Home Health & Hospice

The Weekly Roundup

Homecare Insider, October 13, 2015

After Chief Justice Roberts of the U.S. Supreme Court denied an application for the stay of a past ruling by the Court of Appeals—which was submitted by NAHC and co-plaintiffs in an ongoing lawsuit over contentious provisions of a final rule put forth by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL)—the DOL’s plans to extend minimum wage and overtime compensation to thousands of homecare workers across the country take effect Tuesday, though the department states it won’t begin enforcement for another 30 days. NAHC reports that it is evaluating further litigation options. Click here to read the DOL’s latest updates on the new compensation requirements.

The National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) has submitted comments on CMS’ July proposal to add new codes recognizing separate payment for advance care planning, which it included among its set of proposed changes to the Medicare physician fee schedule for calendar year 2016. More specifically, CMS proposed changing CPT codes 99497 and 99498 from “inactive” to “active” to allow payment for advance care planning discussions—a decision that NAHC, along with other aging and healthcare advocates, has long been petitioning. Click here to read the proposed rule containing the advance care planning payment provision and here to read NAHC’s comments on it. 

California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) signed the End of Life Option Act into state law on October 5, a move slated to allow terminally ill patients residing in the nation’s most populous state to request medication that would help them end their own lives—and one that some stakeholders say could influence the future of hospice care. Click here to read the legislation, which The Washington Post reports will likely take effect in early 2016.