CMS Holds Third Special Open Door Forum On F2F Encounter Templates

CMS held its third Special Open Door Forum call for the voluntary electronic clinical template for the home health face-to-face (F2F) encounter on May 20. CMS officials presented the latest version of the electronic and paper templates. The paper version is two pages and consists mostly of questions requiring a narrative response; the electronic version is a combination of questions that require a narrative response and checkboxes. Included in these revised versions is a “Progress Note Guidance” page that describes the purpose of the template and the criteria for the home health certification, including the F2F encounter.

During the forum, presenters reminded participants that the templates are not mandatory but can serve as a physician progress note and/or guide for documenting the F2F encounter for patients who are referred to home health care. CMS also informed participants that the Office of Management and Budget must approve the templates before they can be released. CMS estimates that it will take approximately six months.

The majority of the call was dedicated to a question and answer period related to process issues when a physician’s co-signature would be required on the F2F encounter document. CMS did not provide a definitive answer to these questions because it is currently reviewing its policies on co-signatures on the F2F encounter document. However, CMS was clear the progress note must be completed by the physician or the allowed non-physician practitioner.

Click here to view the revised electronic and paper F2F encounter templates.

Click here to read more.

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Attention Hospices: Registration For National Provider Call Now Open

The Hospice Quality Reporting Program National Provider Call scheduled by CMS is on June 17, 2015, from 1:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. EST.

During this call, CMS will discuss the new Hospice Item Set (HIS) Manual (V1.02), with a focus on updates that were made to the HIS Manual from V1.01 to V1.02 and provide clarifications of HIS definitions and expectations for use. Providers should review V1.02, which will be available on the HIS website prior to the call.

Click here to register.

Additional information:

Event:  Hospice Quality and Hospice Item Set Manual V1.02

Topic:  Hospice Quality Reporting Program

When:  Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Time:  1:30 PM – 3:00 PM Eastern Time

Click here for more info.

CMS Reissues Hospice CR 9114

CMS has rescinded Change Request 9114 (originally issued April 3) and has posted a replacement CR 9114. Additionally, a related Medlearn Matters article has also been posted.

CMS’ action is in response to concerns that the original issuance on April 3 was inconsistent with statements issued as part of the final hospice payment rule for FY 2015 relating to requirements surrounding designation of the attending physician. The final rule that was published in August 2014 suggested that in clearly identifying the attending physician the election statement should include the physician’s name, address or NPI. The April 3 CR indicated that the physician’s name and NPI must be included on the election statement.

In the reissued CR 9114, CMS “has revereted to the language included in the final rule. Because the new attending physician requirements were effective October 1, 2014 and the new language is reflective of what was included in the final payment rule, the effective date of changes in the revised CR9114 is October 1, 2014.”

NAHC has included two excerpts from the new CR 9114 on the attending physician designation to represent language that will be incorporated in Chapter 9 of the Medicare Benefit Policy Manual.

Click here to read more from NAHC.

DOL Proposes Changes To Overtime Exemption For Salaried Workers

On May 5, 2015, the U.S. Department of Labor submitted a proposed rule for review by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to modify the standards of the application of overtime exemptions for professional and executive personnel who are paid on a salary basis. Although the details of the rule are not yet available, it is expected that the rule change will raise the minimum salary level required for an application of the exemptions and tighten the standards for determining whether an employee is a “professional” or an “executive.”

Currently, the minimum salary necessary to qualify for exemptions is $455 per week. In March of last year, President Obama stated that he wanted the standards to be updated an ordered the Department of Labor to begin revising the rules.

Although there are many speculations on the content of the proposed rule, many observers expect the minimum salary level for qualification for the exemptions will likely double. The proposed rule is expected to be released by OMB in a matter of weeks.

Click here to read more.

OSHA Revises Guidelines For Preventing Workplace Violence

The Department of Labor, Occupation Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued a revised version of their Guidelines for Preventing Workplace Violence for Healthcare and Social Service Workers. It has been updated from OSHA’s 1996 and 2004 voluntary guidelines.

The new guidelines state that healthcare and social service workers face a significant risk of job-related violence. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) show that 27 out of 100 fatalities in healthcare and social service settings that occurred in 2013 were due to assaults and violent acts. Between 2011 and 2013, workplace assaults ranged from 23,540 and 25,630 annually, with 70 to 74% occurring in healthcare and social service settings.

The new guidelines are based on industry best practices and feedback from stakeholders, and provide recommendations for developing policies and procedures to eliminate or reduce workplace violence in a range of settings.

Click here to see OSHA’s revised guidelines.

Click here for more info on preventing workplace violence.

Click here to read more.

NAHC Develops “IN FOCUS” Series To Provide In-Depth Coverage Of FY 2016 Hospice Payment Rule

The National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) published an initial overview of the proposed FY 2016 Hospice Payment Rule in NAHC Report on May 1, 2015. However, in order to provide more in-depth coverage, NAHC is developing a series of “IN FOCUS” articles that will be published over the next few weeks. Part 1 of the series has been published. Click here to see it. Part 1 focuses on hospice diagnosis reporting and CMS’ expectations of hospice responsibilities in this regard.

CMS Posts Hospice HIS Updates & Announces Training For June 17

CMS has scheduled training on the Hospice Item Set (HIS) for Wednesday, June 17 from 1:30pm to 3:00 p.m. EST,

The training will cover updates that were made to the HIS Manual from V1.01 to V.02. Updates to the HIS Manual, and the related HIS training, will provide clarifications of HIS item definitions and expectations for use.

Providers cannot register for the MLN Connects National Provider Call yet. However, instructions for registration will be posted on the MLN National Provider Calls and Events webpage, and on the CMS HQRP HIS website.

Additionally,  CMS posted the HIS Q + A document for the first quarter of 2015. Click here for additional information.

Click here to read more.