Home Health Care News

Relief Fund Payments for Medicaid Only Providers Released by HHS

 

Medicaid Relief Fund Payments

June 10,2020 - In the latest home health news, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), via the Health Resources and Services Administration (HHA), has announced $15 billion dollars in additional distributions from the CARES Act "Provider Relief Fund," which is available to Medicaid and Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) eligible providers participating in state Medicaid and CHIP programs. The welcome news comes at a time where many agencies are still navigating the challenges of providing care in the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the healthcare sector and the businesses that operate within it consistently since its onset. At ALORA, we continue to serve our customers & partners at the highest level. In this blog we outline some of the things we are doing to ensure business continuity, employee safety, and customer service through the challenges the Coronavirus continues to present...

New Study Shows Duration of Average Home Health Care Visits Indicates Direct Correlation to Future Hospital Admissions in Patients

 

Home Health NewsIn the past few years, the conclusion of most experts seems unanimous that patients receiving home health care exhibit a lower tendency to go to emergency rooms and require hospitalization. This also reduces costs for the government, states, private insurers, and the patients themselves due to soaring hospitalization costs. New data digs a little further on the topic, citing that the length of the actual home health visits on a case by case basis, can actually influence the chances of hospitalization and re-hospitalization. A study revealed that home health and homecare visits with lengths of time spanning from one minute above recorded averages and up, may in fact be tied to lower hospital readmission rates on a national basis. The study’s findings are significant in that they suggest that the quality, length and quantity of what services are provided to patients during home health visits have a large impact on patient outcomes and economic bottom lines. In other words, one minute here and there dedicated to extra care, diagnosis, and services, can prevent hours and days of re-hospitalization and the costs that accompany it.

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Study Indicates African American Patients Receiving Home Health Care Yield Higher Re-hospitalization Statistics

 

[caption id="attachment_15211" align="alignleft" width="300"]Homecare News Homecare visits and Re-hospitilazation[/caption]

More than 12 million people annually receive home health care services in the United States. A large percentage of these patients are considered elderly (above the age of 60). Home health care agencies afford families and individuals the convenience of treatment and monitoring within their homes for a variety of different ailments and conditions. Often times these homecare services occur on the heels of major surgeries or short and long term hospitalizations. A group of researchers at the University of Missouri recently conducted a study that suggests that within the larger group of elderly patients receiving home care following hospitalization, the sub-group of racial and ethnic minorities (in particular African Americans) may be at greater risk of returning to the hospital or emergency room (ER), compared those with the ethnicity of non-Hispanic whites.

As EVV Mandates Approached - Lawmakers Wanted More Time

EVV extensionIn the last few years, several states in the U.S have implemented mandated EVV not only to reduce fraud, but to keep tighter controls on how homecare visits are conducted and funded. The 21st Century Cures Act, which is an over 6 billion dollar conglomerate of legislation enacted as law under the Obama administration, basically states that Medicaid-reimbursed home care providers nationally must begin implementing approved EVV systems prior to Jan. 1, 2019. U.S. lawmakers then introduced legislation to delay this implementation of electronic visit verification (EVV) in home care by at least one additional year.

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RCD Moves Forward in Texas and North Carolina

In the latest news for RCD, the choice selection period for Home Health Agencies (HHAs) located in Texas officially began on Jan 15th 2020, and will end on Feb 13th, 2020. HHAs can visit Palmetto GBA’s provider portal here for additional information and details on selection process. The portal guides HHAs through viewing their available choices and making selections. Any HHAs that do not make a choice selection by the February 13, 2020 deadline will be automatically placed in Choice 2: Post payment Review. After the conclusion of the choice selection period, the demonstration will begin in Texas on March 2, 2020, and all episodes of care starting on or after that date will be subject to requirements of the choice selected.

Medicare Advantage Plans for 2020

 

CMS Signals New Home Care Benefits Coming in 2020 with MA Plans

 

 (MA) plans (Medicare Advantage plans) are poised to release a new set of benefits for home care in 2020. Home care premiums are anticipated to experience a significant drop by more than 22%, this the announcement from the current federal government.