Comments Due Aug. 27 on Home Health Proposed Rule

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently released a proposed rule to update the Medicare fee-for-service prospective payment system for home health (HH) agencies effective Jan. 1, 2022. Key aspects of the proposal include:

  • Expanding the HH value-based purchasing model nationally to replace the pilot that began in nine states (AZ, FL, IA, MD, MA, NE, NC, TN, WA) in 2016.
  • Increasing the national, standardized 30-day HH payment rate by 5.9% from $1,901.12 to $2,013.43 for HH agencies that submit the required quality data.
  • Recalibrating the Patient-driven Groupings Model (PDGM) case-mix weights for the 432 payment groups using 2020 data.
  • Updating the HH quality reporting program to:
    • Remove the Outcome and Assessment Information Set (OASIS)-based Drug Education on All Medications Provided to Patient/Caregiver During All Episodes of Care measure.
    • Replace two claims-based measures, the Acute Care Hospitalization During the First 60 Days of Home Health (NQF #0171) measure and Emergency Department Use without Hospitalization During the First 60 days of Home Health (NQF #0173), with one claims-based measure, Home Health Within Stay Potentially Preventable Hospitalization.
  • Modifying HH aide supervision requirements to make permanent the regulatory blanket waivers related to HH aide supervision that were issued during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Implementing a provision of the Consolidated Appropriations Act that would allow occupational therapists to perform the initial and comprehensive patient assessment.
  • Continuing the 4.36% behavioral adjustment reduction to the standardized 30-day payment rate implemented in 2020 when the new PDGM was adopted.
  • Consistent with other recent proposed rules, the CMS included two requests for information:
    • The use of fast healthcare interoperability resources in support of digital quality measurement in quality reporting programs.
    • Closing the health equity gap on ways to attain health equity for all patients.

Members are encouraged to review the proposed rule and submit comments to the CMS by Aug. 27. The MHA will provide members with an estimated impact analysis within the next few weeks. Those with questions should contact Vickie Kunz at the MHA.