In addition, the CMS also announced that nursing homes would receive a 1.4% increase, resulting in an estimated $542 million boost in Medicare payments.
Home health providers have expected the hit. Under the proposal, they'll see a 4.75% decrease in federal payment starting in 2011, a result of reductions to the sector's prospective payment system. A 1% reduction to its annual inflationary update, which results in a proposed 1.4% market basket update, has also been applied. The CMS also proposes to further cut payments to compensate for growth in case mix that is unrelated to changes in a patient's health, reducing PPS rates by 3.79% instead of 2.71% in 2011 and an additional 3.79% in 2012.
“The new (payment) provisions will help ensure more accurate payments under Medicare and reflect prudent financial stewardship of the Medicare Trust Fund,” CMS Deputy Administrator Jonathan Blum said in a written statement.
The proposed rule also addresses a provision in the reform law that requires a physician to document that the physician or a nonphysician practitioner has had a face-to-face encounter with the patient receiving home health services.
For hospices treating seniors, the CMS has allotted a 2.6% increase in payment adjustments.