Home Health Agencies Under New Rules
Home health agencies under new rules as of last month. New conditions for 12,600 home health agencies to participate in Medicare and Medicaid have been published and they go into effect this July. The new rules may be delayed as the Trump administration has asked for time to review them before implementation. The estimated cost associated with implementation that the agencies will have to absorb is $293 million in year one and $234 million a year thereafter.
Home health services under Medicare are available to seniors or adults with disabilities who are home bound and have a need that has been certified by a physician. They may require intermittent skilled nursing care or some type of therapy due to as an example a heart attach, stroke or broken hip. Qualified Medicare recipients must be able to improve their Add to level of function, as an example they might need to be retrained to stand from a sitting position without an assist.
Much like long term and post acute care facilities, now the home health care providers will have to develop patient centered programming and services. No longer with the agencies tell the patient what services they will receive, patients will now have a say it their goals and the services they are provided by the agency.
Patients rights have been updated, for the first time home health agencies will have to inform patients of their rights, both verbally and in writing. Explanations of these right must be explained clearly and in a language the patient can understand.
For the first time agencies will be asked to assess family caregivers’ willingness and ability to provide assistance to patients when developing their plan of care. Prior to these new regulations agencies only had to deal with patients’ legal representatives and not their family caregivers or personal representative.
Reasons for discharging a patient must now be clearly established under the new rules and new safeguards are to be instituted. As an example an agency cannot discontinue services due to a staff shortage.