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Friday Look
We’ve got a ton of news from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) this week. The big bomb, of course, dropped late Wednesday when the agency announced that contract offers for off-the-shelf back and knee braces had been made—and that would be all for the competitive bidding program for the time being. You can read our full story about the move, including comments from AAHomecare President Tom Ryan, here
CMS also issued a proposed durable medical equipment, prosthetics and orthotics (DMEPOS) rule that would set rates in rural and non-contiguous non-Competitive Bid Areas (CBAs), saying it would continue paying suppliers higher rates in those areas starting in April of 2021 or when the public health emergency ends. This, the rule says, was informed by stakeholder input about the costs and logistics of serving non-CBAs. “Previous feedback from industry stakeholders expressed concern regarding beneficiary access to items and services furnished in rural and remote areas,” CMS said. Find the rule fact sheet here.
But wait, there’s more! The DMEPOS change also proposes to classify continuous glucose monitors as DME under Medicare Part B and establish fee schedule amounts for them and for accessories. And it would broaden the DME category for home infusion pumps, and takes complex rehab manual wheelchairs and some other manual wheelchairs and accessories out of the bidding program as required by legislation passed this year.

One more note on a slightly different angle: CMS also announced this week that it would cover the costs of COVID-19 vaccinations for seniors with Medicare or Medicare Advantage plans. 
See you Monday!  
Industry News
Knowing how to talk to patients and customers about finances can make the difference between them getting care or walking out the door. Here are four steps for managing the payment discussion with emotional intelligence—and how to get your team on board—from Patty Casebolt, the chief quality officer at Medical Eye Center in Medford, Oregon. Sponsored by CareCredit. 
Statistics show that 1 in 10 adults over age 60 suffers from elder abuse, often by homecare providers or another person the senior trusts. The most significant risk factor for abuse is the provider’s exclusive one-on-one exposure to the client. Because the senior may be isolated, others may not be there to recognize abuse or prevent it from happening or continuing. Sponsored by Philadelphia Insurance.
Risk & Insurance in Your Company
Happy Halloween! Sometimes business worries are even scarier than October ghouls. It can help to know that your company is carrying adequate insurance policies. Here are three main topics home health providers should keep in mind.
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