Tag: CMS

CMS Updates

CMS recently updated the Code of Federal Regulations for Home Health Services (Part 484) as well as the Medicare Benefit Policy Manuals—Chapter 7 for Home Health Agencies.  The changes reflect alterations in the Conditions of Participation released in the home health final rule last year and became effective on January 1, 2022.  There is always…

Approved Signatures

Services and orders provided for home health and hospice require some kind of authenticating signature by the author.  In this age of electronic medical records, organizations are faced with a variety of signatures–handwritten and electronic.  It’s often difficult to determine what is acceptable to the Medicare Administrative Contractors (MACs).  Here are a few tips.  First…

COVID-19 Vaccination & Testing Mandates Suspended

On December 2, 2021, CMS released a memorandum from the Quality, Safety & Oversight Group (QSOG) and Survey & Operations Group (SOG) stating that CMS has “suspended activities related to the implementation and enforcement of the Medicare and Medicaid Programs; Omnibus COVID-19 Health Care Staff  Vaccination pending future developments in the litigation. Accordingly, while these…

COVID-19 Employee Tracking

An important aspect of your COVID-19 Plan is maintaining a log of COVID-19 positive employees.  This document details all your employees who have a confirmed infection regardless of the source (work-related or otherwise).  Remember that this log must be consistent with your OSHA 300, 300A, and 301 forms and be maintained in the confidential medical…

Hospice Care Index

Believe it or not, the Fiscal Year 2022 for hospice begins in just over a month—on October 1st.  Among the changes finalized by CMS is a new item to be publicly reported no sooner than May 2022.  The Hospice Care Index (HCI), in effect, replaces the seven HIS items that will be removed from public…

CMS Emergency Preparedness Testing Clarification

CMS continues to make clarifications to the Emergency Preparedness regulation.  A revision to QSO-20-41-ALL was released on June 21, 2021 and was directed to State Surveyors.  As previously established, outpatient providers of services, such as home health and home hospice, are required to test their program annually.  In 2019, CMS changed the testing requirement for…

Home Health RCD Top 5 Non-Affirmation and Claim Denial Reasons

Review Choice Demonstration (RCD) did not add any new requirements, but home health agencies are still struggling with the Face-to-Face (F2F) and getting an affirmation. Agencies need to remember that the F2F documentation must be “related” to the primary diagnosis (the primary reason for home care) and must be timely. This means that the encounter…

Emergency Preparedness Plan Changes

On March 26, 2021, CMS released updated interpretive guidelines and updates to Appendix Z of the State Operations Manual (SOM) as well as Expanded Guidance related to Emerging Infectious Diseases (EIDs). These are effective immediately. One prominent change was the addition of Emerging Infectious Diseases. This addition impacts various aspects of your emergency plan and…