One of the provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act has already taken effect in Illinois and nationwide this April. Often called the “face-to-face rule,” the new Medicare rule requires that Medicare patients seeking home health care meet in person with a physician either 90 days before or 30 days after starting home health services.
The provision, designed to cut Medicare costs, may have significant effects on patients, physicians, and Medicare home health providers. Some consumer and home health advocacy groups (including the AARP) are concerned that the provision will be burdensome for home-bound or rural patients who may have difficulty seeing a doctor in person before receiving home care, and may generally decrease the availability home health care to Medicare patients.
Regardless, the provision has taken effect and it will be important for Medicare Home Health Agencies to stay in the game and adapt to the new rule.
Some helpful tips for posturing your organization to deal with the new rule:
- Review your marketing plan- Ensure that patients know your agency is current with the new rule and able to facilitate compliance with the face-to-face requirement
- Vamp up your networking– Branch out to work with referral partners like assisted living groups to make partnerships that help patients and attract business
- Work with your doctors– Physicians now must play a larger role in the home health industry and it is crucial to work closely with them.
Marla Levie, BSW, MA, President and Founder of Focus on Aging, has successfully been providing marketing consulting, social media and recruiting services to the elder care market and to other service-related professions in the Chicago area for over 20 years. Use the contact tab to email Marla for additional information about her services.