In The News

Volunteering and Community Service: Opportunities for Healthcare Professionals

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, many healthcare professionals have expressed an interest in helping. The U.S. Dept. of Health & Human Services are sharing three great options for healthcare professionals who want to join the COVID-19 response – and there are many opportunities for lay people to serve as well. Visit the HHS website to learn more about the Emergency System for Advance Registration of Volunteer Health Professionals, the Medical Reserve Corps, and the National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster. As we move into the Hurricane season in the U.S., these organizations are often sources of support.

 

 

Home Health Notice of Admission (NOA)

The home heath notice of admission (NOA) 837I Companion Guide has been posted on the home health Coding and Billing website (first link in the download section). CMS is working on the Change Request and hopes to have it released sometime next month. 

 

 

NAHC Analysis of the Home Health Quality Reporting Program Part of the FY2022 Hospice Payment Rule

From the National Association for Home Care & Hospice

There is one section of this hospice proposed rule that addresses home health, related to the public display of home health quality data for the HH QRP.  Specifically, CMS is proposing to modify the public display schedule to display fewer quarters of data than what was previously finalized for certain HH QRP measures for the January 2022 Care Compare refreshes.

Under the current HH QRP public display policy, Home Health Compare uses 4 quarters of data to publicly display OASIS-based measures, and 4 or more quarters of data to publicly display claims-based measures. We use four rolling quarters of data to publicly display Home Health Care Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HHCAHPS) Survey measures on Care Compare.

On March 27, 2020, CMS sent a guidance memorandum implementing changes to the HH QRP public display schedule due to the COVID-19 PHE. CMS will resume publicly displaying HH QRP claims-based measures in January 2022.  To determine which quarters of data to utilize for future public reporting, CMS conducted an analysis comparing the data available and the reliability and validity of this data under two different scenarios – Standard Public Reporting (SPR) and COVID-19 PHE Affected Reporting (CAR). 

Read Full Article

 

CMS Proposed Hospice Rule Released

CMS has posted a notice for the FY 2022 Hospice Wage Index and Payment Rate Update, Hospice Conditions of Participation Updates, Hospice and Home Health Quality Reporting Program Requirements on the Federal Register for public inspection. Find the unpublished document here (scheduled for publishing on April 14, 2021). 

As proposed, hospices would see a 2.3% ($530 million) increase in their payments for FY 2022, effective October 1, 2021, based on the estimated 2.5% inpatient hospital market basket reduced by the multifactor productivity adjustment (0.2 percentage point). Hospices that fail to meet quality reporting requirements receive a 2% point reduction to the annual market basket update for FY 2022. The proposed non-wage-adjusted Hospice CAP per-beneficiary is $31,389.66, compared to the current CAP of $30,683.93.

The rule also proposes: 

  • Changes to the hospice conditions of participation; 
  • Clarification regarding the hospice election statement addendum; 
  • Making select regulatory blanket waivers for hospice agencies during the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (PHE) permanent; 
  • Inclusion of a new claims-based Hospice Care Index (HCI) measure as part of the Hospice Quality Reporting Program (HQRP); 
  • Addition of a CAHPS Hospice Survey star rating; 
  • Removal of the seven Hospice Item Set (HIS) measures from public reporting; 
  • Updates on the HOPE tool and future quality measures; 
  • A Solicitation of Comments to assist in transformation of CMS’ quality measurement enterprise to be fully digital; 
  • A Solicitation of Public Comment on whether activities related to measures adopted as the result of the Improving Medicare Post-Acute Care Transformation (IMPACT) Act should be expanded for potential utilization under the HQRP; and 
  • A RFI on closing the health equity gap in post-acute care quality reporting programs. 

More Information:

Comments must be submitted by June 7, 2021.

 

2021 Hospice PEPPER Released

The 2021 Hospice PEPPER was released on Monday, April 5th. Click here to view the distribution schedule and access your PEPPER. The Home Health PEPPER is scheduled to release July 9, 2021. 

 

 

 

 


 
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