Home Health & Hospice

Home Health & Hospice Articles by Topic: Medical necessity

What does a psychosocial assessment need to include?

  • Homecare Q&A, Issue 14, July 17, 2017

     The CoPs make clear that the plan of care will continue to be based on the comprehensive...

What should you do about a tardy recertification assessment?

  • Homecare Q&A, Issue 7, April 4, 2016

    In response to this question, CMS has said that it is not necessary to discharge and readmit the...

Why wouldn’t two overlapping visits be considered reimbursable by Medicare Advantage?

  • Homecare Q&A, Issue 2, January 18, 2016

    One of our clients had overlapping visit times. The RN visited, provided skilled nursing care, and...

Is applying transdermal patches to a memory-impaired client three times per week covered by Medicare?

  • Homecare Q&A, Issue 2, January 18, 2016

    Thank you for your question and commitment to compliance. Application of the transdermal patch is...

In Focus | Improper payments remain an issue

  • Homecare E-News, Issue 47, November 30, 2015

    The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services released its Agency Financial Report for fiscal...

Weekly Roundup

  • Homecare E-News, Issue 47, November 30, 2015

    Assisted- and independent-living centers can be attractive places to do business for the home...

Inside Story | The role of the care plan and visit notes in maintaining a compliant clinical record

  • Homecare E-News, Issue 43, November 2, 2015

    The written care plan is not simply busywork. It is essential in the organization, delivery...

What should be our frequency of visits?

  • Homecare Q&A, Issue 18, September 17, 2015

     We have an 87-year-old woman who was referred by the wound care center for care of a wound...

We discharged a patient who then resumed services. Are we going to have troubles receiving reimbursement?

  • Homecare Q&A, Issue 17, September 8, 2015

    If an agency discharges a patient and that patient resumes services, there may be questions about...

Can we provide two home health aides to provide care for a quadriplegic patient?

  • Homecare Q&A, Issue 15, August 3, 2015

    Yes, Medicare will cover two visits if two individuals are needed to perform a covered service...

If the patient does not require a skilled bath, can our agency continue to provide this under the state personal care program?

  • Homecare Q&A, Issue 15, August 3, 2015

    Medicare doesn’t differentiate between skilled and unskilled personal care because there...

Can a social worker make just one visit to a patient?

  • Homecare Q&A, Issue 15, August 3, 2015

    If the patient qualifies for medical social services, the social worker can make one visit if...

Is it true that in order for a patient to receive social services under Medicare, that patient must have a skilled need requiring a nurse or a therapist?

  • Homecare Q&A, Issue 15, August 3, 2015

    Yes, it’s true. Medical social services and home health aide services are considered...

Is it true that instead of discharging patients when goals are met, we can recertify them under management and evaluation?

  • Homecare Q&A, Issue 15, August 3, 2015

    What this agency heard is in error and could lead to denials. Just as with any Medicare-covered...

When do we ever admit patients and not teach them?

  • Homecare Q&A, Issue 15, August 3, 2015

    There are very few times that a clinician will admit a patient and not complete some teaching...

Will Medicare cover nursing services twice daily for a PICC line flush and dressing change?

  • Homecare Q&A, Issue 15, August 3, 2015

    Flushing a peripherally inserted central catheter (PICC) line does indeed require the skills of a...

If the patient has an ostomy, cannot change it, and there are no caregivers to learn, does the agency stay in indefinitely?

  • Homecare Q&A, Issue 15, August 3, 2015

    Changing an ostomy bag, even if the patient can’t do it and there’s no caregiver...

When does Medicare consider a wound as chronic/nonhealing and no longer pays for services?

  • Homecare Q&A, Issue 15, August 3, 2015

    You won’t find any mention in the Medicare coverage criteria about chronic or nonhealing...

I have read that CMS in 2015 has added to the Medicare manual that physicians need to estimate how much longer the skilled services will be required. Is there any clarification on this, and are we seeing any claims being denied due to this?

  • Homecare Q&A, Issue 14, July 16, 2015

    According to the final rule for 2015, physicians must state the length of skilled services for...

Homecare Q&A

  • Homecare Q&A, Issue 13, July 2, 2015

    July 3, 2015

What does Patient Care 484.60: Care Planning, Coordination of Services and Quality of Care mean for agencies?

  • Homecare Q&A, Issue 8, June 9, 2015

     First, let’s review for everyone reading what the current CoP is and what is being...

