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Rates For Home Health Agencies Going Up In 2007

Rates For Home Health Agencies Going Up In 2007

Good news coming in 2007 for home health agencies, your rates of reimbursement are going to increase and there is further coming additions for cases that are a mix of high therapy and adjustment.

Earlier this year, the CMS proposed a 3.1 increase, which applies to the base rate for each 60-day episode and reflects the estimated home health market basket inflationary rate. The currently proposed base episode rate by CMS for 2007 is at $2,334 (before case-mix adjustment occurs). Also, a “high-therapy case-mix adjustment” of approximately $2,500 will occur if a patient receives at least 10 therapy visits within a 60 day episode.

The rates of various services are being raised, for example the speech-language pathology proposed rate is more than 8 percent above the current OT/PT rates. The proposed per visit rate for speech-language pathologists is $121.08 compared with $111.43 for physical therapists and $112.18 for occupational therapists (which is geographically adjusted).

In order to take advantage of this raise, you must be sure that you remember to submit data on 10 quality measures in the OASIS, an additional part of this change that will affect your agency is that if you do not file this way, you will be penalized as required by the Deficit Reduction Act, by a payment reduction of two percentage points in the annual market basket update or only a 1.1 percent increase for 2007 rates. This translates to $2,289 per episode instead of $2,334, ASHA explained. Those penalties will add up quickly. Make sure your filing procedures are up to date to ensure this doesn’t happen to you!

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