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  • Home Health Agencies Face New CMS Rules for Participation Starting July 13

    The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) brought its home health participation rule out of the 1990s by issuing its first revision to the rule in more than 20 years. The new rule, set to go into effect July 13, 2017, establishes minimum standards for home health agencies (HHAs) that want to serve Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries, and includes requirements that CMS hopes will strengthen patient rights, encourage more effective communication between patients and caregivers, and result in better outcomes reporting.

    APTA regulatory affairs staff are reviewing the 374-page rule now, and will publish a fact sheet in the coming weeks. In the meantime, here are a few basics on the new rule.

    • Physical therapists (PTs) as clinical managers. APTA was successful in its advocacy for PTs to be included in the list of providers qualified to serve as clinical managers for an HHA. Under the new rule, managers have oversight responsibilities related to patient and personnel assignments, care and referral coordination, needs assessments, and plans of care.
    • Communications standards and patient rights. The rule requires that the HHA have an integrated communication system for care coordination, with an active link between the HHA and the patient's physician. HHAs must also provide patients with a written notice of rights.
    • Patient information. Under the new rule, patients and caregivers must receive education and training "including written instructions outlining medication schedule/instructions, visit schedule, and any other pertinent instructions" related to patient care.
    • Patient assessment. HHAs must conduct a more comprehensive patient assessment to guide the development of a plan of care.
    • Quality reporting. The new rule "further refines current HHA quality efforts and brings HHA quality programs in line with their counterparts in a variety of other settings, such as hospitals and hospices," CMS states.

    Want to stay on top of all the Medicare changes affecting PTs in 2017? Check out APTA's "2017 Medicare Changes" webpage.

    Comments

    • thank you looking forward for more updated information

      Posted by deborah jackson RN on 2/23/2017 2:24 PM

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