Last week, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) finalized the CY2024 Home Health Prospective Payment System (HH PPS) Rule, which included cuts that cancelled out market basket raises to the industry.
The pay cut is a result of the Patient-Driven Groupings Model (PDGM), which ties reimbursements to patient characteristics. According to Modern Healthcare, the policy is the reason rates were updated 2.9% lower than they were for CY2023, but that number was alleviated from -5.1% in the original proposal. With the 3% market basket increase, CMS expects payments to rise 0.8% for home health care in 2024.
The home health industry is less than thrilled with the meager boost and the cuts related to the PDGM. Modern Healthcare reports that larger home health care networks could use the dire financial situation to purchase smaller agencies that will end up selling due to rising labor costs. This, in turn, could produce “home health deserts,” where providers are limited in the scope of their service areas and smaller agencies don’t exist to fill the regional gaps.
The Partnership for Quality Home Health Care is calling on Congress to request an immediate intervention and support for the bipartisan Preserving Access to Home Health Act, which would prevent CMS from making cuts to home health reimbursements and would require the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) to report on the financial stability of the home health sector.
A fact sheet containing all pertinent information related to the CY2024 HH PPS Final Rule may be found at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.