CMS Issues Final Rule for 2015

Late Thursday CMS released its final rule for 2015 Medicare Home Health PPS rates. CMS also finalized some of the other proposals – including eliminating the physician narrative to the face-to-face requirements.

Below are some highlights of the Final Rule:

  1. The physician F2F narrative requirement has been eliminated effective January 1, 2015. The F2F encounter will still need to occur and be documented.  Physicians will need to have documentation in their patients’ medical record to support homebound status and need for skilled care. However, home health agencies will be able to provide their record to physicians so that it can be included in the patients’ record.
  2. Rate rebasing continues, case mix weights are recalibrated, and there is a blended wage index for new CBSAs (no CBSA changes in NH.)
  3. The 13th and 19th PT evaluations are eliminated. Assessments must occur every 30 days (not 14 days as originally proposed.)

For more detail, check out the NAHC Report or the 256-page CMS Rule.

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