Amity Healthcare Group Weekly Newsletter Issue date: April 22th, 2022

Issue date: April 22th, 2022

Hello, Everyone!

Here are some home health related updates for this week:


Webinar: Plan Ahead: 5 Key Strategies to Prepare Now for Home Health Value Based Purchasing

Join Irina Gorovaya, owner and President of Amity Healthcare Group, and ACHCU for a free webinar 5 Key Strategies to Prepare Now for Home Health Value Based Purchasing presented at 1 p.m. EDT on Wednesday, May 24, 2022.

Learn about the expectations and requirements of the expanded HHVBP model and discover how to effectively use the pre-implementation year to prepare, make necessary changes, and align appropriate resources to be competitive and successful in the HHVBP model.

Learning Objectives:

  • Learn about primary components of HHVBP model
  • Review potential challenges and benefits associated with HHVBP
  • Identify key strategies to successfully prepare for the HHVBP model during the pre-implementation year
Consulting Services

Amity Healthcare Group is providing continuous support to home health providers nationwide.

Our consulting services include, but not limited to:

  • Medicare Certification/Accreditation Survey preparation
  • Regulatory and clinical compliance review
  • QAPI implementation and analysis
  • Emergency Preparedness
  • COVID-19 Policies and Procedures
  • Home Health startups
For inquiries, please call 303-690-2749 or email
ICD-10 Coding and Clinical Documentation Review
Amity Healthcare Group is offering a variety of options for home health organizations to outsource ICD-10 coding and clinical documentation review. Whether you are looking for ICD-10 coding support, OASIS review, or an episodic documentation review, our clinical professionals will be able to support your needs.
We provide the following services:
  • ICD- 10 Coding
  • OASIS Review+ ICD-10 coding
  • OASIS Review + POC (Plan of Care) Review
  • OASIS Review + ICD-10 Coding+ POC (Plan of Care) Review
  • Episodic documentation review
  • Quality Trends Analysis and QAPI Development
Go to Price Table for a complete service description and price list.

Public Health Emergency (PHE) Renewal

On Wednesday, April 13, 2022, Secretary of Health & Human Services (HHS) Xavier Becerra, renewed the Public Health Emergency (PHE) that has been in effect since January 27, 2020 due to the outbreak of the novel coronavirus COVID-19.

The renewal of the PHE will last for 90 days (until July 15th), at which point it will either lapse or be renewed again. HHS will issue at least 60 days’ notice prior to the termination of the public health emergency declaration for COVID-19.
Home Health Updates from CMS Open Door Forum
CMS held an Open Door Forum on April 20, 2022. If you missed the forum, here is a summary of the items discussed:
OASIS Updates

The quarterly OASIS Q&As are now available (to view the updates, please go here).

The draft OASIS-E guidance manual and OASIS-E data specifications are expected to be posted early summer.

Public Reporting

Preview Reports and Star Rating Preview Reports for the July 2022 Care Compare refresh are now available in iQIES.

CMS is still urging HHA providers to carefully review the Services Provided data within the Preview Reports released on 2/23/2022. If the values are incorrect for your agency, please contact your State Automation or State OEC and request an update of your Services Provided data in iQIES.

Home Health CAHPS

The CY2024 annual payment update (APU) period began on April 1, 2022. Home health agencies are required to provide data for April 2022 through March 2023 to meet compliance requirements and avoid the APU penalty. Those providers that believe they are exempt from CAHPS because they are a small agency, specifically having had 59 or fewer patients from the period of April 2021 through March 2022, need to complete the Participation Exemption Request Form for the annual payment update for calendar year 2024.

The HHCAHPS Coordination Team Quarterly Review newsletter is now available as well.

Home Health Demographic Data Update
The Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently released a notice about the systems transition that may affect home health agency demographic data. Specifically, CMS indicated that while it is transitioning to the Provider Enrollment, Chain and Ownership System (PECOS) system as the source for agency demographic data, a final date when all demographic data will be obtained from PECOS has not been identified.
During this transition, all home health agencies are responsible to ensure their latest demographic data is updated and available in iQIES and PECOS systems. Please go to  How to Update Home Health Demographic Data page for the steps home health agencies should follow to update their demographic information.
HRSA Announces Opportunity for Providers to Report Late Due to Extenuating Circumstances
Just a reminder that if you still need to submit a Request to Report Late Due to Extenuating Circumstances for Provider Relief Fund (PRF) Reporting Period 1, the deadline is tonight (April 22, 2022 at 11:59 pm ET).
Providers are able to submit the Request to Report Late Due to Extenuating Circumstances for PRF Reporting Period 1 if one or more of the extenuating circumstances described below applies:

  • Severe illness or death – a severe medical condition or death of a provider or key staff member responsible for reporting hindered the organization’s ability to complete the report during the Reporting Period.
  • Impacted by natural disaster – a natural disaster occurred during or in proximity of the end of the Reporting Period damaging the organization’s records or information technology.
  • Lack of receipt of reporting communications – an incorrect email or mailing address on file with HRSA prevented the organization from receiving instructions prior to the Reporting Period deadline.
  • Failure to click “submit” – the organization registered and prepared a report in the PRF Reporting Portal but failed to take the final step to click “submit” prior to deadline.
  • Internal miscommunication or error – Internal miscommunication or error regarding the individual who was authorized and expected to submit the report on behalf of the organization and/or the registered point of contact in the PRF Reporting Portal.
  • Incomplete Targeted Distribution payments – the organization’s parent entity completed all General Distribution payments, but a Targeted Distribution(s) was not reported on by the subsidiary.

