October 2018 Industry News

Proposed Rule to Ease Burden on Providers

On September 17, 2018, there was a proposed rule announced by CMS which would relieve burden on health care providers by removing obsolete, unnecessary, and excessive burdensome Medicare compliance requirements for health care facilities. Savings are estimated at $5.2 billion.This proposal is in response to the President’s charge to federal agencies to help “cut the red tape” and reduce burdensome regulations.

The slogan coined from CMS Administrator Seema Verma’s speech was “putting patients over paperwork”.

Details from CMS MLN Connects published on 09/20/18.

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The Top Citations by the Joint Commission

The following are the top ten requirements that are most frequently found “not compliant” during surveys from January 1, 2018 through June 30, 2018.

  • Organization plans the patient’s care
  • Organization implements the infection prevention and control activities it plans
  • Organization provides care, treatment or services in accordance with orders/prescriptions
  • Staff are competent to perform their responsibilities
  • Organization defines and verifies staff qualifications
  • Patient record contains information that reflects the patient’s care treatment, or services
  • Organization offers vaccination against influenza to licensed independent practitioners and staff
  • Identify risks associated with home oxygen therapy such as home fires
  • The organization evaluates the effectiveness of its Emergency Operations Plan
  • The organization assesses and reassesses its patients

Article Details from the HCLA Newsletter published on 09/27/18.

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Starting October 1, 2018 – New MBIs Returned on Submitted Claims

For Remittance Advices that are generated after October 1 through the end of the transition period, CMS will return both the NEW Medicare Beneficiary Identifier (MBI) and the Health Insurance Claim Number (HICN) when submitting a claim with a valid/active HICN. The MBI will be reported in the same place you get the “changed HICN” today.

Article Details from CMS MLN Connects published on 09/27/18.

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Effective January 1, 2019, Physician Assistants Can Serve as Hospice Patient’s Attending Physician

The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 authorizes Physician Assistants (PAs) to serve as hospice patient’s designated attending physician, starting January 1, 2019. In turn, Medicare will pay for services that are one of the following:

  • Medically reasonable and necessary services that are related to terminal illness/related conditions
  • Under normal circumstances provided by a physician, and are paid at 85% of the fee schedule amount
  • Provided by a PA to a patient who has selected the PA as their attending physician
  • Regardless of whether or not the PA is directly employed by the hospice
  • NOT related to the certification of terminal illness

However, PAs cannot serve as the hospice medical directors, lead a hospice interdisciplinary team, not certify a beneficiary’s terminal illness, or conduct the hospice face-to-face encounter.

Article Details from the CAHSAH Newsletter published on 09/05/2018.

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Five Lowest Scoring HH-CAHPS Questions

  • In the last two months of care, agency talk to you about side effects of new/changed medicines?
  • In the last 2 months of care, how often was agency up-to-date about the treatment you got at home?
  • When you contacted agency’s office, how long did it take to get the help/advice needed?
  • In the last 2 months of care, agency talked to you about when to take these medicines?
  • Would you recommend this agency to your family or friends if they needed home health care?

Article Details from the HCLA Newsletter published on 08/02/2018.

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