Discharge Planning
CMS has proposed to revise the discharge planning requirements that hospitals, including long-term care hospitals and inpatient rehabilitation facilities, critical access hospitals and home health agencies, must meet in order to participate in the Medicare and Medicaid programs. It would also implement the discharge planning requirements of the Improving Medicare Post-Acute Care Transformation Act of 2014 (IMPACT Act).

As called for in the IMPACT Act, these facilities and providers would be required to develop a discharge plan based on the goals, preferences and needs of each applicable patient.


2016 Home Health Payment Changes
In a final ruling issued Thursday, CMS announced changes to the Medicare home health prospective payment system (HH PPS) for calendar year (CY) 2016. CMS projects that Medicare payments to home health agencies in CY 2016 will be reduced by 1.4 percent, or $260 million.


Home Health Value-based Purchasing (HHVBP) Model
Also included in Thursday’s final rule was an update on the HHVBP model proposed in July. Beginning January 1, 2016, CMS will implement the HHVBP model among all home health agencies in nine states. All Medicare-certified home health agencies that provide services in Massachusetts, Maryland, North Carolina, Florida, Washington, Arizona, Iowa, Nebraska and Tennessee will compete on value in the HHVBP model, where payment is tied to quality performance.