Bulletin: April 14th, 2020

April 14th, 2020


COVID-19 Resource Center

HOME HEALTH and HOSPICE: ODM’s Final Telehealth Guidance – A message from ODM Director Maureen Corcoran on telehealth: Thank you for continuing to support Ohioans in need of care during the COVID-19 crisis. Today we are notifying you of updates to our telehealth policies. Attached you will find a document summarizing the changes. Additionally, a link has been provided for more information about billing. Should you have questions, please do not hesitate to submit an email inquiry at Medicaid@medicaid.ohio.gov.
Please take care, and thanks again,
Maureen M. Corcoran, Director
Ohio Department of Medicaid

Home Health Agencies: CMS Flexibilities to Fight COVID-19NPs, CNSs & PAs can now certify eligibility for the home health Plans of Care and Certifying/Recertifying Patient Eligibility.  
HOSPICE: FY 2021 Hospice Proposed Rule Released, NAHC Form of States, April 10, 2020—The FY 2021 Hospice Proposed Rule includes the following: 

  • update the hospice wage index, payment rates, and cap amount for fiscal year (FY) 2021
  • proposes changes to the hospice wage index by adopting the most recent Office of Management and Budget statistical area delineations,with a 5% cap on wage index decreases
  • summarizes the changes to the hospice election statement finalized in the FY 2020 Hospice Wage Index and Rate Update final rule and effective for October 1, 2020; and provides hospices with a model election statement and sample addendum 
  • the proposed FY 2021 hospice payment update percentage is 2.6 percent
OCHCH will do further analysis of the Proposed Rule and will keep Hospice providers updated.
HOSPICE: CMS Releases Q and A on Hospice Telehealth, NAHC Forum of States List Serve, April 9, 2020

HOME HEALTH and HOSPICE: Guidance on COVID-19 and Adult CPR, NAHC List Serve, April 9, 2020

HOME HEALTH and HOSPICE: Updated Questions and Answers on COVID-19, CMS MLN Matters, April 9, 2020-- Review CMS’ updated FAQs to equip the American health care system with maximum flexibility to respond to the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Check this resource often as CMS updates it on a regular basis - CMS inserts the date at the end of each FAQ when it is new or updated.

HOME HEALTH and HOSPICE: Your FAQ for Employment Issues During COVID-19 Pandemic, NAHC Report, April 13, 2020 – This invaluable resource answers your questions about how the COVID-19 pandemic has changed employment issues in the home cae industry. It has important news updates on the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, the CARES Act, employee relations, and more. READ IT!

HOME HEALTH and HOSPICE: COVID-19 Long Term Care Transfer Scenrios, CMS List Serve, April 14, 2020 – CMS is providing supplemental information for transferring or discharging residents between skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) and/or nursing facilities based on COVID-19 status (i.e., positive, negative, unknown/under observation). In general, if two or more certified LTC facilities want to transfer or discharge residents between themselves for the purposes of cohorting, they do not need any additional approval to do so. However, if a certified LTC facility would like to transfer or discharge residents to a non-certified location for the purposes of cohorting, they need approval from the State Survey Agency.
A copy of the guidance and a graphic explaining the various scenarios can be found here

HOME HEALTH and HOSPICE: Trump Administration Acts to Ensure U.S. Healthcare Facilities Can Maximize Frontline Workforces to Confront COVID-19 Crisis, CMS List Serve, April 9, 2020 – CMS announced several changes CMS on April 9, 2020 which will ensure that healthcare facilities across the nation can expand their staffs and organize them in the most efficient way possible to handle the incoming surge of COVID-19 patients.
As a result of CMS’s action:
  • Occupational therapists from home health agencies can now perform initial assessments on certain homebound patients, allowing home health services to start sooner and freeing home-health nurses to do more direct patient care.
  • Hospice nurses will be relieved of hospice aide in-service training tasks so they can spend more time with patients.
  • Doctors can now directly care for patients at rural hospitals, across state lines if necessary, via phone, radio, or online communication, without having to be physically present. Remotely located physicians, coordinating with nurse practitioners at rural facilities, will provide staffs at such facilities additional flexibility to meet the needs of their patients.
  • Nurse practitioners, in addition to physicians, may now perform some medical exams on Medicare patients at skilled nursing facilities so that patient needs, whether COVID-19 related or not, continue to be met in the face of increased care demands.

For a fact sheet detailing additional information on the waivers click here

>>>RCD/PDGM UPDATES –                                                                                                                  

If you have PDGM or RCD QUESTIONS PLEASE SEND THEM TO helpdesk@ochch.org
Use PDGM or RCD as the subject title.
If you need OCHCH to contact Palmetto GBA regarding a PCR NON-AFFIRMATION,
Please e-mail a short description and the UTN and your provider number.
DO NOT e-mail any info that could be non-compliant with the HIPAA regulations
Please check out the toolkits for PDGM and also RCD!
INFORMATION from the RCD ONLY Call on April 3, 2020:
OCHCH RCD Update: April 3rd, 2020;

RCD for Ohios Home Health Services Has Been PAUSED

Our Take

New Daily PPE Survey Aims to Dent Shortage

The Ohio Department of Health (ODH) and the Ohio Department of Medicaid (ODM) have released a new PPE survey that they’re asking long-term care providers to complete EVERYDAY.

