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Archive for August 1st, 2017


CMS Proposes Significant Cuts for Home Health in 2018 & 2019

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently issued a proposed rule (82 Fed. Reg. 35270, 7/28/17) that includes significant cuts to calendar year 2018 payment rates and the wage index for home health agencies serving Medicare beneficiaries, as well as the home health prospective payment system case-mix adjustment methodology.  CMS proposes to cut Medicare payments to home health agencies by $80 million (4%) in calendar year 2018.  Medicare currently pays for up to 60-day episodes of home health care, but CMS proposes to reduce the care unit to 30-day episodes starting 1/1/19.  Industry leaders estimate the care unit reduction would result in $950 million in cuts to home health services, thereby limiting access to care, and question CMS’s authority to make such changes without Congressional action.  Comments on the proposed rule will be received until 5pm on 9/25/17.  For additional information, see the CMS Announces Proposed Payment Changes for Medicare Home Health Agencies for 2018 and 2019 fact sheet.