Amity Healthcare Group is excited to announce its participation in Home Care Association of Florida 33rd Annual Home Care Conference – The Roaring Twenties. It will be held in Orlando, Florida July 19-22, 2022
Please join, Irina Gorovaya, Owner and President of Amity Healthcare Group, for a presentation – Telehealth in the “Rumble” Seat: New Norm, New Opportunity – on July 20, 2022, from 3:30 pm to 4:30 pm at Citron West room.
Irina will discuss current trends and potential opportunities for telehealth in home health and review existing regulations and legislature directing the use of telehealth in home health and hospice, as well as telehealth reimbursement. Irina will also discuss recommended American Telemedicine Association (ATA) standards for telehealth and provide guidance related to the successful deployment of a telehealth program in home health, including policies, documentation, staff education, and telehealth solutions.
Please also join, Lourdes Wiley, home health consultant and clinical educator, for a presentation – Compassion Fatigue & Burnout: New Perspectives for Health Care Providers, Teams, and Organizations – on July 22, 2022, from 10:35 am-11:55 am at Sunburst room.
Lourdes will discuss the effect of the burnout and compassion fatigue on the entire organization as well as the patients served. This presentation is intended to give clinicians and non-clinicians alike a new perspective on how to care for themselves, each other, and take ownership of creating a welcoming and healthier workplace for all.
CMS Updates Guidance on Emergency Exercises
On May 26, 2022, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued an update to guidance on emergency exercises.
Please note that the updated guidance only applies if a facility is still currently operating under its activated emergency plan or reactivated its emergency plan for COVID-19 in 2021 or 2022. Facilities which have resumed normal operating status (not under their activated emergency plans) are required to conduct their testing exercises based on the regulatory requirements for their specific provider or supplier type.
Specifically, the guidance provides clarifications on testing exemptions for those providers who continue to operate under their activated emergency plan and those which may have reactivated their emergency plans for COVID-19. This guidance will also apply for any subsequent 12-month cycles in the future, in the event facilities continue to operate under their activated emergency plans for COVID-19 response activities.
Please review the guidance and adjust your emergency full-scale exercise and exercise of choice schedule accordingly to ensure regulatory compliance.
Please note that CMS posted a draft guidance manual (PDF) for OASIS- E scheduled to be in effect as of January 1, 2023.
You can also review OASIS Data Set webpage that includes a log of changes to OASIS-E instrument as of 5/16/22, as well as an updated draft of the OASIS-E instrument.
Please note the instrument is not yet final. Office of Management and Budget (OMB) approval is required and expected later this year.
Expanded HHVBP Model – Achievement Thresholds and Benchmarks
Just a reminder that the achievement thresholds and benchmarks for each quality measure in the expanded HHVBP Model are now available on the Internet Quality Improvement and Evaluation System (iQIES) portal. The achievement thresholds and benchmarks were calculated by cohort using quality measure data for the Model baseline year, which is the calendar year (CY) 2019 for the CY 2023 performance year/CY 2025 payment year.
If you have not done so yet please review the available reports, please also note what size of cohort your agency was assigned to (smaller or larger-volume cohort). It is recommended that you incorporate the data from the reports into your HHVBP pre-implementation process, including QAPI review.
If you are having difficulty accessing the report in iQIES, the information on how to access the achievement thresholds and benchmarks is available on the Expanded HHVBP Model webpage, Instructions for Accessing the Achievement Thresholds and Benchmarks in iQIES.
More information about the achievement thresholds, benchmarks, and cohorts is available in the Expanded HHVBP Model Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs), also available on the Expanded HHVBP Model webpage.
Should you experience difficulty locating the HHVBP file, please contact the iQIES Help desk staff by email at iQIES@cms.hhs.gov or by phone at (800) 339-9313.
CMS Transitions Administrative Functions for HHA Enrollments and CHOWs
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has issued Change Request 12749 that describes the transitioning of certain certification enrollment functions performed by the CMS Survey and Operations Group (SOG) Locations (formerly CMS Regional Offices) to CMS’ Center for Program Integrity (CPI) Provider Enrollment Oversight Group (PEOG) and the Medicare Administrative Contractors (MACs).
To date, CMS has transitioned several transactions that include voluntary termination applications and federally qualified health center initial enrollment applications, changes of ownership, and changes of information. Effective May 27, 2022, home health agency (HHA) initial enrollment applications and changes of ownership will be impacted by this transition.
- Home health agency (HHA) initial enrollment applications, changes of ownership under 42 CFR § 489.18 (as distinguished from changes in majority ownership under
CMS has revised the Program Integrity Manual, Chapter 10, section 10.2.1.6 to reflect the changes along with detailed instructions for initial enrollment and CHOWs for HHAs. Please go HERE to review the revised Program Integrity Manual (refer to section 10.2.1.6 – Home Health Agencies (HHAs)).
US Department of Labor publishes updated Family and Medical Leave Act guidance on mental health, job-protected leave for workers, employers
The US Department of Labor published additional guidelines supporting FMLA leave for mental health treatment for individuals and family members. The new guidance enables eligible workers to take up to 12 weeks of protected leave for mental health treatment for themselves or the care of qualifying family members (26 weeks to care for covered service members and certain veterans).
New resources have been developed to assist in the compliance and implementation of FMLA provisions as follows:
- Fact Sheet #280 – Mental Health Conditions and the FMLA
- Mental Health and the FMLA – Frequently Asked Questions
- Press Release – DOL Publishes Updated FMLA Guidance on Mental Health
- Department of Labor article – FMLA: Essential for Mental Health-Friendly Workplaces
Provider Bulletin issued on June 1, 2022, included the following notification for providers regarding Fiscal Year 2022-2023 Provider Rate Adjustments:
Health First Colorado (Colorado’s Medicaid program) across-the-board provider rate increases were approved by the Joint Budget Committee during the 2022 legislative session and are effective for dates of service beginning July 1, 2022, pending State Plan Amendment (SPA) approval from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) prior to implementation. The fee schedules located on the Provider Rates & Fee Schedule web page will be updated to reflect the approved 2.0% across-the-board rate increases. Rates will be updated in the Colorado interChange once CMS approval is received for dates of service beginning July 1, 2022.
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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)