Home Health Care News

Things Your Agency Should Be Doing To Stay Safe During the COVID-19 Pandemic On New Year’s Day, the Wall Street Journal reported the latest, emerging COVID-19 virus variants. Meanwhile, many countries face a second surge of coronavirus infections. This startling news leaves many agency owners and...

Shelter-in-Place. Self-quarantine. Telehealth. Work-from-home. Zoom Meetings.  Microsoft Teams. Google Hangouts. Conference Calls.  Limited gatherings. COVID-19. Today’s home healthcare seems to reflect all the above changing work environments. We have seen the impact on patient care and the quick implementation of telehealth visits for home health in the name of flattening the curve, but the impact of COVID-19 goes beyond our patients. 

On November 4, 2020 the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) published the final rule for 2021. Overall the changes this year were minimal since this was the first year for the Patient-Driven Groupings Model (PDGM) and there is not enough data to support significant changes. Furthermore, the COVID pandemic affected industry operations which mitigated reform to the PDGM payment structure. Agencies should review the changes affecting their operations from the fifty-nine-page rule, but here is a quick glance at the updates:

States may be complicating non-physician certifications in home health care, as hospitalizations and homecare needs rise. In this edition of the Homecare Software blog...the CARES Act has made it possible for nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and clinical nurse specialists to certify eligibility for home health. This has facilitated movement in the home health care industry towards eliminating Medicare’s rigid physician certification requirements and policies. Congress first warmed to the idea of allowing non-physician certification in the early spring just as the COVID-19 pandemic was beginning to surge. At the end of the day, in spite of the federal government’s efforts, states by law have the final say when it comes to making these overtures into reality.

The worldwide Coronavirus pandemic has caused ripple effects across numerous sectors of the global and local economies. A dramatic shift upwards in demand for homecare and medical care in general, has subsequently changed the way that healthcare is delivered and received on many fronts.

CMS Extends Moratorium Affecting New Home Health Care Agency Openings in Certain Cities

 

In this edition of the Homecare Software blog, we turn our attention to the CMS, and its crack down on fraud prevention in selected areas of the U.S. As of Feb 2015, the Centers For Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has opted to extend a recently imposed moratorium on new Medicare home healthcare agencies for an additional six months. Also included within those affected by the moratorium are subunits and ambulance suppliers in many of the major cities targeted as part of the CMS’s ongoing efforts to end fraud in the industry.

Can home health care agencies bill Medicare Part B for outpatient services? 

 

Outpatient Therapy Services BillingYes. According to CMS, outpatient therapy services may be provided by a home health agency to patients who are not homebound or otherwise are not receiving services under a home health plan of care (POC). These services are not paid under the Home Health Prospective Payment System (HH PPS). The reimbursement for the outpatient therapy services is calculated using the Medicare Physician’s Fee Schedule (MPFS).

Choosing EVV Software

 

How do I choose EVV software?As the 21st Century Cures act moves to the forefront of home health agency staffs, many agencies find themselves trying to prepare for the inevitable. According to their official website www.medicaid.gov, all U.S states are required by law to implement an approved electronic visit verification system for all Medicaid-funded personal care services by January 1, 2020, and home health care services by January 1, 2023. Any non-compliant states will face financial penalties unless they have an authentic delay reason or burden which prevented their compliance.   To meet state requirements, when selecting a software vendor for EVV compliance, agencies performing personal care and home health services need to be sure to do their homework.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and State Survey Agencies (SSAs) are conducting targeted infection control surveys of select home health and hospice providers to ensure providers are following proper infection control practices during the COVID-19 public health emergency. Organizations are being identified for the surveys through collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Health and Human Services Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR).

Using Home Health Software Can Reduce Person-to-Person Contact & Facilitate Remote Work Across the country these past several days, many states are implementing stay-at-home or essential-travel only orders for their citizens. For Home Health professionals, the encouragement to practice social distancing to protect ourselves, our families...