October 31, 2018

CMS Finalizes New Home Health Pay System For 2020

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Inside Health Policy

CMS on Wednesday (Oct. 31) finalized a 2.2 percent pay increase for home health agencies for 2019, as well as a redesign of the home health pay system for 2020 that will focus less on therapy and more on patient clinical characteristics. Some stakeholders raised concerns with the behavioral adjustment included in the model, and Bill Dombi, president of the National Association for Home Care and Hospice, says his organization will ask Congress to change the behavioral adjustment.

“While we had hoped CMS would consider modifications outlined by the home health provider sector when finalizing this rule, this announcement reinforces the need for the industry to continue our advocacy to get the new home health payment system right,” said Keith Myers, chair of the Partnership for Quality Home Healthcare. “We will continue to work collaboratively with CMS and lawmakers in Congress to refine this new payment system to ensure it is based on a data-driven approach and will support the delivery of uninterrupted, high quality home healthcare to older Americans.”

CMS last year proposed to cut nearly $1 billion from Medicare reimbursement for home health services in 2019 by changing the unit of payment for home health episodes from 60 days of care to 30 days. Providers and lawmakers pushed back against that proposal.

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