WASHINGTON, D.C. (June 3, 2020)—As announced first in January 2019, starting in calendar year (CY) 2021 (and through CY 2024) the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will begin a demonstration program under the Value-Based Insurance Design (VBID) model to test coverage of hospice care as part of the Medicare Advantage (MA) benefit package.

WASHINGTON, D.C (May 29, 2020)—The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has released the Medicare Program: Contract Year 2021 Policy and Technical Changes to the Medicare Advantage Program, Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit Program, and Medicare Cost Plan Program, with important information about the special election period for hospice beneficiaries.

WASHINGTON, D.C. (May 27, 2020)—AAHomecare is currently working on comments for the Interim Final Rule (IFR), Medicare and Medicaid Programs; Policy and Regulatory Revisions in Response to the COVID-19 public health emergency that was published on April 6, 2020. This IFR provided relief on coverage for respiratory products and allows non-physician healthcare professionals to prescribe DME under Medicaid.

WASHINGTON, D.C. (May 21, 2020)—The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has released additional information on the Provider Relief Fund deadline for submitting revenue information. The Agency is also reminding eligible providers that they have until June 3, 2020, to accept the Terms and Conditions and submit their revenue information to support receiving an additional payment from the Provider Relief Fund $50 billion General Distribution.

WASHINGTON, D.C. (May 20, 2020)—The National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) is urging the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to establish permanent flexibilities allowing hospices to utilize telecommunications to deliver multi-disciplinary, patient-centered care, and to ensure that such services can be recorded and monitored for their impact on quality of care.

WASHINGTON, D.C. (May 12, 2020)—Last week, the DME MACs announced that the certificate of medical necessity (CMN) for oxygen claims will not be required during the public health emergency. This is due to the CMS interim final rule published on April 6 (CMS-1744-IFC) that waived the clinical indication requirements for respiratory NCDs and LCDs. In the new announcement, the DME MACs clarified that the same exemption will apply to external infusion pumps.

WASHINGTON, D.C. (May 5, 2020)—The COVID-19 stimulus legislation enacted in late March provides significant reimbursement relief for suppliers servicing Medicare beneficiaries in non-rural areas that are not subject to the bidding program. The reimbursement rate for items that have been receiving 100% of the competitive bidding adjusted fee schedule are getting a blended rate of 75% adjusted and 25% unadjusted (2015 fee schedule) rates. 

WASHINGTON, D.C. (April 28, 2020)—On March 9, 2020, both the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) issued for display on the ONC website final rules that advance the goals of interoperability of electronic health care records (EHR). On April 22, 2020 these rules went on display at the federal register (FR) and will be published in the FR on May 1, 2020.