Home Health & Hospice

Weekly Roundup

Homecare Insider, November 2, 2015

CMS releases CY 2016 final rule
After receiving 118 comments from the public, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a final rule (CMS-1625-F) that updates the Medicare Home Health Prospective Payment System (HH PPS) rates and wage index for calendar year (CY) 2016. CMS estimates that the net impact of the payment provisions of the final rule will be a decrease of 1.4 percent ($260 million) in Medicare payments to HHAs for CY 2016. Along with the payment update, CMS is revising the ICD-10-CM translation list and adding certain initial encounter codes to the HH PPS Grouper based on revised ICD-10-CM coding guidance. Click here to read the final rule.
CMS issues proposed discharge rule
In an effort to implement certain pieces of the Improving Medicare Post-Acute Care Transformation Act of 2014 (IMPACT Act), CMS has proposed to mandate that HHAs share discharge data, as well as to implement the following measures that stand to affect home health agencies:
  • Require hospitals and critical access hospitals (CAH) to provide discharge instructions to patients who are discharged home
  • Require hospitals and CAHs to maintain a medication reconciliation process to improve patient safety and enhance medication management
  • Require that, for patients who are transferred to another facility, providers (including HHAs) send specific medical information to the receiving facility
  • Require hospitals and CAHs to establish a post-discharge follow-up process
Click here to read more on the proposal.  
Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services requests $6.5 million
The Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services (KDADS) has calculated that the agency will need an additional $6.5 million to comply with the recently passed ruling that extends overtime and wage protections to thousands of in-home workers around the country. KDADS is mostly concerned about covering wages for sleep-support workers, who render care to individuals while they sleep. Under the new rule, these workers cannot be paid on a daily-rate basis; they are now required to be minimum-wage hourly. While the rule takes effect mid-month, federal officials have said they will not enforce it until 2016. Click here to read more on KDADS’ request.