Medicare Not Implementing Home Health Payment Changes Thanks to Your Advocacy


The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that it will not finalize a proposal that would have changed the payment system in home health agencies. In September AOTA alerted members to this harmful proposal that we believed would cause reductions in the use of occupational therapy in home health agencies. AOTA submitted comments to CMS outlining our major concerns and urged members to do the same.

The decision to not finalize the proposed changes was a result of the comments CMS received in opposition to the new payment methodology. CMS announced that commenters were most concerned about the proposed change in the unit of payment from 60 to 30 days, and that such changes were being proposed for implementation in a non-budget-neutral manner.

AOTA had significant concerns about the proposed changes to the Home Heath Groupings Model (HHGM) for CY2019. We are pleased that CMS decided not to finalize this proposal. Thank you to all members who submitted comments and helped stop this proposal.

As CMS continues to look at ways to change payment policies in home health, AOTA plans to meet with CMS officials to offer recommendations that ensure Medicare beneficiaries can receive medically necessary occupational therapy when they need it.

Learn More About the Final Rule

A CMS fact sheet about the final rule policies, including the decision to not finalize the Home Health Groupings Model.

CMS sent out this press release on November 1 about CY2018 HH policies.