April 1, 2020

Home Health Leaders Applaud Relief Measures Included in New CMS Rule

Provisions to provide flexibility in the “homebound” definition and delay the Review Choice Demonstration will enable smoother delivery of home health to broader patient population

The Partnership for Quality Home Healthcare – a coalition of home health leaders dedicated to developing innovative reforms to improve the program integrity, quality, and efficiency of home healthcare for our nation’s seniors – supports recent measures announced by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to offer expanded access of skilled home healthcare services to American seniors during the COVID-19 public health crisis.

Specifically, CMS has announced plans to:

  • Provide increased flexibility in the Medicare “homebound” definition to enable home healthcare professionals to reach more American seniors needing health care in their homes which provides relief to hospitals and nursing homes reaching capacity.
  • Pause claims processing for the Review Choice Demonstration (RCD) for Home Health Services in Illinois, Ohio, and Texas until the COVID-19 pandemic has passed.
  • Delay implementation of the Review Choice Demonstration (RCD) in North Carolina and Florida on May 4, 2020, as previously scheduled.

“We thank CMS for listening to the concerns of the home health community and taking these important steps to more actively engage the home health sector in responding to this public health crisis,” said Joanne Cunningham, Executive Director of the Partnership. “We look forward to our ongoing coordination with CMS and the Congress to advance additional policies to maximize the capacity of home health during COVID-19.”