Medicare payments to home health agencies will get trimmed by 1.5%—or $290 million—in 2014, according to a Thursday proposal from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) that factors in several policies and adjustments to the sector.
“The proposed decrease reflects the effects of the 2.4 percent home health payment update percentage ($460 million increase), the rebasing adjustments to the national, standardized 60-day episode payment rate, the national per-visit payment rates, and the non-routine medical supplies (NRS) conversion factor ($650 million decrease), and the effects of ICD-9-CM coding adjustments ($100 million decrease),” says CMS.
In 2012, Medicare spent about $18.2 billion on approximately 3.5 million beneficiaries who received home health services, CMS estimates.
CMS intends the changes to the Medicare home health prospective payment system (HH PPS) to “foster greater efficiency, flexibility, payment accuracy, and improved quality.”
The rule also proposes routine updates to the home health payment rates, such as updating the payment rates by the HH PPS payment update percentage and updating the home health wage index for 2014.
Read the proposed rule at the Federal Register.
Written by Alyssa Gerace