CMS’s Releases Medicare Home Health Final Rule
CMS’s Final Rule on for home health payments was published last week. Here’s a summary:
- Medicare home health rates will increase 2.6% effective 1/1/22.
- The 30-day national payment rate increases to $2,031.65.
- CMS projects that Medicare home health spending will increase by $570 million.
- All 432 case mix weights have been recalibrated.
- The 5% cap on wage index changes has been eliminated.
- The national roll-out of Home Health Value-based Purchasing (HHVBP) has been delayed until 1/1/23. 2022 will be a pre-implementation year to collect data and issue sample performance reports. The baseline data year remains 2019. Payments will be impacted in 2025.
The Final Rule also includes changes to the CoPs:
- The 14-day RN supervisory visit of home care aides may be conducted by interactive telecommunications but is limited to one virtual supervisory visit in a 60-day period.
- For patients not receiving skilled services, 60-day RN supervisory visits no longer need to be in person. The RN must assess the quality of care and ensure services meet the patient’s needs.
- The RN must make a semi-annual visit to the location where the patient is receiving care.
- OTs may conduct the initial and comprehensive assessment when there is another rehab service that qualifies eligibility and skilled nursing is not part of the PoC.
Hospice provisions included in Final Home Health Rule:
- Codifies that standard hospice surveys will be conducted every 36 months, and sooner for complaints or concerns
- Requires states to have a Hospice Hotline
- Requires surveyors to have hospice-specific surveyor training
- Requires surveys to disclose conflicts and have opportunity to recuse themselves
- Survey teams must include an RN and other professionals from a hospice IDT
- The rule outlined penalties (including civil monetary penalties), corrective plans and appeal procedures.