Another ICD-10 Delay. What Now?

Question:  I understand that ICD-10 has been delayed again to 2015?  Our agency has done so much and paid a lot of money to begin preparing, what do we do now?

Answer:  You are correct. After last week’s approval in the House, the Senate voted yesterday to approve a bill that will delay the implementation of ICD-10 by at least one year. The bill now moves to President Obama, who is expected to sign it into law.

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CMS Seeks Agencies to Participate in Bundled Payment Initiatives

Question: Our agency has been a little slow finding ways to get involved in the new healthcare reform initiatives.  Any ideas on how we can get involved?

Answer: Fazzi has been involved in helping agencies prepare for the full range of healthcare reform initiatives.  We help agencies work on strengthening their operations and quality/financial outcomes as well as closely monitor new initiatives as they are released.

If you are serious about getting involved and want to be a leader rather than a secondary referral source (if you are lucky), now is your chance.  CMS has just announced that they are seeking agencies to participate in Models 1, 2, 3 and 4 of bundle payment initiatives.  Fazzi believes that Model 2 and 3 and particularly Model 3 are the options a well run home care or hospice agency can and should consider getting involved with.

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Home Care Staffing Ratios

Question: What are the ideal staffing ratios for the delivery of clinical services in home care?

Answer: It is a question we are asked all the time. While there are often differences based on unique realities in individual agencies, there are specific ratios that have consistently proven to be highly effective in service delivery. This comes from doing hundreds of operational reviews for agencies of all sizes as well reviewing best practice benchmarking using comparative data from nearly 500 agencies over the past ten years.

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New National Average Case Mix Weight

Question: We saw the Minute in the Morning email with a preliminary case mix weight of 1.3517, up from 1.27.  Can you tell me more about it and what that means for my agency?

Answer: The national average case mix weight was posted in the Proposed Home Health Prospective Payment System Update for CY 2014 as 1.3517.  We verified with the Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid that the number is preliminary based on 2012 final claims data for non-LUPA episodes.  This number will be updated with the remaining claims data for CY 2012 for the 2014 HH PPS Final Rule. Fazzi will be sure to keep you posted when this final figure is announced.

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News of Proposed 1.5% Cut Causes Home Health Stocks to Fall, How to Prepare Now

Question: I read that news of CMS’ proposed 1.5% pay cut for 2014 has resulted in a decline for home health stocks. What should I be doing to ensure my agency survives the cuts?

Answer: You are smart to be thinking about this. As reported in a recent article published by The Motley Fool, shares of publicly traded home health systems dropped as much as 28% following announcement of CMS’ announcement that home health care reimbursements are expected to be cut by 1.5% in 2014. And, that is just the start. The proposal also calls for up to a 2.5% annual cut in reimbursements from 2014 to 2017 for the national standardized 60-day episode rate.

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Fazzi Assoc. Earns Accreditation From American Nurses Credentialing Center

Fazzi Associates is pleased to announce it achieved accreditation by American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC).

ANCC Accreditation distinguishes organizations that demonstrate quality and excellence in the curriculum design and delivery of continuing nursing education (CNE). Accredited organizations, like Fazzi Associates, meet comprehensive, evidenced-based criteria to ensure CNE activities are effectively planned, implemented and evaluated. Nurses throughout the country can now gain access to the highest caliber of education to meet certification or licensure requirements, which in turn contributes to improved health care outcomes.

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