Dobson DaVanzo & Associates, LLC has been commissioned by the Home Health Advocacy Coalition to identify the current process home health agencies use for the admission of Medicare patients in home health and investigate how the proposed home health benefit and payment changes set forth in the recently proposed rule may impact the patient access to home health.
We understand that to be eligible for Medicare's current home health benefit, the patient's attending physician must certify that the beneficiary needs intermittent skilled nursing care or physical therapy or speech language pathology and is essentially confined to the home. Under the proposed rule, patients are required to have a face-to-face encounter with the certifying physician within 30 days prior to, or 14 days following, the start of home health care. A qualifying face-to-face encounter with a physician must relate to the primary reason the patient requires home health care.*
The proposed rule also provides that therapy patients requiring 13 or 19 therapy visits require a reassessment by a qualified therapist before any more therapy visits are covered in their episode. This is to ensure that patients receiving therapy continue to remain eligible for the benefit and receive effective care.**
Dobson DaVanzo is surveying several home health providers to determine the effect these changes will have on patient access to home health. To facilitate the completion of this questionnaire, we encourage you to consult with individuals across your organizations, such as financial officers, clinical managers, hospital discharge planners, and home health nurses. Your responses will be used to better express to CMS and Congress how these changes may affect patients' access to home health. All results will be held confidential - only aggregated, unidentified results will be presented in either written or oral form.
The questionnaire is divided into two main sections: 1) Current Medicare Home Health Care Benefit and 2) Future Implementation of Proposed Medicare Home Health Benefits.
If you have any questions or comments regarding this questionnaire, please contact Audrey El-Gamil at Dobson DaVanzo at 703.260.1764 (direct); 301.518.3675 (cell) or by email at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please submit your responses by August 20, 2010.
*Department of Health and Human Services, 74 Fed.Reg. 43267.
**Department of Health and Human Services, 74 Fed.Reg. 43246.