HHCAHPS, Hospice Quality Reporting and Hospice Payment Policy Updates.

CMS held an Open Door Forum for Home Health, Hospice and DME on May 23rd, 2012.

An encore of the presentation is available until midnight tonight (May 25th, 2012).  Dial (855) 859 2056 / ID: 52259092.  In case you missed the live call and will not be able to listen to the encore, we’ve put together some of the highlights of the call for Home Health and Hospice:

Medicare Non-Coverage Notice was an item that was originally part of the agenda for the May 23rd Open Door Forum but was removed.


  • CMS began publicly reporting Home Health CAHPS data on April 19th, 2012 on Home Health Compare website. The next update for Home Health Compare will take place in July. CMS stated that since agencies must submit at least 12 months of data prior to being included in Home Health Compare to be statistically valid that they expect, more agencies data to be available over the next few quarters.
  • Home Health CAHPS Vendors must submit the first quarter 2012 HH CAHPS data for the next data submission period by 11:59PM Thursday July 19th.
  • CMS advised all agencies to regularly check to see if their monthly HH CAHPS data is being submitted by their HH CAHPS Survey Vendor. Agencies can check this and see the history of all data submissions using the login credentials issued to their agency survey administrator, then Click on the HHA tab and Click on the Data Submissions Report link.
  • CMS reminded agencies new to HH CAHPS to be sure they have authorized their survey vendor to submit HH CAHPS on their behalf on the HH CAHPS Site.

Update on Hospice Quality Reporting

RTI has completed analysis of the information that was submitted by more than 600 hospice agencies during the voluntary reporting period.  As a reminder the information collected was in answer to the question, “Does your hospice have a QAPI program that includes three or more quality indicators related to patient care?”

Data was collected between October 1, 2011 through December 31, 2011 and was submitted during the month of January 2012.

  • An executive summary of the information can be found on the Spotlights & Announcements page or by clicking here to access the Hospice Quality Reporting site.

Hospice Payment Policy Update

Face to Face (F2F) Encounters

  • During the February Open Door Forum there was a question that was outstanding regarding Face to Face encounters and election periods associated with multiple hospice agencies.  The question was related to a hospice agency admitting a patient.  Prior to admission they checked the common working file to see if the patient had been on service elsewhere.  They continue to check the CWF as the patient is on-service.  During one of the instances they learn that the patient did receive hospice care previously.  The benefit periods that the existing hospice is using are now incorrect.  As a result the F2F encounter wasn’t conducted within the appropriate time frame.
  • Clarification was provided and agencies were directed back to the Final Rule to read specific information.  The final rule states that hospice agencies can check with the patient and/or family to identify whether the patient has previously been cared for under the hospice benefit.  They can also check the HETs 270/271 transaction system for information.  There is no flexibility with this issue as the language in the ACA necessitates a cert/recert under the hospice benefit.

Hospice Cap Calculation

  • CMS anticipates CR being available to providers shortly on utilizing the Patient by Patient or Streamlined approach for Cap calculation.
  • MACs were instructed, as of May 9, 2012, to begin issuing cap calculation letters for the years October 31, 2011 and earlier.  All cap letters for the 2010 cap year must be issued by 12/31/12 and for 2011 by 3/31/2013.

The choices and information were released as part of CMS-1355-F.

CMS has just announced that the next Home Health Hospice & DME/Quality Open Door Forum has been scheduled for Wednesday, July 11, 2012 from 2:00pm-3:00pmET. Participants can dial 1-800-837-1935 Conference ID 76228833. The call will be Conference Call Only.

Thank you,
Deanna and Darlene.