Wednesday, May 02, 2007

CMS Proposed Rule Modifies PPS For Home Health Agencies

Last Friday, April 27, 2007, CMS issued a proposed rule (CMS-1541-P) modifying the prospective payment system (PPS) for home health agency reimbursement. The proposed rule will be officially published in the Federal Register on May 4, 2007. The details of how to comment on the proposed rule is included in the rule. According to the press release, the deadline for filing comments on the proposed rule June 26, 2007.

The summary from the proposed rule states:
This proposed rule would set forth an update to the 60-day national episode rates and the national per-visit amounts under the Medicare prospective payment system for home health services, effective on January 1, 2008. As part of this proposed rule, we are also proposing to rebase and revise the home health market basket to ensure it continues to adequately reflect the price changes of efficiently providing home health services. This proposed rule also would set forth the refinements to the payment system. In addition, this proposed rule would establish new quality of care data collection requirements.
CMS issued a press release, CMS Proposes Payment Changes For Medicare Home Health Services providing an overview of the proposed changes. Also, CMS issued a Fact Sheet outlining some of the proposed PPS home health changes as compared to the current home health PPS payment system. For more information go to the CMS Home Health Agency Center.

I plan to take a closer look at the proposed rule and would welcome any comments on what impact these changes may have on existing home health providers.

UPDATE (6/18/07): Today CMS issued correction of technical errors in the proposed rule issued May 4, 2007. The corrections are entitled, "Medicare Program; Home Health Prospective Payment System Refinement and Rate Update for Calendar Year 2008; Correction" (72 FR 33425).

Also, one of the comments to this post mentions materials from Beacon Health providing analysis on the proposed Home Health PPS Reform and tips for submitting comments to CMS. Those interested in the changes might want to check out this information.

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