Referring to Home Health

How to refer to home health and the benefits for both patient and referring physician.

CMS Launches Concurrent Care Demonstration

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As many as 30 Medicare-certified home health agencies will test a care model that provides palliative support services in their routine home care offerings, in accordance with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

 

Home health agencies to test palliative care under new CMS program.

Home health agencies to test palliative care under new CMS program.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced the launch of the “concurrent care” demonstration under the Medicare Care Choices Model, reports the National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC). Palliative support services will be offered to patients with advanced cancers, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, congestive heart failure and HIV/AIDS who meet hospice eligibility requirements.

Under the demo, patients will “concurrently receive services provided by their curative care providers,” NAHC notes.

Hospices selected for the three-year demonstration will receive $400 per beneficiary per month to provide the palliative care services.

To be selected, hospices must be Medicare-certified and able to “demonstrate experience providing care coordination and/or case management with a network of various types of healthcare providers, as well as shared decision-making to beneficiaries prior to electing the Medicare hospice benefit in conjunction with their referring providers/suppliers,” says NAHC.

Courtesy Home Health Care News

Read more at NAHC


Home Health Spending Grows While National Health Spending Slows

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The home health industry experienced billion dollar growth in 2012, despite low national health spending overall, according to a recent report from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).

 

In 2012, there was slower growth in prescription drug, nursing home, private health insurance and Medicare expenditures, but home health spending increased.

In 2012, there was slower growth in prescription drug, nursing home, private health insurance and Medicare expenditures, but home health spending increased.

While national health spending slowed for the fourth consecutive year at an annual rate of 3.7% in 2012, home health spending growth accelerated 5.1% to $77.8 billion, notes the report published Monday by the CMS Office of the Actuary.

Home health spending in 2012 represents significant growth compared to 2011 when the industry reported a spending increase of 4.1%. In 2012, Medicare and Medicaid accounted for approximately 81% of total home health care spending, while the former grew at a faster rate than the latter.

Several factors contributed to the nation’s low spending growth overall in 2012, including slower growth in prescription drug, nursing home, private health insurance and Medicare expenditures.

Despite a large uptick in Medicare enrollment in 2012, program spending increased by 4.8% compared to growth of 5% in 2011. Total Medicare spending per enrollee grew 0.7% in 2012.

The Office of the Actuary also found that the impacts of the Affordable Care Act contributed to the slow growth for the Medicare program in 2012, but had a limited impact on overall spending as reforms were still being implemented in 2012.

Medicare also had an impact on nursing home spending, which the report notes is due to a one-time Medicare rate adjustment for skilled nursing facilities.

Free-standing nursing home facilities and continuing care retirement communities increased only 1.6% in 2012, down from 4.3% growth in 2011.

While overall health spending slowed for the fourth consecutive year, 2012 was the second straight year where overall health care costs grew slower than the economy as a whole, said CMS Administrator Marilyn Tavenner, in a statement.

Courtesy Home Health Care News


Long-Term Care Users Rely on Home Health Care

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About 4.7 million paid long-term care users received home health care in 2011, a number that is drastically increasing due to the growth in the senior population.

About 4.7 million paid long-term care users received home health care in 2011, a number that is drastically increasing due to the growth in the senior population.

Americans receiving paid long-term care are most likely utilizing the services of home health care, according to a report on senior care services and users that was conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics.

The nation’s 12,200 home health agencies served about 4.7 million patients in 2011, which is more than half of the 8.4 million Americans who receive paid long-term care.

The report collected data from about 58,500 paid, regulated long-term care services providers in 2012 split into five categories—nursing homes, assisted living communities, home health agencies, hospice agencies, and adult day services centers—and includes information on provider capacity, staffing level, and services provided, along with a national profile of long-term care users.

More than 8 million Americans received services from 4,800 adult day services centers, 12,200 home health agencies, 3,700 hospices, 15,700 nursing homes, and 22,200 assisted living and residential care communities. Of those, home health agencies served the largest population, followed by nursing homes with nearly 1.4 million residents and the more than 1.2 million patients who received hospice services.

The number of people using nursing homes, assisted living, or home care services is projected to increase from 15 million in 2000 to 27 million in 2050, according to the CDC. Most of the increase is attributed to a projected growth in the senior population and corresponding need for care services.

Read full report.