The Long-Term Care State Operations Manual – updated!

On October 4, 2016, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ final rule to reform requirements for long-term care facilities made the most sweeping changes to Conditions of Participation and the long-term care industry since 1991. These revisions mandate everything from requiring skilled nursing facilities to prove additional staff training and hiring scrutiny in an effort to protect against abuse and exploitation, to bolstering health and safety standards in an effort to head off preventable …

Draft bill could repeal Medicare Part B Therapy Caps by January 2018

Therapy caps were first established by the Balanced Budget Act of 1997 and limit the amount of therapy services a beneficiary can receive in a year, regardless of their condition. The 2017 therapy cap limits are:

$1,980 for physical therapy (PT) and speech-language pathology (SLP) services combined
$1,980 for occupational therapy (OT) services

On Thursday, October 26, Congress issued a draft bill to permanently repeal therapy cap limits, which are considered to be a long-standing problem for Medicare …

Dying At Home In An Opioid Crisis: Hospices Grapple With Stolen Meds

The following is republished with permission from the author, Melissa Bailey, Kaiser Health News.
Nothing seemed to help the patient — and hospice staff didn’t know why.
They sent home more painkillers for weeks. But the elderly woman, who had severe dementia and incurable breast cancer, kept calling out in pain.
The answer came when the woman’s daughter, who was taking care of her at home, showed up in the emergency room with a life-threatening overdose of …

2018 hospice final rule increases payments by $180 million

by: Josh Poltilove

The following is from Home Health Line. For more news and information on home health and hospice, visit

Medicare’s hospice payments, adjusted for inflation and other factors, will rise an estimated 1% in 2018, according to the final hospice payment rule posted Aug. 1.

 That’s a $180 million increase.

 By comparison, the 2017 final rule included a 2.1% increase — $350 million — in payments.

The dropoff is largely due to a one-time reduction in the …