Final rule to pay home health agencies for remote patient monitoring

A final rule from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services will allow home health agencies to be reimbursed for remote patient monitoring.


____simple_html_dom__voku__html_wrapper____>A final rule from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services will allow home health agencies to be reimbursed for remote patient monitoring.

On Wednesday, CMS took the action as part of a broader package of changes to the Home Health Prospective Payment System designed to strengthen and modernize Medicare. The rule marks the first time remote monitoring will be covered under Medicare.

“This home health final rule focuses on patient needs and not on the volume of care,” said CMS Administrator Seema Verma in a written statement. “This rule also innovates and modernizes home health care by allowing remote patient monitoring.”

Also See: CMS rules boost record demands for home health

Last year, CMS made changes to enable physicians to bill for services related to remote patient monitoring to leverage technology to help track patents’ clinical data, such as weight, blood pressure and heart rate. However, home health agencies could not bill for these services.

However, the new rule allows CMS to cover the costs of the technology reported by home health agencies as allowable expenses when they’re included on the Medicare cost report form.

“This is expected to help foster the adoption of emerging technologies by home health agencies and result in more effective care planning, as data are shared among patients, their caregivers and their providers,” according to the agency. “The use of such technology can allow for greater patient independence and empowerment.”

In addition, CMS is reducing administrative burdens by eliminating duplicative and unnecessary recertification requirements while focusing quality measures on those that actually track positive health outcomes.

The agency estimates that that burden reduction as a result of the Home Health Quality Reporting Program and other proposed changes will result in a net $60 million in annualized cost savings for home health agencies beginning in 2020.

“Using new technology and reducing unnecessary reporting measures for certifying physicians will result in an annual cost savings and provide home health agencies and doctors what they need to give patients a personalized treatment plan that will result in better health outcomes,” added Verma.

CMS is accepting comments on the final home health rule, which goes into effect on January 1, until December 31.

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