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CMS: 3.3% rise in home health payment rates for FY 2004
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced a 3.3% increase in Medicare payment rates to home health agencies for fiscal year 2004. The increase will bring an extra $340 million in payments to home health agencies next year. Home health payment rates are updated annually by the percentage change in the home health marketbasket index. CMS establishes the home health marketbasket index, which measures inflation in the prices of an appropriate mix of goods and services included in home health services. The updated payment rates are published in the July 2 issue of the Federal Register.
In addition, on June 16, CMS launched
"Home Health Information Resource for Medicare," a new
online tool for home health agencies (HHAs) that's available
on the CMS web site. The resource center provides a comprehensive
database that includes information on enrollment and participation,
and regulations, coding and billing, Outcome Assessment and Information Set, research, education, preventive services, program integrity, and Medicare secondary payers.
The web site also gives HHAs information for staying on top of the home care industry, with sections on the latest news and where to find it, home care contacts, and home health highlights. CMS created the page to "incorporate all home health-specific information in one place" and will update it regularly. To access the site, go to: http://www.cms.hhs.gov/providers/hha.