A letter to CMS voicing deep concerns about the Home Health proposed rule with 133 signatures from members of Congress, including all nine US Representatives from Massachusetts, was sent in mid September.
CMS issued their response, which was more brief than usual and only served to thank the signers for sharing those concerns. CMS is obviously not sharing much as the finalized regulation is set to be released on November 1st.
The original congressional letter to CMS made a few major points. Concerns about the case mix cuts centered on the data CMS relied upon to make those adjustments, which were flagged as “outdated” and illogical. CMS essentially ignored the past five years of data and instead used a decade of data in the prior time period to make projections going forward.
The letter also raised concerns about the proposed Value-Based Purchasing Program (VBP) that will take place in nine states, including Massachusetts. Specifically, the five-to-eight percent penalty/reward window was put forth as much too severe and dramatic as was the immense list of quality measures that CMS proposed that agencies would track as part of the VBP.
Among those leading on the letter were Massachusetts Congressman and home health care champion Jim McGovern. The Alliance thanks Congressman McGovern and all in the state’s congressional delegation that signed on. More information will be announced following the release of the final rule.
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