July 1—Home health agencies could experience a 1.5 percent reduction in Medicare payments in 2014, according to proposed changes to the Medicare home health prospective payment system (HHPPS) announced by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). The reduction could lower payment to these agencies by $290 million.

According to CMS, the proposed decrease reflects the effects of the 2.4 percent home health payment update percentage—a $460 million increase—combined with $750 million in reductions: rebasing adjustments to the national, standardized 60-day episode payment rate, the national per-visit payment rates, and the nonroutine medical supplies conversion factor (which combined would account for $650 million in decreased payment) as well as the effects of ICD-9-CM coding adjustments (resulting in $100 million in decreased payment).   

In addition, the rule proposes routine updates to the HH PPS payment rates such as updating the payment rates by the HH PPS payment update percentage and updating the home health wage index for 2014.  

Publication Date: Monday, July 01, 2013