On October 29, 2015, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released the CY 2016 Home Health Prospective Payment System (PPS) final rule. The final rule will be published in the Federal Register on November 5, 2015. The good news is that in the final rule, CMS states that payments to home health providers would be reduced by about 1.4%, or $260 million, instead of the $350 million as proposed in June
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) published star ratings on Home Health Compare. According to CMS, the star ratings for Medicare Certified Home Health will help consumers obtain information about a home health agency's performance, and will help the home health agencies by providing data to help identify areas for improvement.
The Home Health Care Planning Improvement Act of 2015 (S. 578) was introduced in the U.S. Senate by Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) and Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) on Feb. 26. On the U.S. House of Representatives side, Rep. Greg Walden (R-OR), Rep. Ron Kind (D-WI) and Rep. Danny Davis (D-IL-7) introduced their version, H.R. 1342, on March 6, 2015.
In the Feb. 2, 2016 Federal Register, CMS announced the extension of temporary moratoria on the enrollment of new Medicare Part B ground ambulance suppliers and Medicare home health agencies, subunits, and branch locations in specific locations within designated metropolitan areas in Florida, Illinois, Michigan, Texas, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey to prevent and combat fraud, waste, and abuse.
Beginning July 1, 2016, physicians must document a face-to-face encounter with a patient (including through the use of telehealth) for Medicaid to cover home health services and medical equipment according to a final rule (CMS-2348-F, RIN 0938-AQ36) published in the Federal Register on February 2.