Posts Tagged ‘Department of Veterans Affairs’

VA delays Effective Date to Implement Payment Methodologies for Home Health and Hospice Providers

November 15, 2013

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has issued a rule that delays the effective date for the billing methodology for non-VA providers of home health services and hospice care. In the May 6, 2013 Federal Register, the VA published a final rule which established a November 15, 2013 effective date to change the billing methodology for non-VA providers of home health services and hospice care that have not negotiated a rate with the VA.  This announcement delays that effective date to April 1, 2014.

On February 18, 2010, the VA issued a proposed rule to implement certain payment methodologies for all non-VA inpatient and outpatient health care professionals and providers, which included paying according to Medicare fee schedules and prospective payment systems, as applicable. When the final rule was published on December 17, 2010, however, the regulation included an exception for implementing the payment methodologies for home health and hospice services.

The VA cited administrative and systems problems that prevented their ability to implement the Medicare payment system for home health and hospice services on such short notice.

Additionally, on May 6, 2013, the VA published a final rule that established an effective date of November 15, 2013 for the payment methodology for non-VA home health and hospice providers that do not have a negotiated contract with the VA.

Services provided by non-contracted home health and hospice agencies were to be paid the lowest of the following amounts:

  • The applicable Medicare fee schedule or prospective payment system amount (“Medicare rate”) for the period in which the service was provided;
  • The amount negotiated by a repricing agent if the provider is participating within the repricing agent’s network and VA has a contract with that repricing agent. For the purposes of this section, repricing agent means a contractor that seeks to connect VA with discounted rates from non-VA providers as a result of existing contracts that the non-VA provider may have within the commercial health care industry;
  • The amount that the provider bills the general public for the same service.

The VA has delayed the November 15, 2013 implementation date until April 1, 2014 due to unforeseen difficulties in contracting and information technology procedures required to apply the billing methodology to non-VA home health services and hospice care.

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Boom Predicted For At-Home Care Industry

April 24, 2013

By Alan Farnham, ABC News

Aging Baby Boomers present golden opportunities for investors and job seekers alike, say entrepreneurs and labor experts.

Prospects for providers of in-home health care services look especially bright. Such in-home services can include everything from assistance with bathing and grooming, to help getting in and out of bed, to help with housekeeping, meal preparation and laundry.

Although some states, according to in home care-provider Synergy HomeCare, permit aides to administer medication and check vital signs at home, most do not. Ones that do permit it require that medical services be provided under the direction of a nurse or other healthcare practitioner.

By 2020, the ranks of home health and personal care aides will have swelled by more than 1.3 million—a 70 percent increase from 2010, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That compares with a growth rate of 14 percent for the U.S. job market at large. (more…)

Bobby Lolley: The Future of Healthcare is Right At Home

April 8, 2013

InOurOpinion_12HCAF Executive Director Bobby Lolley submitted the following op-ed to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel following its March 11, 2013 article ‘Home Care, Tele-Medicine Cut Health Costs‘.

In Washington, D.C. and in communities across the nation – like in Southeast Florida – it would be impossible to deny that times are tight when it comes to healthcare dollars. As Congress continues to grapple with various budget plans and proposals, and with the sequester beginning to take a serious bite out of Medicare reimbursement, healthcare providers are turning over every stone to try and stretch the precious dollars allotted for care of America’s seniors. We’re also trying to do what’s best for patients – giving them quality, choice and the best value possible. (more…)

Medicare Revises Readmission Penalties…Again

March 20, 2013

For the second time in six months, Medicare has erred in calculating penalties for more than 1,000 of the nation’s hospitals. (more…)

Proposed Rule Expands Access to Home Health Care and Hospice Services for Veterans

February 23, 2013

The Veterans Administration has issued a proposed regulation to that will ease cumbersome requirements so that veterans can have greater access to extended care services though non-VA providers. The proposed rule includes home health care, palliative care, and non-institutional hospice care services as extended care services when provided as an alternative to nursing home care. (more…)

VA Proposal Seeks to Extend Home Care Services for Veterans

February 14, 2013

The Hill reports that the Veterans Affairs Department has released a proposal to expand VA-based health coverage to allow the department to partner with state and Medicare-based services.

The 25-page plan, released in Wednesday’s Federal Register, specifically aims to make “extended care services” easier for veterans to obtain. Those services have typically included nursing home and hospice care, but the VA wants to also include evaluations for at-home care from providers not contracted with the department. (more…)

Veterans Affairs to Expand Eligibility for Non-VA Care

December 7, 2012

The Department of Veterans Affairs issued a proposed rule in the Nov. 27 Federal Register that would increase eligibility for veterans to receive health care services from non-VA providers. The VA proposes to amend its regulation governing payment for non-VA outpatient care. The proposed regulation reflects statutory authority that permits the VA to expand its payment policy for non-VA medical services. (more…)

ACA Designates $52 Million to Help Disabled and Veterans Avoid Nursing Homes

June 8, 2012

The creation of the new Administration for Community Living (ACL), brings together key HHS organizations and offices to increase access to community supports. The program is a partnership between HHS’ Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and Administration for Community Living and the Department of Veterans Affairs’ Veterans Health Administration, which will provide an additional $27 million to states that establish the centers.

The Administration for Community Living will bring together the Administration on Aging, the Office on Disability and the Administration on Developmental Disabilities into a single agency that supports both cross-cutting initiatives and efforts focused on the unique needs of individual groups, such as children with developmental disabilities or seniors with dementia. This new agency will work on increasing access to community supports and achieving full community participation for people with disabilities and seniors. (more…)