A critical new federal government funding bill could make big changes in Medicare home health care rules.
The bill could also lead to big changes in Medicare chronic care benefits rules.
The proposed changes are in the current draft of the new “Further Extension of Continuing Appropriations Act, 2018″ (FECAA) bill. The bill would give the government the spending authorization it needs to stay open until March 23.
(Related: Trump Signs ACA Tax Blocker Bill)
The current spending authority, in the Extension of Continuing Appropriations Act, 2018 (ECAA), will expire on on Thursday.
The House Rules Committee plans to meet to package the FECCA bill for House floor action at 2 p.m. Eastern time.
The committee will stream live video of the meeting here.
Proposed Medicare Changes
Here’s a look at five key Medicare provisions, other than straightforward funding and program extension provisions, in the current version of the FECCA text.
If approved, and implemented, as written, FECCA could:
1. Shorten the standard “unit of service” Medicare home health billing to 30 days, from 60 days. (Section 2201)
In the past, home health agencies have said that change could cut home health care spending and make it harder for patients to get Medicare home health benefits.
2. Let the secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) cut home health care benefits if the HHS secretary thinks that, in the recent past, home health care providers have been overbilling. (Section 2201)
3. Let HHS use a home health agency’s own medical records, as well as the records of hospital or nursing home physician, to show whether a patient is eligible for Medicare home health benefits. (Section 2202)
4. Make it easier for the HHS secretary to let Medicare Advantage plans cover telehealth services. (Section 2313)
Comments on how that should work would be due in November.