Home Health/ Home Care

On March 12, 2024, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit issued an important decision interpreting the “willfulness” standard necessary to find a violation of the federal Anti-Kickback Statute (AKS). The decision provides important guidance for health care and pharmaceutical organizations on what constitutes a knowing violation of the AKS and for counsel

On Wednesday, November 1, the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released its Home Health Prospective Payment System Rate Update final rule for CY 2024 (the Final Rule). The Rule estimates that the aggregate increase to Medicare home health payments for 2024 will be 0.8 percent, or $140 million. This 0.8 percent increase results from the combined effects of three forecasted rate changes: (1) a 3.0 percent increase to home health payments, (2) a 2.6 percent decrease based on the permanent behavior assumption adjustment, and (3) a 0.4 percent increase resulting from an update to the fixed-dollar loss ratio, which is used to determine outlier payments. The 0.8 percent increase is a departure from the Proposed Rule, which estimated a cut in payments of up to 3 percent.Continue Reading CMS Announces 0.8 Percent Aggregate Home Health Payment Increase in 2024

On Monday, October 2, 2023, the New York Office of the Medicaid Inspector General (OMIG) published its Annual Report for 2022. The Report details the various efforts that New York’s Medicaid program undertook in 2022 to accrue $3.4 billion in recoveries and cost avoidance.Continue Reading New York OMIG Issues 2022 Annual Report

On April 27, 2023, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking entitled Ensuring Access to Medicaid Services (Proposed Rule) which would, among other things, establish requirements for the amount of Medicaid payment going towards home care worker compensation.Continue Reading CMS Proposes New Rule that Would Require 80 Percent of Payment to Go Toward Home Care Worker Compensation

On May 2, 2023, legislators approved the $229 billion New York State FY 2023-2024 Budget Bill (“the Budget”), which was signed by Governor Hochul on May 3, 2023. Article VII of the Budget touches almost every aspect of the New York healthcare system, including home health, hospitals, laboratories, and reproductive health. It contains wide-ranging provisions that expand access to care, allow clinicians to provide more services, and allocate needed resources to providers. It targets Medicaid in multiple ways, including an extension of the Medicaid Global Cap on system-wide spending growth through FY 2025.[i] Here, we outline some of the key provisions that this Budget contains.Continue Reading New York Enacts Long Negotiated Budget Bill with Sweeping Implications for Health Care

On March 22, 2023, Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear signed House Bill 200, referred to as the “Kentucky Healthcare Workforce Development Act” (“the Bill”), into law. The Bill was enacted in response to current healthcare workforce shortages. In an effort to mitigate these workforce shortages, the Bill allocates funds for health care training programs across a wide range of professions, including home health and nursing. The intent of this investment is to remove the financial barriers that discourage many potential students from seeking health care training, and to add new incentives for high-performing health care training programs.  The Bill further adds a requirement that all public health care training programs review the cost of attendance against the earning potential of their graduates.Continue Reading Kentucky Governor Signs Bill Aimed at Mitigating Healthcare Workforce Shortages: Beginning of a Trend?

This fall, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed Assembly Bill No. 2673 (the Bill), which amends various sections of the California Health and Safety Code relating to hospice agencies. Among other things, the Bill prohibits hospice agency license transfers; adds requirements for hospice agency license applicants; increases oversight authority by the California State Department of Public Health (the Department); and updates the moratorium on new hospice agency licenses.Continue Reading California Governor Signs Bill Further Increasing Oversight of Hospice Agencies

On December 27, 2022, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released a proposed rule (Proposed Rule) which proposes certain policy and technical changes to Medicare regulations, including a notable change to the current standard under the “60-Day Rule” for identifying a Medicare overpayment. Specifically, CMS indicated that it is proposing to (i) “adopt by reference” the federal False Claims Act’s (FCA) definitions of “knowing” and “knowingly” as governing when an overpayment is identified, and (ii) eliminate the “reasonable diligence” standard that has been in place, but subject to challenges, for a number of years.Continue Reading No More Reasonable Diligence? CMS Proposes to Change Standard for Identifying Medicare Overpayments to Align with False Claims Act

On November 4, 2022, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) published the calendar year 2023 Home Health Prospective Payment System Rate final rule, which updates Medicare payment policies and rates for home health agencies.  Some of the key changes implemented by the final rule are summarized below.Continue Reading CMS Issues Calendar Year 2023 Home Health Final Rule

On August 18, 2022, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed S-315, “An Act concerning changes in control of health care entities” (the Act). The Act implements employment protection for healthcare workers when certain licensed health care facilities, staffing registries, and home care services in New Jersey undergo a change in ownership. The Act first requires that former health care entity employers provide the successor health care entity with information pertaining to employees (i.e., employee names, addresses, dates of hire, phone numbers, wage rates, employment classifications) not less than thirty days before a change in control. The Act also requires former health care entity owners to inform eligible employees of the rights provided by the Act and to post a notice of their rights under the Act in a conspicuous location.Continue Reading New Jersey Governor Signs Act Concerning Changes in Control of Health Care Entities