Posts Tagged ‘Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act’

HCAF Statement on CMS Announcement of Temporary and Targeted Moratorium on the Approval of New Home Health Agencies

July 30, 2013

BLThe Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recently announced a temporary and targeted moratorium on the approval of new home health agencies in Miami-Dade and Monroe counties. The moratorium takes effect on July 30, 2013.

According to CMS, the goal of the temporary moratoria is to fight fraud and safeguard taxpayer dollars, while ensuring patient access to care.  Authority to impose such moratoria was included in the Affordable Care Act, and CMS is exercising this authority for the first time. (more…)

South Florida Congressman Visits Key West Constituent Receiving Medicare Home Health Care Services

July 30, 2013

JoeGarciaOfficialHeadshotBy Terry Schmida, Key West Citizen

A sign on the wall of Rene Stincer’s handsome wood-frame home on Eaton Street declares it to be “Villa de Olga.” However, the pronouncement is a bit out of date: Olga, Stincer’s wife for many decades, died five years ago, leaving her husband, now 91, all alone.

As the city of Key West continues to debate the assisted living center issue, it’s residents such as Stincer who are the human faces behind the headlines.

“It’s better for me to stay in this house,” Stincer said Friday during a brief visit from U.S. Rep. Joe Garcia, D-South Florida, Island Home Care owner/operator Kim Wilkerson, clinical director and registered nurse Heather Hunt and Stincer family friend Theresa Menendez. (more…)

AHCA: CMS Announces Temporary Provider Enrollment Moratorium

July 30, 2013

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services have announced a temporary moratorium on the enrollment of new home health provider enrollments in Medicare, Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) in fraud “hot spot” areas of the country. The goal of the temporary moratorium is to fight fraud and safeguard taxpayer dollars, while ensuring patient access to care. Authority to impose such moratoria was included in the Affordable Care Act, and CMS is exercising this authority for the first time. (more…)

CMS Imposes First Affordable Care Act Enrollment Moratoria to Combat Fraud

July 26, 2013

Building on strong anti-fraud efforts already underway, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ Administrator Marilyn Tavenner today announced temporary moratoria on the enrollment of new home health provider and ambulance supplier enrollments in Medicare, Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) in three fraud “hot spot” areas of the country, including two Florida counties. The goal of the temporary moratoria is to fight fraud and safeguard taxpayer dollars, while ensuring patient access to care. Authority to impose such moratoria was included in the Affordable Care Act, and CMS is exercising this authority for the first time.

Under the moratoria, existing providers and suppliers can continue to deliver and bill for services, but no new provider and supplier applications will be approved in these areas for all three programs. The temporary enrollment moratoria apply to newly-enrolling home health agencies in the Miami and Chicago metropolitan areas; and newly-enrolling ground ambulance suppliers in the Houston metropolitan area (see list of affected counties below). CMS announced the temporary, six-month moratoria in a notice issued today in the Federal Register. (more…)

Industry Reps Meet with Key Congressman to Discuss CMS Proposed Rule

July 12, 2013

FL-USCong_Bilirakis-2013-07-12Home care industry representatives today met with U.S. Representative Gus Bilirakis (R-Tarpon Springs), a four-term Tampa Bay area congressman who serves on a key health care committee in Congress.

BAYADA Home Health Care’s Jeanne Barton and Carson Barnes and HCAF’s Kyle Simon met with Rep. Bilirakis to discuss the recent CMS proposed rule, which calls for a 1.5 percent cut Medicare home health reimbursement rates in 2014. The rule also includes a 3.5 percent annual cut over four years to rebase Medicare rates, as required by the Affordable Care Act. The discussion gave industry representatives the opportunity to highlight to Rep. Bilirakis the importance of home health care and the role it plays in offering high quality, cost effective care for more than 300,000 Florida seniors each year.

(more…)

Home Health Firms Met With OMB, But Failed To Avert Proposed Pay Cuts

July 11, 2013

By John Wilkerson, Inside Washington Publishers

Representatives of the home health industry met with Office of Management and Budget officials to make a case against pay cuts shortly before CMS proposed the 2014 pay rule for that sector, but the proposed rule that industry had been awaiting since the Affordable Care Act passed still made pay cuts that the Partnership for Quality Home Healthcare called “alarming.” Industry is arguing for more targeted pay cuts and is lobbying for an alternative fraud-fighting proposal that it estimates would save nearly $20 billion – industry’s earlier preliminary estimates put the savings at around $15 billion.

The Partnership for Quality Home Healthcare on July 10 issued results of a national poll of registered voters that finds that 93 percent of seniors surveyed think Congress should stop Medicare fraud instead of cutting Medicare payments or increasing fees on seniors’ Medicare services. (more…)

Marketing Begins for Florida’s Online Health Exchange

July 10, 2013

The Associated Press reports that a massive marketing campaign is underway with just three months left until residents start enrolling for health insurance through the new government exchange.

Consumers can shop on healthcare.gov and compare prices for different insurance plans starting Oct. 1.

The non-profit group Enroll America is meeting in Miami on Wednesday to strategize the best way to reach consumers and take away some of the confusion about the Affordable Care Act. Many lower-income residents will be eligible for a voucher from the federal government to help pay their premiums.

The group will also launch social media campaigns and collaborate with health centers, churches and schools on outreach efforts.

Florida lawmakers voted to let the feds run the state’s exchange, including marketing, so Enroll America will be the main marketing arm here.

Employers To Get An Extra Year To Implement Health Law Requirement On Coverage

July 3, 2013

By Mary Agnes Carey, Kaiser Health News

The Obama administration Tuesday announced a one-year delay in the Affordable Care Act’s requirement that businesses with 50 or more employees offer coverage to their workers or pay a penalty.

Administration officials said the delay was in response to employers’ concerns about the law’s reporting requirements. Delaying the law’s “employer responsibility” provision would give employers more time to comply and give the government more time to consider ways to “simplify the new reporting requirements consistent with the law,” according to a blog post from Mark J. Mazur, the assistant secretary for tax policy at the Department of Treasury. (more…)

CMS Proposes 1.5 Percent Cut to Home Health Payments

June 27, 2013

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…)

Available Now: HCAF’s Summer Edition of The Florida Home Care Connection

June 20, 2013

Summer-2013-Florida-Home-Care-ConnectionThe Summer 2013 issue of The Florida Home Care Connection, HCAF’s official magazine, is now available online! This issue focuses on renewing yourself for the new age of home care, and features articles from leading industry professionals.

Check out what’s inside: (more…)