by Christine Woolstenhulme, CPC, CMRS, QCC, QMCS
July 26th, 2017
CMS announced today that the payment rates and wage index system for 2018 has a new proposed rule for Medicare Home Health Agencies. CMS stated, “The new payment system aims to encourage innovation and collaboration and to incentivize home health providers to meet or exceed industry quality standards.” The proposed rule updates the Home Health Quality Reporting program 1% in 2018 due to projected Medicare payments to HHAs in CY, 2018 would be reduced by 0.4 percent, or $80 million, based on the proposed policies.
CMS is also proposing a complete redesign for 2019, including changing the unit of payment from 60-day episodes of care to 30-day periods of care. There will be six new clinical groups used to categorize 30-day periods of care based on the patients primary reason for Home Health Care. This, and other refinements for proposed methodology, would take place for CY 2019.