Wednesday, November 01, 2017 CMS Drops Home Health Payment Plan Opposed by APTA After receiving significant opposition from APTA, the APTA Home Health Section, and other professional and consumer advocacy organizations, the US Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has backed off on a proposed rule that would have dramatically altered the home health care payment landscape in ways that would have reduced care. Issued on November 1, the home health prospective payment system final rule for 2018 does not finalize the proposed Home Health Groupings Model (HHGM), a payment system that, among other changes, would have removed therapy service-use thresholds from the payment mix. The proposed HHGM prompted immediate outcry from a wide range of stakeholders, with APTA characterizing the rule as one that would create "perverse financial incentives" for reductions in care in home health. In a fact sheet published in conjunction with the release of the final rule, CMS states that it won't adopt the HHGM model for 2018 and instead "will take additional time to further engage with stakeholders to move towards a system that shifts the focus from volume of services to a more patient-centered model." APTA staff are reviewing the final rule and will share more details in the coming days, but the news that the HHGM will not be implemented in 2018 represents a win for patients and the association. "APTA had significant concerns that the HHGM would have a dramatic, negative effect on patient care," said Kara Gainer, APTA director of regulatory affairs. "Together with the Home Health Section and many of our members, we initiated a strong congressional and regulatory advocacy campaign to stop CMS from adopting the HHGM. It appears our efforts—along with those of many others in the home health industry—were compelling."