FutureFocus February 21, 2018: Reforms Ahead: Hospital Discharges, Telehealth, Hospice, and Payment Systems

Lisa Remington

In this week’s FutureFocus, we discuss four reforms coming to your organization. Key topics will impact home health payment reform, hospice, a new hospital discharge penalty, and the expansion of telehealth. We provide insights to each reform.

Lisa Remington, President, Remington Health Strategy Group

The Bipartisan Budget Act (PL115-123) signed into law by President Trump February 9 includes a requirement for the HHS Secretary to reform the current home health payment system, implementing a 30-day episode for payment, beginning January 1, 2020.

The Bipartisan Budget Act (PL115-123) will allow physician assistants to serve as the attending physician to hospice patients, incorporating policies found in the Medicare Patient Access to Hospice Act (HR1284), sponsored by Sens. Mike Enzi (R-WY) and Tom Carper (D-DE) and Reps. Lynn Jenkins (R-KS) and Mike Thompson (D-CA).

Beginning in FY 2019, The Bipartisan Budget Act (PL115-123) will reduce payments to hospitals when a hospital discharges a patient to hospice care early in their stay, similar to CMS’ post-acute care transfer policy.

The Bipartisan Budget Act (PL115-123) includes these provisions for expanding the use of telehealth under Medicare: