The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services on July 1 released the proposed rule for the home health prospective payment system for calendar year 2015, which updates Medicare payment rates to home health agencies and implements the second year of the four-year phase in of the rebasing of this payment system. Overall, the rule would reduce home health payments by 0.3% from 2014 payment levels.
The regulation also reports on CMS’s ongoing monitoring of the impact of the face-to-face encounter, which was mandated by the Affordable Care Act, and proposes to simplify the requirements for this policy. The rule also notes CMS’s finding that home health service use dropped from CY 2011 to CY 2012, and states the agency’s belief that this change may, in part, be due to the face-to-face encounter policy.
The policy requires a physician to meet face-to-face with patients transitioning from general acute-care hospitals, and other settings, to home care to certify that the service is medically necessary. The rule will be published in the July 7 Federal Register with comments accepted for 60 days.
[ via AHA News Now ]