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Kenyon HomeCare Consulting: Is Your Agency Ready For the New Home Health Regulations?
Work with home health care consultants to ensure compliance with the upcoming home health regulations and avoid costly penalties.
By: Kenyon HomeCare Consulting
Compliance with HIPAA should always be a concern for home health care agencies. In 2014, HIPAA will include a final rule that has a number of provisions regarding the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act or HITECH. The new rules require increased protection and control of patient information. While home health care agencies have always been required to abide by HIPAA, all business associates for agencies must now comply as well.
ICD-9 will officially be replaced by ICD-10 codes beginning in October of this year. Many home health care agencies have already made preparations for the switch over to ICD-10, but if you haven’t, it’s time to work on getting your agency ready for the change over to the new code sets. This includes preparing everyone in your organization, from employees in the field to office staff.
Failure to use the new codes—and make sure your clinical staff are charting to the codes—can have a huge financial impact, causing delays in reimbursement, reducing cash flow, and determining whether Medicare accepts billing from your agency in the future. Learn more about the new ICD-10 home health regulations and what the conversion means for your agency in this blog post.
New Insurance Requirements for Employees
You aren’t required to offer health insurance under the Affordable Care Act if your agency has 50 or fewer employees. Under the new law, some businesses with 50 or more employees will have to make a payment in the Employer Shared Responsibility Payment in 2015 or 2016 for not providing coverage. If you have fewer than 25 full-time employees, your agency may qualify for a small business health care tax credit when you use the Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) to offer insurance. The tax credit is available to agencies that pay at least 50 percent of the cost of single coverage for employees.
Increased Wage Requirements Are Coming Soon
New home health regulations for employee wages are on the way. Agencies will be required to supply workers with at least the minimum federal wage as well as overtime pay beginning in January 2015. This new rule covers home health aides, nurses, caregivers, and home care companions. While it isn’t required until 2015, most home care agencies are working to comply with this rule in 2014 so that their budget doesn’t take as big of a hit come 2015.
Are You Ready?
Needless to say, home health care agencies have a lot to deal with in 2014. From HIPAA to insurance to changes in wage requirements, you need to make sure you’re ready for all of the new home health regulations. Kenyon HomeCare Consulting can help your agency prepare for the changes coming in 2014 and beyond to ensure compliance. Whether your employees need training for ICD-10 coding or you want to discover ways to improve your bottom line, you can count on Kenyon HomeCare Consulting to help you achieve your goals this year.
Schedule an appointment online at www.KenyonHCC.com or call 206.721.5091 to speak with one of our home health care consultants. You can also sign up to receive Kenyon Connects, our weekly eNewsletter that provides tips for growing your home health care agency.