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CMS Finalizes 2017 Home Health Agency Payment Changes

Sarah McIlvaine
Author | Shield HealthCare
11/18/16  5:00 AM PST
home health agency payment changes

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has issued the final rule on home health agency Medicare payment changes for 2017. These changes are part of a set of CMS initiatives designed to standardize care quality measures and quality reporting metrics across all post-acute settings. The end goal is to maintain the highest in care standards, while reducing the cost of post-acute healthcare.

For home health agencies, these changes will greatly impact business in 2017. Understanding the 2017 payment changes can help home health agencies to maximize payments and avoid unexpected penalties.

To review the finalized payment changes, check out the CMS fact sheet.

The fact sheet includes information on:

  • Home Health Value-Based Purchasing Model: Part of the shift from volume-based payments to value-based payments. After the initiation of the value-based purchasing model, payments have become increasingly tied to performance outcomes. CMS continues to work toward implementing alternative payment models, which will replace the traditional fee-for-service payments with new, performance-based payment models.
  • Home Health Quality Reporting Program (HH QRP) Update: Several updates have been made to the quality reporting requirements for 2017. OASIS and the IMPACT act guidelines have been updated for improved accuracy of quality measure reporting.
  • Payment Policy Provisions: Payment rate updates have been applied and are available for review on the CMS website.

For a detailed breakdown of the changes to home health agency reimbursement, read our recent article: “Get Ready For OASIS-C2 Changes Coming in 2017“, which covers topics including: a longer OASIS look-back period, item number changes, and new items that have been added in OASIS-C2.

Learn more ways to prevent hospital readmissions here. 

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