If HRSA approves the request, the organization will receive a notification to proceed with completing the Reporting Period 1 report. Providers will have 10 days from the date they receive the notification to submit a report in the PRF Reporting Portal.

Please note that providers will also have an opportunity to submit a Request to Report Late Due to Extenuating Circumstances for Reporting Period 2 if the extenuating circumstances are applicable. Providers will receive a notification regarding the process to submit a Request to Report Late Due to Extenuating Circumstances in the coming weeks.
CMS Limits Medicare Advantage Plan Cost Sharing for Home Health Services
The National Association for Home Care & Hospice provided the following update in the mater of Medicare Advantage Plan cost sharing for home health services.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has issued a final rule with comment period that finalizes two remaining proposals from the proposed rule titled “Medicare and Medicaid Programs; Contract Year 2021 and 2022 Policy and Technical Changes to the Medicare Advantage Program, Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit Program, Medicaid Program, Medicare Cost Plan Program, and Programs of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly”.

One provision that CMS finalized in this rule is a policy change related to service category cost sharing limits for Medicare Parts A and B services. Under this provision, CMS has adopted a requirement that Medicare Advantage (MA) plans must use cost sharing that does not exceed cost sharing in original Medicare for home health services for plans with a mandatory maximum out of pocket (MOOP) amount. The highest allowable MA plan cost sharing limit for home health is 20 percent or an actuarially equivalent copayment which is limited to MA plans with a lower MOOP amount. MA plans that establish a mandatory or intermediate MOOP amount must establish $0 cost sharing for home health services. The provision is effective January 1, 2023.

CMS believes imposing limits on cost sharing for covered services is an important way to ensure that the cost sharing aspect of an MA plan design does not discriminate against or discourage enrollment of beneficiaries who have high health care needs and who need specific services.

Educational Opportunities

National Government Services Medicare Spring 2022 Virtual Conference-Medicare For You

CHAP Home Health and Hospice Operations Certification Workshops

1) National Government Services Medicare Spring 2022 Virtual Conference-Medicare For You will be held Wednesday, 5/11/2022 – Thursday, 5/12/2022.

For agenda, schedule, and registration, please go to:

2) CHAP Home Health and Hospice Operations Certification WorkshopsCHAP is offering Home Health and Hospice operations certification workshops that offer education on fiscal management, leadership skills development, compliance, quality improvement, and employee retention (please go to here for more details).

San Diego, CA
Hospice: May 10-12, 2022; Home Health: June 21-23, 2022

Arlington/DC Metro
Hospice: August 23-25, 2022;  Home Health: Sept. 13-15, 2022

Long-Term Home Health, Private Duty Nursing, and Pediatric Personal Care Update
The Office of Community Living (OCL) and the Health Programs Office (HPO) announced that over the next several months it will be transitioning the management and oversight of Long-Term Home Health (LTHH), Private Duty Nursing (PDN), and Pediatric Personal Care from the Health Programs Office to the Office of Community Living.

This transition will take place over the next 10 weeks, with a formal transition date of July 1, 2022. HPO Section Manager Matthew Colussi will help oversee the transition. Please note that Hospice, Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnostic and Treatment (EPSDT), and Pediatric Behavioral Therapy will not be included as part of the transition.

Following the transition, the HCPF will begin holding public stakeholder meetings with interested parties about these benefits, the Utilization Review/Utilization Management (UR/UM) of these services, and next steps this summer.

Just a reminder that all Colorado employers, regardless of size or industry, are required to provide “accrued” paid sick leave and public health emergency (PHE) to their employees under the Colorado Healthy Families and Workplaces Act (HFWA). 
In 2021, employers with 15 or fewer employees were required to provide PHE leave but were exempt from providing accrued leave until 2022. As of 2022, all employers are required to provide accrued paid sick leave.  Now, employees accrue one hour of paid sick leave per 30 hours worked, up to 48 hours per year. However, employers may allow employees to accrue leave at a faster rate and in greater amounts if they choose.

Colorado’s 80-hour COVID-related PHE leave continues as long as a COVID-related emergency remains “declared by a federal, state, or local public health agency” (C.R.S. § 8-13.3-402(9)), and both federal and state COVID-19 emergencies remain in effect. The right to HFWA COVID-related leave continues “until four weeks after” all applicable public health emergencies end or are suspended.

For more information on paid sick leave, please see the CDLE Division of Labor Standards and Statistics’ HFWA webpage. For more information Colorado’s labor laws in general, please refer to the Division’s website or call 303-318-8441 to speak with a Compliance Investigator

Amity’s Friday emails (newsletters) will be archived on Amity’s Healthcare Group website at  under Weekly Newsletter section.
Please do not hesitate to reach out for any assistance or questions via email, phone or website at

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Thank you,
Irina Gorovaya, RN BSN, MBA
Amity Healthcare Group, LLC
Home Health Consulting, Education and Outsourcing Services
720-353-7249 (cell) 303-690-2749 (office) 720-398-6200 (fax)

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