Medicare finalizes home health payments for 2014

CMS: Friday, November 22, 2013

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) today issued the final calendar year (CY) 2014 home health care payment rule. The final policies in this rule better align Medicare payments with home health agencies’ costs providing care, while lowering costs to taxpayers and the 3.5 million Medicare beneficiaries who receive home health services nationwide.

The CY 2014 final rule reduces Medicare payments under the Home Health Prospective Payment System (HH PPS) by 1.05 percent. This amount reflects the combined effects of an increase in the home health payment update percentage of 2.3 percent, offset by a decrease of 2.7 percent—the result of rebasing the adjustments required by the Affordable Care Act—and a 0.6 percent decrease due to a refinement of the HH PPS Grouper.

As required by the Affordable Care Act, CMS must begin phasing in rebasing adjustments to the national, standardized 60-day episode payment rate, the national per-visit payment rates and the NRS conversion factor to reflect changes since the inception of the HH PPS, such as change in the number of visits in an episode, the mix of services in an episode, the level of intensity of services in an episode, the average cost of providing care per episode, and other relevant factors. Prior to the Affordable Care Act, rates were based on analyses of home health agency cost and service utilization data available in 2000, when the HH PPS originally was implemented. Read More