Is your Home Health Agency ready for the Final Rule to the Conditions of Participation?

Medicare-certified home health agencies have almost doubled from 6,461 in 1990 to 12,268 in 2014 due to longer life expectancy, advanced medical interventions, and decreased length of stay in hospitals and skilled nursing facilities.

 

The increased utilization of home health services coincides with the rising expenditure related to home health services. Home health care expenditures in the United States have continually increased from $12.5 billion in 1990 to $83.2 billion in 2014.

 

Due to increased benefit and utilization of home health services, it was time for the Conditions of Participation (CoPs) to be updated to reflect our current healthcare initiatives.

It has been 20 years since there has been a final revision to the CoPs for home health agencies (HHA). The final rule to the CoPs is scheduled to be effective on January 13th, 2018, and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has revised the CoPs to increase focus on HHAs providing patient-centered care, while delivering quality treatments that are measurable.

 

The final rule addresses areas that were revised in attempt to eliminate unnecessary burdens on HHAs. If you haven’t started already, it is vital for your HHA to understand and begin the process of implementing the final rule.

 

Failure to comply or adapt to the final rule will have a significant impact on financials, outcomes, and the quality of patient care.

The goal of new CoPs are to ensure all HHAs deliver “patient-centered, data-driven, outcome-oriented processes that promote high quality patient care at all times for all patients.”

 

It is important to recognize that CMS did receive recommendations from home health providers, professional associations, consumer advocates, and other governmental agencies, who participate in HHA regulation and oversight to provide information to create standards that are achievable and measurable.  The following are highlights of the major changes.