Home Health & Hospice

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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

  • In Focus | What CJR means for home health

    On November 16, 2015, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued the final rule for bundled payment demonstration on hip and knee joint replacement. The rule will go into effect April 1, 2016, which is four months after the initially propose effective date of January 1, 2016. The later date will serve home health well, as the January 1 date is not only fast-approaching, but was the implementation date for the Home Health Value Based Purchasing (HHVBP) Model occurring in nine states.

  • Weekly Roundup

    The National Quality Forum (NQF) announced its plan to review standardized performance measure that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is considering for use in federal health programs. The review is done by the Measure Applications Partnership (MAP), and includes a hospital workgroup, clinician workgroup, and post-acute and long-term care workgroup that identify gaps in measurement across settings and prioritizes the measures.

     

  • Barring any state restrictions, are home health aides employed by a Medicare--certified agency permitted to apply a dry dressing to a wound if a patient prepares it or not?

    No, home health aides are not permitted to apply any dressing to a wound, incision, etc.  They are allowed only to apply non-prescription creams, lotions, etc. to a patient.

  • What content would be in a best practice statement for homecare providers?

    Best practice should identify clinical actions—assessment, teaching, procedures, coordination, etc.—that apply in a given situation. It should include a range of activities, not just assessment, and focus on care delivery actions, not just documentation. (Documentation should flow from the care provided.) The best practice statement should provide information for the clinician to know exactly what to do, when, how, etc.

  • In Focus | Improper payments remain an issue

    The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services released its Agency Financial Report for fiscal year 2015. The report states that the improper payment rate rose about 7.5% since the previous year. The primary causes of improper payments are insufficient documentation and medical necessity errors.
    The report also hints that it might require contractors to be more proactive in catching potential improper payments in the future. It states:

  • Weekly Roundup

    Assisted- and independent-living centers can be attractive places to do business for the home healthcare agencies, according to a recent article in the Columbus Dispatch. Some agencies, in fact, rent space inside assisted-living centers where they have patients. The arrangements often are legal, but they also can create an environment for illegal kickbacks, according to experts.

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