Home Health & Hospice

The Weekly Roundup

Homecare Insider, October 19, 2015

On October 9, members of the House Budget Committee approved a package of legislation that would repeal certain provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA)—a move that’s largely supported by the National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) because of the bill’s aim to revoke the employer and individual mandates, the Independent Payment Advisory Board, and other provisions thought to negatively impact home health and hospice providers. Click here to read NAHC’s commentary on this development.

Earlier this month, NAHC, LeadingAge, VNAA, and several other postacute care (PAC) provider organizations sent a joint letter to House Ways & Means Health Subcommittee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-Texas) and Congressman Ron Kind (D-Wisconsin) to voice their concerns over legislation the lawmakers introduced earlier this year that would establish a single value-based purchasing program for all PAC services. In the letter, the trade associations argued that the bill, entitled the Medicare Post-Acute Care Value-Based Purchasing Act of 2015 (H.R. 3298), features a flawed program design and an implementation timeline that is out of sync with the one set forth by the Improving Medicare Post-Acute Care Transformation (IMPACT) Act of 2014. Click here to read H.R. 3298, and here to read the letter detailing the trade associations’ qualms with it.
Last Tuesday, NAHC submitted comments to CMS on the pair of clinical templates the agency has proposed to aid physicians in writing progress notes that support certification and coverage of home health services. The templates are one of CMS’ latest efforts to alleviate the provider burdens and uncertainties associated with current face-to-face encounter documentation requirements. In its comments, NAHC highlighted concerns on several fronts, including the level of guesswork the proposed templates still leave physicians, the amount of time necessary to complete the documents, a statement inaccuracy in one of the prompts, and a perceived discrepancy between a template instruction and standing industry requirement. Click here to read NAHC’s full set of comments.