The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) hopes physicians would no longer have to predict how much longer a particular Medicare patient will need home care in order to have the service re-certified, according to a regulation they proposed Monday.
“In an effort to make improvements to the health care delivery system and to reduce unnecessary burdens for physicians, CMS is proposing to eliminate the requirement that the certifying physician estimate how much longer skilled services are required when recertifying the need for continued home health care,” the agency said in a fact sheet about the proposed rule.
“This proposal is responsive to industry concerns about regulatory burden reduction and could reduce claims denials that solely result from an estimation missing from the recertification statement. We estimate that this proposal would result in annualized cost savings to certifying physicians of $14 million beginning in [calendar year] 2019.”
In addition to eliminating that requirement, “we’re releasing several proposals to modernize Medicare by increasing access to remote patient monitoring,” CMS administrator Seema Verma said Monday on a phone call with reporters.
“This will allow more patients to share real-time data [with providers]. Last year we made changes to allow physicians to bill for remote patient monitoring,” she said. “Home health agencies, however, couldn’t bill for the new code. So in today’s proposal we address that disparity.”
CMS also is beginning to implement a new home infusion therapy benefit — using a transitional payment until the full benefit takes effect in 2021 — and proposing health and safety standards for home infusion therapy.