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  • Congress to CMS: Vouch for face-to-face policy

    The $1.1 trillion spending bill recently passed by Congress to fund the government through September 2015 includes “report language” asking CMS to justify its contentious physician face-to-face encounter requirement for home health certification.

  • CMS proposes rule that LTC facilities would have to recognize same-sex marriages

     

    Long-term care facilities in all states would have to recognize certain same-sex marriages in order to participate in Medicare and Medicaid, under a proposed rule released Thursday.
     
    The proposed rule states: Our goal is to provide equal treatment to spouses, regardless of their sex, whenever the marriage was valid in the jurisdiction in which it was entered into, without regard to whether the marriage is also recognized in the state of residence or the jurisdiction in which the healthcare provider or supplier is located.

     

     

  • HHAs to see stars on Home Health Compare

    Last Thursday, CMS announced that it will introduce a star rating methodology to Home Health Compare to enhance reporting on the quality of care delivered by home health agencies.

  • New ACO proposals could provide boost to LTC providers

    CMS released a new proposal to strengthen the Shared Savings Program for ACOs. The rule proposes changes to several program areas including:
    ·         beneficiary assignment
    ·          data sharing
    ·         available performance risk models
    ·         eligibility requirements
    ·         participation agreement renewals
    ·         compliance and monitoring

  • Insufficient Medicare reimbursements may threaten patients’ access to home health, report suggests

    Most HHAs and physicians report that access to home healthcare for Medicare beneficiaries is good; however, in a new report to Congress, some providers also pointed to insufficient reimbursement as a lingering barrier to serving this vulnerable patient population.

  • CMS updates guidance for surveyors

    Nursing home surveyors should question staff members to ensure that residents' care is aligned with their advance directives, according to a manual update recently released by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. The document released Wednesday includes revised guidance for more than 20 F-Tags, including those related to dementia care, restraints and nasogastric tubes.

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