Capitol Correspondence - 11.04.19

CMS Issues Final Rule on Home Health Payments

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Our members who provide home health services in addition to supports for people with intellectual / developmental disabilities will be interested in the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) newly released home health final rule. As summarized by Politico Pulse:

“The agency on Thursday released a final rule detailing its planned overhaul of how the government pays home health agencies and roughly halved a divisive proposed cut for certain payments.

The rule moves away from paying for the sheer volume of services provided in home health in 2020. Instead of reimbursing for the amount of therapy sessions, CMS will pay providers based on their patients’ clinical characteristics.

A welcome change for providers: CMS dialed back plans for an 8 percent cut for the new payment model, predicting that providers would try and boost their reimbursement under the new system. Instead, the agency revised the adjustment to 4.36 percent.

The National Association for Home Care and Hospice was ‘heartened’ by the change, though the ‘behavioral adjustment remains a concern, albeit to a reduced level,’ NAHC President William Dombi said in a statement. The association thinks providers pay shouldn’t be preemptively adjusted.”