The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) today announced proposed changes to the Medicare home health prospective payment system (HH PPS) for calendar year (CY) 2014 that would foster greater efficiency, flexibility, payment accuracy, and improved quality. Based on the most recent data available, CMS estimates that approximately 3.5 million beneficiaries received home health services from nearly 12,000 home health agencies, costing Medicare approximately $18.2 billion in 2012.
In the rule, CMS projects that Medicare payments to home health agencies in calendar year (CY) 2014 will be reduced by 1.5 percent, or $290 million based on the proposed policies. The proposed decrease reflects the effects of the 2.4 percent home health payment update percentage ($460 million increase), the rebasing adjustments to the national, standardized 60-day episode payment rate, the national per-visit payment rates, and the non-routine medical supplies (NRS) conversion factor ($650 million decrease), and the effects of ICD-9-CM coding adjustments ($100 million decrease).
In addition, the rule proposes routine updates to the HH PPS payment rates such as updating the payment rates by the HH PPS payment update percentage and updating the home health wage index for 2014. (more…)