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Mini-Conference Registration Deadline Approaching

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Registration is closing soon for the California Association of Hospitals and Health Systems (CAHHS) Volunteer Services upcoming “mini-conferences,” to be held next week. 

Participants will:

Be the first to learn about the hospital volunteer impact questionnaire.
Receive updates about homeless discharge planning from CHA’s topic expert, Peggy Broussard Wheeler. 
Network with professionals, peers, and other volunteer leaders about topics of interest during roundtable discussions.
Provide topic requests and event ideas for the 2020 California Hospital Volunteer Leadership Conference.  

The Northern California meeting is August 15, 2019 at NorthBay Healthcare Green Valley Administration Center. The Southern California meeting is August 16, 2019 at Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce. Register today, and share this information with your volunteers and staff.  

TriWest to Administer California’s VA Community Care Network

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The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has awarded TriWest Healthcare Alliance (TriWest) a contract to administer the VA’s Community Care Network (CCN) in California. TriWest will establish and maintain a network of community care providers in the state, as outlined in the Veterans Community Care Program final rule.

CMS Issues Calendar Year 2020 ESRD/DMEPOS Proposed Rule

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The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has issued its proposed rule revising the end-stage renal disease (ESRD) prospective payment system (PPS) and policies related to durable medical equipment, prosthetics, orthotics, and supplies (DMEPOS) for calendar year (CY) 2020. CHA has made available a detailed summary of the proposed rule, prepared by Health Policy Alternatives. Comments on the proposed rule are due Sept. 27.

2017-19 Hospital Fee Program Invoices Due Aug. 22

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Last week, the Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) sent hospitals invoices covering the first phase of managed care directed payments (MC2 DP(A)) for the 2017-19 Hospital Fee Program. The invoices cover July 1 – Dec. 31, 2017, and are due Aug. 22.

Updates for the Week of Aug. 5

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The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services this week released the following information:

Reminder: Aug. 15 Deadline for Inpatient Rehabilitation Facility (IRF), Long-Term Care Hospital (LTCH), and Skilled-Nursing Facility (SNF) Quality Reporting Program Data Submission

IRF Quality Reporting Data Submission Deadlines
LTCH Quality Reporting Data Submission Deadlines
SNF Quality Reporting Program Data Submission Deadlines

Hospice CASPER Review and Correct Reports Available for Download

On Immigration Status, Caregivers Don’t Care

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Among the many tragedies born of the mass shooting in El Paso, Texas, which killed 22 and injured another two dozen, was the news that some victims might not have sought care at hospitals because of their immigration status.

This fear was so widespread that the West Texas wing of U.S. Customs and Border Protection tweeted: “We are not conducting enforcement operations at area hospitals, the family reunification center or shelters.”

CMS Issues Final Rule for FFY 2020 Hospice Payment

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The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has issued its final rule updating hospice payment rates for federal fiscal year (FFY) 2020. CMS finalizes a net payment increase of 2.6%, or $520 million, as compared to FFY 2019. The rule also rebases the rates hospices are paid for certain types of care. In addition, the rule modifies the beneficiary hospice election statement to reduce the time spent trying to obtain information needed for treatment decisions and accurate claims submissions.

CMS Issues FFY 2020 Long Term Care Hospital PPS Final Rule

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The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has issued the final rule for the long-term care hospital (LTCH) prospective payment system (PPS) for federal fiscal year (FFY) 2020. The provisions of the final rule will be effective Oct. 1, 2020.  

Below are highlights of the final rule.  

Payment Impact
As provided in the FFY 2016 final rule, LTCHs are reimbursed under a dual-rate system; patients who meet specified criteria are reimbursed by the LTCH PPS standard federal payment amount and remaining patients are reimbursed at the lower site-neutral payment rate. Implementation of the dual-rate payment system included a transition period during which facilities received a blended rate.  For cost reporting periods beginning in FFY 2020, the transition period will end and LTCHs will be paid exclusively on the site-neutral payment rate for patients who do not meet LTCH PPS criteria.   

Overall, CMS projects that LTCH PPS payments will increase by approximately 1%, or $43 million. For cases reimbursed at the site-neutral rate, CMS projects a decrease of approximately 5.9%.  

Quality Reporting/SPADEs
CMS finalizes several proposals relating to the LTCH Quality Reporting Program (QRP), including the addition of several standardized patient assessment data elements (SPADEs), several of which address social determinants of health. CMS also finalizes two new measures addressing transfer of health information and changes the existing “Discharge to Community” measure to exclude baseline nursing home residents.