After months of pressure from a wide range of home care industry agencies, organizations, and advocates, as well as senators and representatives in Congress, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) finally relented on a proposed change to how home care agencies would be paid. The Home Health Groupings Model (HHGM) would have required these agencies to spend more time and energy on administrative acts, filing more paperwork, and according to advocates against this measure, it would have meant limited service and support to those who require care at home.
The Partnership for Quality Home Healthcare, the National Association for Home Care & Hospice, and ElevatingHOME are just three organizations that announced their gratitude to CMS for finally making this decision.
Noted in a press release posted on PR Newswire entitled, Nation’s Home Health Leaders Commend CMS for Not Finalizing Home Health Groupings Model in Final HHPPS Rule:
“The Partnership thanks leaders at CMS and in the Administration for not finalizing HHGM. By listening to the concerns of their colleagues in Congress and stakeholders throughout the community, CMS has ensured the valuable time we need to come together to create a structure based more on a value-based, patient-centered care approach,” said Keith Myers, Chairman of the Partnership. “We look forward to engaging closely with the Administration, as requested in the final rule, to address our concerns and work collaboratively with CMS, the Administration, Congress and the beneficiary community to develop policies that support the delivery of quality care in the most cost-effective setting – the home.”
In recent months, due to increased pressure from many outlets, CMS had decided to delay implementation of HHGM in order to review the policy changes and give home care agencies more time to make the necessary adjustments that would be necessary. However, that wasn’t enough for many home care companies across the country.
The policy, according to home care advocates, would have placed an enormous burden on these agencies and administrators because they would need to file claims more often. It also would have cut Medicaid spending by over $950 million, which would have left many elderly and disabled Americans without adequate support when they needed it most.
There were also concerns about potential delays in services for those who needed help, but had to wait on proper paperwork and approval. While CMS is focused on improving efficiency and reducing fraud, HHGM could have crippled the industry and left thousands without the support and care they needed during a time when they could ill afford to go without.
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