CMS announces RCD dates

Texas goes next; Florida and North Carolina have until next spring to join Review Choice Demonstration

It's official: Texas will be the next state to join Ohio and Illinois in the Review Choice Demonstration 60 days from today, while Florida and North Carolina are expected to join on March 30, 2020.

Months of waiting and speculation about who and when came to an end with today's official announcement by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). In Florida, there was a sense of relief that the implementation of the claim review demonstration will not directly coincide with the launch of Medicare's new payment model, the Patient-Driven Groupings Model (PDGM), scheduled to begin Jan. 1, 2020. "Clearly we in Florida caught a break on this one," said Bobby Lolley, Executive Director of the Home Care Association of Florida. For home care providers in Texas, however, the announcement sparked some trepidation, as the Dec. 2 launch date in that state will occur less than 30 days before PDGM kicks in, and will involve some major change within the first 30 days of participation in the demonstration. As one example, Low-Utilization Payment Adjustments known as LUPAs are currently excluded from the Review Choice Demonstration, but that will change under PDGM. Beginning Jan. 1, LUPAs will be included in Review Choice, and PDGM handles LUPAs much differently from the current payment model. "Texas home care providers will be in the unenviable position of having to make many major adjustments in a very short period of time," said J'non Griffin, Owner and President of Home Health Solutions. "Agencies there need to double down on preparation for both PDGM and RCD starting today." Choice selection begins in Texas on Oct. 16 and ends on Nov. 14.

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