Newsletter – November 2017
Non-Medical: Policy Support Changes
All New Non-Medical agencies to Certified Home Care Consulting are receiving an email link for the policies now - instead of the previous process of one policy call. This change provides information that can be viewed as often as necessary, and can be utilized for any new staff who may need to be educated on agency policies and procedures, and where to find them.
The CMS issued moratorium on new Home Health agencies in 4 states was approved to remain in place for an additional 6 months on July 29th,2017. While CMS did lift the moratorium in Texas on ground ambulance (Part B) services due to the natural disasters affecting many regions of the state in August, this did nothing to affect the existing moratoria on HHA’s (home health agencies). While things remain the same for our agencies, this does provide some hope as to the future lifting of moratoria in all affected areas.
The MassHealth Medicaid enacted moratorium on all new Home Health agency provider enrollment for services as well as the moratorium enacted for MassHealth support programs (Adult Foster Care, PCA Waivers) have both been extended for an additional six months, respectively. The Home Health provider enrollment moratorium will be reviewed again on February 11th, 2018 and the MassHealth support program moratorium will be revisited on April 10th, 2018.
Emergency Preparedness Changes Are Fast Approaching
Emergency Preparedness needs to be in place by November 15, 2017. Surveyors will be performing unannounced visits for compliance at any time after the 15th, and all agencies are responsible for having the plan in place. Existing agencies with CHC are able to access our webinar detailing more information at https://www.certifiedhomecareconsulting.com/chc-video/
2018 Medicare CoP Highlights
Infection control is a new committee required by the new CMS regulations going into effect on January 13, 2018. The committee is responsible for education of employees and clients regarding infection control: influenza, shingles, cough hygiene, and hand washing. The committee will meet quarterly to review the incidence of infection amongst staff and clients. Performance improvement plans must be put into place to address any trends or issues that have arisen during the quarter. Example: increase in UTI’s (urinary tract infections) among patients, and how the agency plans to reduce these recurrences.
The Patient Bill of Rights must be reviewed with the patient at admission. The patient must be asked if they would like their representative to have a copy. If they say yes, the agency has 4 days to provide a copy to the representative. If the patient does not want the representative to receive a copy, it must be documented that the response was no.
Hospice Industry News
Hospice Health Compare is now available for patients to review the quality of an agency against the quality of other agencies in the area. Hospice Medicare regulations are about to change, STAY TUNED