Sep 10, 2015 • 23M

Medicare, Home Health and Value-Based Purchasing: A Conversation with Sherill Mason (September 23rd)

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Appears in this episode

David Introcaso, Ph.D.
Podcast interviews with health policy experts on timely subjects. The Healthcare Policy Podcast website features audio interviews with healthcare policy experts on timely topics. An online public forum routinely presenting expert healthcare policy analysis and comment is lacking. While other healthcare policy website programming exists, these typically present vested interest viewpoints or do not combine informed policy analysis with political insight or acumen. Since healthcare policy issues are typically complex, clear, reasoned, dispassionate discussion is required. These podcasts will attempt to fill this void. Among other topics this podcast will address: •Implementation of the Affordable Care Act •Other federal Medicare and state Medicaid health care issues •Federal health care regulatory oversight, moreover CMS and the FDA •Healthcare research •Private sector healthcare delivery reforms including access, reimbursement and quality issues •Public health issues including the social determinates of health Listeners are welcomed to share their program comments and suggest programming ideas. Comments made by the interviewees are strictly their own and do not represent those of their affiliated organization/s.
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This past July CMS announced a proposed demonstration that would either reduce or increase a Medicare home health agency's reimbursement based on quality performance.   With a rapidly aging and growing Medicare population home health utilization and costs have risen significantly over the past decade.  Per MedPAC, between 2000 and 2012 total Medicare home health spending increased 64 percent.  However, home health agency quality performance has been limited.  For example, again per MedPAC, less than half of all Medicare home health patients in 2013 showed improvement in medication management and only 65 percent showed improvement in pain management.    

During this 22 minute discussion Ms. Mason explains the several, if not numerous reasons, why CMS announced this demonstration, how it will work, e.g., how quality will be measured or what quality metrics will be used, what are the specific financial incentives, in what states the demo will be conducted, when it will begin and for how long, and what are some of the perceived pros and cons of the demonstration as proposed.   

Sherill Mason is currently Principal, Mason Advisers, where she provides strategic planning, program development and operations analysis for post acute care providers including senior living and nursing home facilities, home health, hospice, long term acute care hospitals, in patient rehabilitation facilities, and long term care pharmacy.  Previously, Sherill she served as a Vice Presient to the Marwood Group, a healthcare industry consultant, as Senior Vice President at Sunrise Senior Living and as a Director at KPMG.   Among other current professional activities Sherill currently is a Guest Lecturer at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing.  She received her RN diploma and training at the Englewood Hospital School Nursing and a BA in American Studies from Eckerd College.  

For information regarding CMS's proposed value-based home health demonstration go to: