In what could be a big boost to homecare, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has opened up $165 million to states running demonstration programs for the Money Follows the Person programs. The goal, CMS Administrator Seema Verma said, is to offer more in-home options; she said the COVID-19 pandemic “exposes America’s over-reliance on institutional long-term care facilities.” The funds can be used to move seniors and people with disabilities from institutional care to home or community-based care. See the announcement here
On less upbeat news, the Department of Health and Human services Office of Inspector General (OIG) released an audit report this week—and a recommendation that non-invasive ventilators should be put back in the competitive bidding program. But we spoke with Cara Bachenheimer at Brown & Fortunato, who pointed out that the attention-grabbing headline from the OIG—which said that Medicare payments were “substantially higher” than those by commercial payers—was misleading, given that the actual difference in payments is only about 15%. Don’t take the title as a “lasting sound bite,” she warned. Read more about the report and recommendations here
Meanwhile, if your organization meets federal criteria for priority COVID-19 testing, you might want to sign up for a webinar set for today at noon Eastern, in which the Department of Health and Human Services will discuss the Abbott BinaxNOW test that it’s distributing around the country. Click here to register
. It will be archived if you can’t attend in person.
See you on Monday!