Proposed CMS Rules Allows Remote Patient Monitoring for Home Health
CMS has proposed new reimbursement rules intended to modernize home health care in a number of ways. One of the more significant changes is to allow the cost of remote patient monitoring to be reported as allowable costs on the Medicare cost report form. The proposed Rule would also implement a new Patient-Driven Groupings Model (PDGM) for home health payments, eliminating “therapy thresholds” in determining payments, and change the “episodes of care” standard from 60 days to 30 days. “Today’s proposals would give doctors more time to spend with their patients, allow home health agencies to leverage innovation and drive better results for patients,” said CMS Administrator Seema Verma. “The redesign of the home health payment system encourages value over volume and removes incentives to provide unnecessary care.” More information on the proposal can be found here.
New HIPAA Guidance on Research Disclosure Authorizations
The Office for Civil Rights of U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has issued new guidance on individual authorizations of uses and disclosures of PHI for research purposes. The guidance addresses requirements relating to the description of the scope of the disclosure and use, the term and expiration of the authorization, and the right to revoke the authorization. The content of the new guidance can be found here.
Rural Hospitals Seek SCOTUS Review of Medicare “Tax Refund” Ruling
A group of critical access hospitals (CAHs) in Kentucky is seeking SCOTUS review of a Sixth Circuit ruling upholding a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) policy which treats Medicaid disproportionate share hospital payments as “tax refunds” which may be off-set against the hospitals’ Medicare payments. The policy is tied to the practice of Kentucky and many other states of charging hospitals an assessment tax which is used, in part, to draw down federal funds. If upheld, the DHHS policy would have a significant negative financial impact on CAHs and other providers that are reimbursed on a cost basis. The high Court is expected to take up the petition for review in September, 2018. The case is Breckinridge Health, Inc. v. Azar, U.S., No. 17-1408.
Download the full article, “Health Care : Helpful Hints – June 2018” written by Jerry W. Taylor.