In the News

Comment Period Open for the HH PPS-Proposed Rule for 2021

Summary:  This proposed rule would update the home health prospective payment system (HH PPS) payment rates and wage index for calendar year (CY) 2021. This proposed rule also proposes to make permanent the changes to the home health regulations regarding the use of technology in providing services under the Medicare home health benefit as described in the Medicare and Medicaid Programs; Revisions in Response to the COVID–19 Public Health Emergency interim final rule with comment period. This proposed rule also proposes to remove provisions related to test transmission of OASIS data by a new HHA, because the provision is now obsolete due to changes in our data submission system. This proposed rule discusses policies finalized in the CY 2020 HH PPS final rule with comment period regarding the permanent home infusion therapy services benefit for CY 2021, and proposes conforming regulations text changes excluding home infusion therapy services from coverage under the Medicare home health benefit. Additionally, this proposed rule discusses Medicare enrollment policies for qualified home infusion therapy suppliers. 

Dates:  To be assured consideration, comments must be received at one of the addresses provided below, no later than 5 p.m. on August 31, 2020.  Directions for comment submissions can be found on the first page of this Federal Register

 

HHS Extends COVID-19 Public Health Emergency 

The secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has extended the COVID-19 public health emergency for 90 days. It was scheduled to expire on July 25. The American Medical Association notes that, “Many physicians have expressed concern about the impending deadline and the implication for various regulatory waivers implemented because of the pandemic, including those pertaining to telemedicine.”

 

Presidents Message

Posted: July 30, 2020

I have never really tracked the weather forecast until I moved to Florida almost 30 years ago. It became an important behavior for most residents living in Southern coastal states from June 1st through November 30th every year - hurricane season. I am currently tracking the 5-day forecast for what is now Tropical Storm Isaias as Florida is in the “cone” for this potential hurricane. That is something we Floridians like to call a “planned event,” one we have a window of time we can prepare for. We have numerous, sometimes conflicting, models that we can use to estimate strength, direction and speed of the storm, as well as anticipate where it will make landfall. As the storm approaches, this “cone of uncertainty” becomes more unified; one of greater and greater predictability ~ one where the various models reduce in diversity. During this “planned event,”  I have a checklist of activities and behaviors I complete consistently to prepare for the potential worst event. I believe that it best to “prepare for the worst and hope for the best" as the eventual outcome is out of my control.

I like predictive modeling for storms.  I find these models comforting, as they allow me to do my best to control what I can control.   I wish we had some level of predictive modeling that was consistently provided, and updated, over time related to our current pandemic health emergency.  I am disappointed and frustrated with the inability to “see” what is happening and develop a sense of whether we are getting better or worse.  I think we deserve that as a country.  Until such time, I will continue to practice the social distancing and infection control procedures that are fundamental - hand washing, mask wearing in public and limit my interactions with large groups of people.

I hope that each of you continue to find your endurance for these behaviors as well.  It has kept me safe so far and I look for the time we as a nation can no longer reside in the a COVID-19 “cone of uncertainty.”

As always, be vigilant.  Be prepared.  Stay informed.

Sincerely,

Dee Kornetti
President
APTA Home Health Section

 

2020 Home Health Section Board Nominations

The APTA HHS Nominating Committee is seeking nominations for the 2020 Home Health Section Board elections. The Nominating Committee is looking for volunteers to fill the following positions: 

  • Vice President  
  • Secretary
  • Nominating Committee Member

The nomination submission deadline has been extended until TOMORROW, Friday, July 31st, 2020.To learn more about the elections, requirements to hold office and to submit your nomination, CLICK HERE

 

News Alert

Posted: July 30, 2020 

CMS and CDC Announce Provider Reimbursement Available for Counseling Patients to Self-Isolate at time of COVID-19 Testing

Today, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are announcing that payment is available to physicians and health care providers to counsel patients, at the time of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) testing, about the importance of self-isolation after they are tested and prior to the onset of symptoms...

Click Here to continue reading. 

 
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