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  • Comments on Home Health Due to CMS by September 25; HH Webinar Recording Now Available

    There's still time to submit your comments on the US Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services' (CMS) plan to dramatically change payment for home health services beginning in 2019. And if you feel like you need to get up to speed on just what those changes entail, APTA has you covered.

    September 25 is the deadline for comments to CMS on its proposal to shift from 60- to 30-day episodes of care and to launch a new case-mix adjustment model that removes physical therapy visit thresholds, among other changes. Combined, the fully implemented proposal could result in a $950 million payment reduction, according to CMS.

    To make it as easy as possible for physical therapists and physical therapist assistants to share their concerns with CMS, APTA has created a customizable template letter that allows individual authors to included details of their own practice circumstances while delivering a shared message: that the proposal "severely devalues the clinical importance of physical therapy." APTA will submit comments to CMS by the September 25 deadline.

    APTA also has made it easy to learn more about the details of both the CMS proposal for 2019 as well as the proposed 2018 payment system, by way of a recorded webinar now available for viewing. The session includes a question-and-answer session with participants in the live session, and viewers of the recorded session also can see text comments that were entered at the time. To view the webinar, visit the APTA webpage on Medicare home health policies, and click on "Recorded Webinar 'Overview of CY 2018 Home Health PPS Proposed Rule.'"

    Comments

    • I have been a P.T. since 1973 and the CMS and the bureau of health insurance has constantly messed with the coverage of Home health and medicare patients in general. PL 90603 cam out in about 1974 and destroyed therapy in small hospitals rehab. then the Clinton passed the balanced budget amendment in 1992 which destroyed all the work we did to get LTC/SNF,H,H, coverage with the caps. the senior do not really have a voice in the M/C coverages there any organization besides the APTA that are fighting these issues. If so please leet me know.

      Posted by Thomas Herman on 9/13/2017 2:43 PM

    • Dear Administrator Verma: I am writing in response to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Calendar Year (CY) 2018 Home Health Prospective Payment System (PPS) and Rate Update and Proposed CY 2019 Case-Mix Adjustment Methodology Refinements proposed rule. The HHGM devalues the clinical importance of physical therapy, as well as its financial value, and I believe this may negatively affect the level of physical therapy services furnished to patients, particularly those who are most vulnerable and have the greatest need for rehabilitation. I strongly encourage CMS to evaluate the impact the HHGM may have on patient access to physical therapy services.

      Posted by Christopher Falciano on 9/13/2017 3:23 PM

    • A clerical error in the balanced badger act caused Medicare patients to choose between walking and talking. Every year, we come to ask for this to be corrected. Every year it is pushed down the road. What would the world be like if people got the services they need. Please fixe the therapy cap permanently now.

      Posted by Shelley Lozel on 9/13/2017 7:04 PM

    • The template letter link in the above story also provides info on how to submit your comment electronically. Although the template letter provided lots of points for commenting, I just focused on a few points. Better to send in a brief comment, than to not comment at all. Regulatory staffers keep counts of letters, so quantity of comments is important!

      Posted by Cindy Moore on 9/17/2017 8:40 PM

    • Dear Administrator Verma: I am writing in response to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Calendar Year (CY) 2018 Home Health Prospective Payment System (PPS) and Rate Update and Proposed CY 2019 Case-Mix Adjustment Methodology Refinements proposed rule. Although I have only been a practicing PT for about one year, it has quickly become clear how the current Medicare and Medicaid services impact patient care and outcomes on a regular basis. The HHGM severely devalues the clinical importance and financial value of physical therapy, and I believe this may negatively affect the level of physical therapy services furnished to patients, particularly those who have the greatest need for rehabilitation. I strongly encourage CMS to evaluate the impact the HHGM may have on patient access to physical therapy services. Our patients should not have to settle for a lower level of functional ability simply because funding will not cover an appropriate length of skilled services. Thank you for your time.

      Posted by Amanda Cross, DPT on 9/19/2017 7:47 PM

    • There are too many of my patients who are already struggling with finances. This would widen the gap and swallow up so many more of our elderly.

      Posted by Donna L Fields on 9/21/2017 8:59 PM

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