Yesterday, the Obama Administration announced new executive actions and the President signed into law legislation that will improve the quality of care for nursing home and home health patients. The President signed the Improving Medicare Post Acute Care Transformation Act of 2014 (IMPACT Act), bipartisan legislation that puts in place new and streamlined quality measures for nursing homes, home health agencies, and other post-acute care providers. The Administration took two additional steps to improve care for nursing homes and home health patients through new executive actions that will:
- Expand and strengthen Medicare’s widely-used Five Star Quality Rating System for Nursing Homes, also known as Nursing Home Compare.
- Improve quality home health care received by Medicare beneficiaries through a proposed rule that strengthens patient rights, improves communication, and focuses on patient well-being.
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The IMPACT Act also includes provisions that create greater oversight and increased transparency within the hospice community. The provisions that affect hospice providers include mandated surveys of Medicare certified hospice providers at least every three years for the next ten years minimum; medical reviews for hospice programs with soon to be determined percentage/number of patients receiving care for more than 180 days; and hospice aggregate financial cap that will be aligned with hospice reimbursement using a common inflationary index that will not change hospice reimbursement for providers.