This Monday Minute will review the 2022 Home Health Final Rule highlights, including the exciting announcement that Value Based Purchasing will be delayed until 2023.

Hello, everyone welcome to our Monday Minute. Today we’re going to discuss the release of the 2022 Home Health Final Rule. It was released by CMS on November 2, and contained not very many surprises, even though there was a pretty big surprise regarding one of the elements. For the most part, everything was finalized as proposed, we will have a rate increase of 2.6% in the rates for Home Health and include both the base rate for the 30 day payment periods as well as the low utilization payments, the LUPA payments that are per visit. CMS is not going to do anything with the behavioral adjustment, as was expected. There are numerous pieces of the PDGM Model that did have changes in the proposed rule that remain unchanged with the Final Rule. This includes 432 case mix weights or HIPPS codes that carry case mix weights, have all been recalibrated for the 2022 year based on 2020, which is a little confusing as to why they would use 2020 data, but they have done so.  With these 432 case mix groupings, about half of them have increased in case mix weight and about half of them have decreased. So you will want to make sure that you check out exactly what’s happening there and how that’s going to impact your payments.

In addition, there were other elements of the PDGM Model that are changing as well, including scoring of the functional questions and the expansion of the comorbidity groups. So again, you want to make sure you check out all the details of the changes to the PDGM calculation, so you’ll understand again, how that’s going to impact your agency. The CBSA changes that happened last year, with the wage index being maxed out at 5% has now been eliminated. So, if the impact to your CBSA area change would have been 7% Last year, but you were topped out at a 5% change that full 7% will be recognized in 2022.

The biggest news in this final rule is that the Value Based Purchasing Model Nationwide Rollout will not go into effect until January 1, 2023. With this nationwide rollout being put off until January 2023, CMS is allowing for agencies to receive additional education to be able to figure out exactly how this Value Based Purchasing process works and be able to more fully understand how your agency can be successful under the Value Based Purchasing Model. As I have mentioned in the past, the National Association for Homecare and Hospice is working on an education plan now to be rolled out nationwide. Because of this extension of time, it will give us more time to prepare that education and make sure it’s as efficient as it possibly can be to reach as many of you as we possibly can with that education.

We are happy that this rule was finally released and very happy that the Value Based Purchasing Model has been put off until 2023. In addition to VBP being effective in 2023, do remember that OASIS-E will also go into effect January 2023. We have a full year in 2022 that’s going to be saturated with education of new programs that we’re going to have to deal with and new regulation, including the OASIS changes in 2023.

We want to thank you all for participating today. HPS will be having a webinar specific to this Final Rule on November 22. There will be a link in this minute to register for that webinar. We also want to thank you all as always for being on the frontlines caring for patients during this Public Health Emergency. Thank you and I hope you have a fabulous week.