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  NAHC Report: Issue #3015, 10/18/2016
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COLA Hike Might Bring Big Medicare Premium Increases
Hospice NOE/NOTR Update
For Your Information: New Emergency Preparedness Pre Conference Workshop to Answer Your Questions
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COLA Hike Might Bring Big Medicare Premium Increases

Social Security’s annual cost of living adjustment (COLA) will be 0.3 percent in 2017, the federal government announced Tuesday. The increase could mean a large premium increase for many Medicare Part B beneficiaries. The COLA is pegged to consumer price inflation (CPI) in the year that ended last September.

It is unclear how much Medicare premiums might increase, though a hike of 22 percent was projected by the Medicare trustees earlier this year. Though Medicare has not announced the final 2017 premium increases, word on that could come in the next few weeks. Last year the Department of Health and Human Services made the announcement on November 10, 2016

According to the 2016 Medicare Trustees Report, Part B premiums are currently scheduled to increase from $121.80/month this year up to $149/month, a bump of 22 percent. The trustees also estimate the Part B deductible will rise from $166 to $204 next year for all enrollees. Those numbers are only estimates and the actual figures could well be different.

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Hospice NOE/NOTR Update

Based on hospice provider feedback, the National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) understands that problems associated with timely submission/acceptance of hospice Notices of Election (NOE), as well as Notices of Termination and Revocation (NOTR), continue to have a substantial negative impact on hospice revenues and operations.  The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is engaged in ongoing efforts to address these concerns.

NAHC is providing the following update on progress in this area, based on recent discussion with CMS staff.  CMS’ current plan to mitigate existing problems with NOE submission and acceptance by the Medicare Administrative Contractors (MACs) involves three separate efforts:

  1. Redesign of the Common Working File (CWF) in order to have benefit period information separate from election information independent of claims processing to allow for greater functionality,
  2. Modification of the 837i (institutional electronic claim) transaction to allow for electronic submission of the NOE, and
  3. Significant revamping of information included in the Medicare Claims Processing Manual related to NOE, NOTR, and CHOW.

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New Emergency Preparedness Pre Conference Workshop to Answer Your Questions
NAHC 2016 Annual Meeting Conference and Exposition, October 23, 2016 in Orlando, Florida

Register for the Conference

View the Educational Content

NAHC’s 2016 Annual Meeting & Exposition is sponsored by:

Point Click Care
Homecare Homebase
Ability Network
Benefits in a Card

Relias Learning

This interactive workshop, which places special emphasis on home-based care (including home health and hospice home and inpatient care) will assist agencies in understanding and executing the four major components of the regulation, which are:

  1. Developing an Emergency Plan (ALL HAZARDS APPROACH):  Providers must develop an emergency plan using an all-hazards approach focusing on capacities and capabilities that are critical to preparedness for a full spectrum of emergencies and disasters.
  2. Establishing Organizational Policies and Procedures:  Providers must develop and implement policies and procedures based on the emergency plan and risk assessment.
  3. Developing and Maintaining a Communication Plan:  Providers must develop and maintain a communication plan that complies with both federal and state law. Patient care must be well-coordinated within the facility, across health care providers and with state and local public health departments and emergency systems.
  4. Conduct a Training and Testing Program:  Providers must develop and maintain training and testing programs, including initial and annual trainings, and conduct drills and exercises or participate in an actual incident that tests the plan.

OBJECTIVES:  At the conclusion of the session attendees will be able to:

  • Conduct a risk assessment (hazard vulnerability assessment)
  • Describe home health and hospice providers’ role in local healthcare coalitions
  • Secure a GETS/WPS card for communication during an event
  • Define surge capacity , patient classification, and patient transportation levels
  • Identify key areas of the organizational disaster plan that require revision or enhancement

SPECIAL NOTE:  PACE programs are welcome to attend as this session is applicable to PACE as well.

Faculty: Barbara B. Citarella MS, RN, President, RBC Limited Healthcare & Management Consultants, Staatsburg, NY
Barbara Citarella is the CEO, President, and founder of the award winning national company RBC Limited, a healthcare and management company specializing in healthcare operations including home care and hospice. She has worked extensively with agencies in the areas of infection control, disaster preparedness, corporate compliance, accreditation, strategic planning and leadership.

To learn more, click here. To register, click here.

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