CMS Proposes 2010 Medicare Home Health Rates

On Thursday, July 30, CMS posted proposed changes to the Medicare home health payment rates for calendar year 2010. Under the propose changes, the national standard episode rate for home health services will see a net increase of 2%, from the current $2,271.92 to $2,317.47.

The new rules also update the wage index for each metropolitan and rural area. For Massachusetts, the indexes for Barnstable and Springfield are going down slightly. All other regions will see a small increase.

The Alliance has prepared a spreadsheet of 2010 rates based on the CMS proposal.

**Note that these rates are subject to change if Congress passes a healthcare reform bill this year.**

Home Care STAR Award Winners Named

Four individuals received 2009 STAR Awards from the Home Care Alliance of Massachusetts during a ceremony Wednesday, June 3, 2009.  The STAR awards recognize excellence and outstanding achievement within the Massachusetts home care community. 

Award winners were:

Aide of the Year
Tama Lewis
Home Health Aide, Visiting Angels, Newton/Canton

Clinician of the Year
Carol Doane
Maternal & Child Health Nurse, Walpole Area VNA

Manager of the Year
Katie Baker
Director of Rehabilitation, VNA of Greater Lowell

Home Care Champion
Robert Dwyer, Esq.
Board Treasurer, Norwell VNA

Alliance to Pitch Homecare IT Stimulus Funding

Expanding the use of healthcare information technology is a key focus of the federal economic stimulus program.  While the bulk of this funding is targeted for hospitals and physicians’ offices, the states have significant flexibility in how they distribute some of the funds.

The Alliance has scheduled a meeting with Mitch Adams, Executive Director of the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative, on Monday, June 1, to make our case for having some of those funds directed toward home health IT.

We need three or four agency IT directors to participate in this meeting to:

  • Describe how agencies currently utilize IT
  • Outline the possibilities for greater efficiencies and better care coordination and integration through expanded use of IT by home health agencies
  • Identify the “bang for the buck” that would result from investing stimulus finds into home health IT.

Members interested in participating in this important meeting should contact Tim Burgers, Associate Director at tburgers@hcalliancema.org.