When there is a patient who might be a candidate for maintenance therapy, how do we conduct a proper assessment to determine what kind of therapy is needed?

  • Homecare Q&A, Issue 0, June 9, 2015

    Although the diagnosis and the functional limitations do not stand alone in determining the medical...

If the physician orders vital signs, blood sugar monitoring, and/or pulse oximetry, do we need acceptable parameters on the plan of care?

  • Homecare Q&A, Issue 11, June 3, 2015

    If the physician orders vital signs, blood sugar monitoring, and/or pulse oximetry, do we need...

Is okay to use a range when defining visit frequency?

  • Homecare Q&A, Issue 11, June 3, 2015

    Will you please clarify whether or not it is okay to use a range when defining visit frequency? For...

How are we supposed to use observation and assessment for patients on telemonitoring?

  • Homecare Q&A, Issue 10, May 17, 2015

    How are we supposed to use observation and assessment for patients on telemonitoring?

How can extended daily visits be justified and covered?

  • Homecare Q&A, Issue 10, May 17, 2015

    How can extended daily visits be justified and covered?

Can we use "zero" as a frequency in writing physician orders?

  • Homecare Q&A, Issue 10, May 17, 2015

    Can we use “zero” as a frequency in writing physician orders? For example, physical...

Can a single physical therapy visit determine a need for occupational therapy that is covered under Medicare?

  • Homecare Q&A, Issue 10, May 17, 2015

    Can a single physical therapy visit determine a need for occupational therapy that is covered under...

What are the new therapy reassessment requirements that CMS solidified in its 2015 PPS final rule?

  • Homecare Q&A, Issue 10, May 17, 2015

    What are the new therapy reassessment requirements that CMS solidified in its 2015 PPS final rule...

What does the proposed standard Patient Care 485.65: Quality Assessment & Performance Improvement mean for my agency?

  • Homecare Q&A, Issue 9, May 3, 2015

    My agency has been reviewing the proposed Conditions of Participation (CoP). We are looking at the...

How do we get paid when we have two different payers?traditional Medicare (Part A) and MA?within the same 60-day episode?

  • Homecare Q&A, Issue 9, May 3, 2015

    How do we get paid when we have two different payers—traditional Medicare (Part A) and...

What happens to patients who can self-inject but cannot pre-fill insulin syringes?

  • Homecare Q&A, Issue 9, May 3, 2015

    What happens to patients who can self-inject but cannot pre-fill insulin syringes?

When does Medicare consider a wound as chronic/nonhealing and no longer pay for services?

  • Homecare Q&A, Issue 9, May 3, 2015

    When does Medicare consider a wound as chronic/nonhealing and no longer pay for services?

Is it an appropriate use of Medicare to do three weeks of assessment and venipuncture for a patient hospitalized with deep vein thrombosis (DVT)?

  • Homecare Q&A, Issue 9, May 3, 2015

    Is it an appropriate use of Medicare to do three weeks of assessment and venipuncture for a patient...

Can we get an MD order for a new start of care (SOC) date based on the patient request?

  • Homecare Q&A, Issue 9, May 3, 2015

    Regarding M0102 and M0104: We received a referral and we contacted the patient within the...

Where in the CMS guidelines does it indicate that there should be short-term and longterm goals for therapy?

  • Homecare Q&A, Issue 7, April 3, 2015

    Palmetto and CGS have specific local coverage determinations (LCD) regarding shortand long-term...

Does the start of the VFOs for the HCA need to begin on the day of the new cert period, or can it begin the following week?

  • Homecare Q&A, Issue 7, April 3, 2015

    You can write orders for when the services begin.

How do you encourage reporting and open communication?

  • Homecare Q&A, Issue 6, March 17, 2015

    What you are looking for is a nonpunitive, “just” culture for your agency, or a...

Is a patient who is toileted every two hours covered under Medicare?

  • Homecare Q&A, Issue 6, March 17, 2015

    In combination, the nurse and HHA can provide up to 35 hours a week in medically necessary...

Is it true that the physical therapist has to make a visit no less than once every two weeks when a physical therapy assistant is involved with the same case and primarily doing most visits?

  • Homecare Q&A, Issue 5, March 3, 2015

    On the federal level, the CoPs/ Medicare Benefit Policy Manual states that for all certified...

Will home health remain exempt from overtime compensation in most circumstances like it has for 40 years?

  • Homecare Insider, Issue 1, January 5, 2015

    Will home health remain exempt from overtime compensation in most circumstances like it has for 40...