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  NAHC Report: Issue# 2838, 2/4/2016
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Hospice SIA Billing Follows Existing Visit Reporting Rules
Legislation to Expand Medicare Telehealth Reimbursement Introduced
For Your Information: NAHC Announces the March on Washington Conference
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Hospice SIA Billing Follows Existing Visit Reporting Rules

In recent weeks National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) members have requested clarification related to new Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Medicare Claims Processing Manual language (see section 30.2.2) indicating, “The SIA [Service Intensity Add-on] payment is provided for visits of a minimum of 15 minutes [emphasis added] and a maximum of 4 hours per day…” The desire for clarification was prompted by concern that under already existing hospice visit reporting rules visits of less than 15 minutes are reported as a single visit since visits of any length are rounded to the nearest 15-minute increment (“When recording any visit… providers should sum the time for each visit … rounding to the nearest 15 minute increment”), while the manual language on the SIA references visits of a minimum of 15 minutes. The general visit reporting guidance contained in The Medicare Claims Processing Manual contains no reference to a minimum number of minutes that qualify for reporting as a single visit unit for hospice services.

In response, NAHC sought guidance from CMS to ensure that -- despite the SIA manual language -- hospice providers are expected to report visits that ultimately qualify for the SIA in the same manner that they report all other visits. CMS has confirmed that reference to a “minimum of 15 minutes” was intended to describe the lower limit of the range of units (1 to 16) eligible for the SIA, and that visit reporting requirements have not changed. CMS also referenced Medicare Claims Processing instructions for home health agencies directing that “visits of any length are to be reported, rounding the time to the nearest 15-minute increment” as applicable relative to reporting of SIA visits.

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Legislation to Expand Medicare Telehealth Reimbursement Introduced
NAHC Expresses Support for the Bipartisan, Bicameral Legislation

On Wednesday, February 3, 2016, nine bipartisan members of Congress introduced legislation in both the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives that would expand Medicare telehealth services and remote patient monitoring. The Creating Opportunities Now for Necessary and Effective Care Technologies (CONNECT) for Health Act (S. 2484 / H.R. 2442) would lift Medicare’s restrictions on telehealth and provide new tools to make remote patient monitoring more accessible and affordable.

The Senate legislation was introduced by U.S. Senators Brian Schatz (D-HI), Roger Wicker (R-MS), Thad Cochran (R-MS), Ben Cardin (D-MD), John Thune (R-SD), and Mark Warner (D-VA). The House version was introduced by U.S. Representatives Diane Black (R-TN), Peter Welch (D-VT), and Gregg Harper (R-MS).

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NAHC Announces the March on Washington Conference
Mayflower Renaissance Hotel, April 4–5, 2016

NAHC is hosting the 2016 March on Washington Conference in the splendid city of Washington, DC. Now is a critical point as we face new rules that could challenge our mission to serve America’s aged, disabled, and ill. Join us as we work to make home care and hospice the center of health care in our country.

The nation’s capital is the heart of legislative activity that affects home care and hospice. That makes it the perfect place to raise awareness of the vital work we do. Together, we can deliver a unified message to those who make the policies that shape our business. Take advantage of this chance to lobby your lawmakers, connect with colleagues, and attend educational sessions led by experts in our field.

Register and Book Your Hotel!

View the Conference Program!


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