CMS to Pay Home Health Providers for Remote Monitoring

November 12, 2018 | Eric D. Fader | Home Health | Legislation and Public Policy | Medicare and Medicaid | Telehealth

On Oct. 31, 2018, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a final rule to update the payment system for home health agencies and improve access to remote patient monitoring technology. The rule will allow home health providers to build the costs of remote monitoring technology into their Medicare reimbursement beginning Jan. 1, 2020.

In CMS’s press release, CMS Administrator Seema Verma said that the rule will help home health agencies reduce costs and improve patient outcomes. It is hoped that encouraging providers to adopt new technologies will permit patients to share more real-time data, which in turn will allow providers to better tailor the patients’ care.

The rule also changes how home health visits will be reimbursed, by eliminating therapy thresholds and focusing on clinical characteristics. “This home health final rule focuses on patient needs and not on the volume of care,” Verma said. The rule also eliminates the requirement that physicians estimate how much longer a patient will require home care when recertifying them for continued services, and adds reimbursement for home infusion therapy services beginning in 2019.

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