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Interim Final Rule with Comment Period Coming: Additional Policy and Regulatory Revisions in Response to the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency

In News, Nursing Home by Mary MadisonLeave a Comment

A Press Release issued late afternoon on August 25, 2020 promises to bring “sweeping regulatory changes.”  The broad categories of this initiative are: New testing requirements for nursing homes Hospitals must report data New reporting requirements for labs Physician and pharmacist orders for tests I’ve excerpted the “high” points of this Press Release (bolding added by me): Laboratories and nursing …

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Creating an Effective Hospice Plan of Care

In Hospice, News by Mary Madison2 Comments

MLN Connects has provided a Fact Sheet: Creating an Effective Hospice Plan of Care that hospice providers will want to review and share with their team. “The hospice Plan of Care (POC) maps out needs and services supplied for a Medicare patient facing a terminal illness, as well as the patient’s family/caregiver. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) …

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COVID-19 Updates – Digest for Week of August 24, 2020

In COVID-19, News by Mary MadisonLeave a Comment

This work week is not quite over yet (I’m writing this on Thursday morning) however there are some items I want to be sure you’re aware of before more information is provided. Yesterday I posted QSO-20-37-CLIA, NH Issued – Interim Final Rule Guidance. If you read that blog immediately after it was posted, you saw this with one big exception: …

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Cue the Theme Music from “Jaws”…Flu Season is Right Around the Corner

In COVID-19, Long Term Care, News by Mary MadisonLeave a Comment

“The real risk is that we’re going to have two circulating respiratory pathogens at the same time.”  This is the statement made by Dr. Robert Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to Time magazine last month.   He went on to say this: “In high-risk groups we know flu by itself can cause substantial morbidity and …

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COVID-19 Updated and New Information – Early August 2020

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FAQs: COVID-19 Testing at Skilled Nursing Facilities/Nursing Homes was updated August 5, 2020. This is an 8-page document that answers questions about COVID testing, safety precautions during testing, provider order for testing, reporting, CLIA certificates, etc. CDC updated this return to work guidance again on Monday, August 10, 2020. COVID-19 FAQs on Medicare Fee-for-Service Billing was updated August 7, 2020. …

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Penalty for Delayed Request for Anticipated Payment (RAP) Submission – Implementation

In Home Health, News by Mary MadisonLeave a Comment

CMS has issued a new MLN Matters Article MM11855: Penalty for Delayed Request for Anticipated Payment (RAP) Submission – Implementation (PDF).   This MLN Matters Article is for Home Health Agencies (HHAs) who wish to bill Medicare Administrative Contractors (MACs) for services provided to Medicare beneficiaries.  The article informs you about the implementation of the Calendar Year (CY) 2021 Home Health (HH) …

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Hospice FY2021 Final Rule Issued

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On July 31, 2020, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a final rule CMS-1733-F that updates fiscal year (FY) 2021 Medicare payment rates and the wage index for hospices serving Medicare beneficiaries. CMS is publishing this final rule consistent with the legal requirements to update Medicare payment policies for hospices on an annual basis. In recognition of the …

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Breaking News: Fiscal Year 2021 Payment and Policy Changes for Medicare SNFs Final Rule Issued

In Long Term Care, News by Mary MadisonLeave a Comment

“On July 31, 2020, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a final rule [CMS-1737-F] for Fiscal Year (FY) 2021 that updates the Medicare payment rates and the value-based purchasing program for skilled nursing facilities (SNFs). CMS is publishing this final rule consistent with the legal requirements to update Medicare payment policies for SNFs on an annual basis. …

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Administration Proposes to Expand Telehealth Benefits Permanently for Medicare Beneficiaries Beyond the COVID-19 PHE

In COVID-19, News by Mary MadisonLeave a Comment

This Press Release announced CMS changes as well as an Executive Order signed on Monday, August 3, 2020. “The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is proposing changes to expand telehealth permanently, consistent with the Executive Order on Improving Rural and Telehealth Access that President Trump signed today. The Executive Order and proposed rule advance our efforts to improve …

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COVID-19 FAQs on Medicare Fee-for-Service Billing Updated Again

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This 140-page COVID-19 FAQ document was updated on July 28, 2020. This is what’s new in this version during July: Page 10 – Diagnostic Laboratory Services … Question: If a physician/non-physician practitioner (NPP) reports CPT code 99211 “Office or other outpatient visit for the evaluation and management of an established patient that may not require the presence of a physician”, …