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Home Health & Hospice

Information, education, and guidance on complex topics such as Medicare compliance, agency management, coding and documentation, billing, aide training, and clinical management to help home health and hospice clinical staff, coders, staff educators, and administrators break down confusing regulations into easy-to-understand processes and procedures.

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Top Stories

  • Hospices affected by Hurricane Matthew can file for exemption for data reporting

    Hospices affected by Hurricane Matthew can file for exemption of data reporting Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) intends to grant quality reporting data submission and validation exceptions to Medicare providers in several care settings adversely affected by the devastating impact of Hurricane Matthew, including post-acute care settings such as Long-Term Care Hospitals (LTCHs), Inpatient Rehabilitation Facilities (IRFs), Hospice, and Skilled Nursing Facilities (SNFs). For the specified reporting quarter(s), as indicated in this communication, affected providers will not be required to submit quality measure data to meet submission requirements.

  • Hospice exemption for CAHPS deadline fast approaching; CASPER reports available soon

    The exemption form for being exempt from submitted CAHPS data due to small size is due by December 31, 2016, which was extended from August. Hospices that have served fewer than 50 eligible decedents/caregivers during the 2015 calendar year are eligible for this exemption, although hospices must apply to this exemption each year.

  • Federal judge issues nationwide preliminary injunction to overtime exemption rule

    Last week, a federal judge with the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas issued a nationwide preliminary injunction that blocks the implementation of a Department of Labor rule setting qualifications for the overtime exemption of certain employees.

  • Approximately one million fewer Americans suffering from dementia

    Between 2000 and 2012, dementia rates among U.S. seniors show a significant decline, dropping from 11.6% in 2000 to 8.8% in 2012, according to a study published by JAMA Internal Medicine on November 21, 2016. Researchers confirm that this decline is a continuation from the declining prevalence formerly studied between 1993 and 2000.

  • CMS releases home health consolidated billing code changes

    The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has updated the lists of HCPCS codes that are subject to the consolidated billing provision of the Home Health Prospective Payment System (HH PPS).
    The home health consolidated billing code lists are updated annually to reflect the annual changes to the HCPCS code set. Note that no additional services have been added to consolidated billing by these updates—they reflect only changes to HCPCS.

  • Physical activity for patients with chronic illnesses

    Physical activity is a cornerstone of health, even for people with multiple chronic conditions. It is a preventive and restorative medicine that many physicians would write a prescription for if possible. Exercise capacity, or muscle strength, can be improved in patients with various diseases without having detrimental effects on disease progression. Regular physical activity is one means of decreasing disability and increasing the number of independently living elderly people, as well as decreasing the costs of the healthcare system.

    Long periods of inactivity lead to weakness, stiffness, fatigue, obesity, and sarcopenia, or loss of muscle tissue from the aging process. Sarcopenia is associated with poor physical performance and functional decline. Many consequences of sarcopenia are prognostic indicators of public health burden, such as the development of physical disability, nursing home admission, depression, hospitalization, and even mortality (Guralnik et al., 2000).


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