective for visits ending on or after April 1, 2010, and before January 1, 2016. Subsequently, Congress passed legislation earlier this year repealing the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR), which included a two-year extension of the rural add-on through the end of 2017.

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Update on Expanded Home Health, Hospice Denial Reason Codes

The December 4 issue of NAHC Report included coverage of recent action by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to expand the number of denial reason code statements available to the Medicare Administrative Contractors (MACs) for use in adjudicating home health and hospice claims.  The home health and hospice MACs began using the expanded list of denial reason code statements effective December 1, 2015.  At press time lists of the more than 80 detailed denial reason codes was not available; CGS, one of the  home health and hospice MACs, recently posted the lists to its website; they are available here:

Home Health:  http://www.cgsmedicare.com/hhh/medreview/hh_drc.html

Hospice:  http://www.cgsmedicare.com/hhh/medreview/hos_drc.html

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2016 Private Duty Home Care Conference

At the Private Duty Home Care Conference, you’ll participate in education sessions on marketing and operations tactics, financial acuity, staff recruitment and retention, and more. You’ll hear from leaders and experts at lectures, roundtables, panel discussions, and more. You’ll learn from success stories and pioneering strategies with statistical analysis, data-driven forecasting, improvement studies, and more. Our conference faculty will guide you through legal and regulatory changes. We value what Private Duty brings to the industry and we support your business achievements.

The Private Duty Home Care Conference will feature one-and-half days of speakers, education sessions, and networking opportunities in charming Charleston, South Carolina where you’ll enjoy special rates at the Doubletree Hotel in the heart of the Market District. Reserve your room now to take advantage of our special low rate of $159 while rooms are still available.

This conference is where you can get real solutions to real issues. So, together we can make real progress.

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