Here is a link to the survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/88R2KSD

Both ODH and ODM have been asked to provide consistent and daily data from long-term care (LTC) providers, non-long term (NLTC) providers and hospitals.  To ensure there is consistency, they have developed a more robust survey for LTC and NLTC to align with the hospital survey provided by the Ohio Hospital Association (OHA). 
It’s really important that your agency takes the time to complete the short survey EVERYDAY by 5pm! OCHCH has been hard at work trying to get the state’s assistance with PPE, but if home health and hospice agencies do not fill out the survey, then the state may think we don’t need PPE.
The new survey data will allow accurate projections and allocations to occur. The state hopes the survey will assist with distributing PPE to the neediest areas. We must show the state there is a need for health care at home agencies.
The survey will go out daily through ODH’s Enhanced Information Dissemination and Collection (EIDC) system and other mechanisms. Since many of our members aren’t in the EIDC system, you can use the link here to complete the survey every day. Click here to complete the survey.
If you’re your agency is already completing a PPE survey through some other mechanism like OHA please disregard this survey.  It’s important if you have an NPI number that you indicate that in the survey. 
The survey at this time is voluntary; however, we cannot stress enough the importance of doing this survey every day. The link will remain the same each day. Please let us know if you have any comments, questions, or concerns. Thanks!


Joe Russell, Executive Director, Ohio Council for Home Care and Hospice

HelpDesk Question of the Week


HOME HEALTH and HOSPICE: Tips for Care Givers

Question: How do the home health and hospice agencies help caregivers?

Answer: Share the “Caring For A Person At Home With COVID-19: Caregiver Instructions.” CHAPinc. April 7, 2020


Regulatory & Policy Digest


HOME HEALTH and HOSPICE: SE 20011-Medicare Fee-for-Service (FFS) Response to the Public Health Emergency on the Coronavirus (COVID-19), CMS MLN Matters, April 10, 2020 –  We revised this article on April 10, 2020, to:
 • Link to all the blanket waivers related to COVID-19 
 • Provide place of service coding guidance for telehealth claims
 • Link to the Telehealth Video for COVID-19
 • Add information on the waiver of coinsurance and deductibles for certain testing and related  services 
 • Add information on the expanded use of ambulance origin/destination modifiers
 • Provide new specimen collection codes for clinical diagnostic laboratories billing
 • Add guidance regarding delivering notices to beneficiaries.
All other information is the same.

HOME HEALTH and HOSPICE: Trump Administration Announces Expanded Coverage for Essential Diagnostic Services Amid COVID-19 Public Health Emergency, CMS List Serve, April 11, 2020 – The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), together with the Departments of Labor and the Treasury, issued guidance today to ensure Americans with private health insurance have coverage of 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) diagnostic testing and certain other related services, including antibody testing, at no cost.  As part of the effort to slow the spread of the virus, this guidance is another action the Trump Administration is taking to remove financial barriers for Americans to receive necessary COVID-19 tests and health services, as well as encourage the use of antibody testing that may help to enable health care workers and other Americans to get back to work more quickly. 

HOME HEALTH and HOSPICE: Medicare FFS Claims: 2% Payment Adjustment Suspended (Sequestration), CMS MLN Matters, April 9, 2020 – Section 3709 of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act temporarily suspends the 2% payment adjustment currently applied to all Medicare Fee-For-Service (FFS) claims due to sequestration. The suspension is effective for claims with dates of service from May 1 through December 31, 2020

HOME HEALTH and HOSPICE: Multi-Factor Authentication Requirement Delayed for PECOS, I&A, and NPPES, CMS MLN Matters, April 9, 2020 – In an effort to reduce provider burden, CMS delayed Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) requirements for the following systems:

  • Provider Enrollment, Chain, and Ownership System (PECOS):  MFA is delayed until further notice.
  • Identity and Access Management System (I&A): You have a 360-day grace period to set up MFA after your first login. By September 30, 2021, you are required to use MFA to successfully access the system. Set up the appropriate surrogacy and employer connections to ensure access.
  • National Plan and Provider Enumeration System (NPPES): You have a 360-day grace period to set up MFA after your first login. By September 30, 2021, you are required to use MFA to successfully access the system.
HOME HEALTH and HOSPICE: Medical Coverage Database (MCD) Article Updates: Home Health and Hospice, Palmetto GBA, April 9, 2020 - The Billing and Coding: Home Health Occupational Therapy A53057 HHH MCD article was revised.

HOSPICE: Hospice Providers to Receive Nearly $1 Billion in CARES Act Funds, Hospice News, April 13, 2020The U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has begun distributing the first $30 billion installment of public health funds from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, also called the CARES ACT. An estimated $1 billion is expected to go to hospice and palliative care providers via direct deposit.


Education & Events


For Upcoming webinars, conferences, workshops and events click HERE

Click image to find out more!

News Clips & Links

HOME HEALTH and HOSPICE: Emergency and Disaster Instructions, Palmetto GBA, April 13, 2020
HOSPICE: Hospices Seek to Define Essential Services During Pandemic, Hospice News, April 13, 2020
HOSPICE: Hospices Redesign Bereavement Care Due to Social Distancing, Hospice News, April 8, 2020

Ohio Council for Home Care & Hospice  1105 Schrock Rd., Suite 120, Columbus, OH 43229
(614) 885-0434   www.ochch.org