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21 Century Cures Act Signed into Law

After passing both the Congress and the Senate with overwhelming bipartisan support, President Barack Obama signed the 21st Century CURES Act into law on December 13, 2016. The main purpose of this law is to invest new money into medical research and accelerate the approval of new medications. However, additional provisions are included in the law that affect home care.

CURES’ Impact on Home Care

According to the NAHC, several provisions will directly impact home care. including:
  • Exploration into expanding the use of telehealth services and how to reduce barriers to using this technology in Medicare
  • Home infusion therapy will now be covered by Medicare
  • Medicaid personal care and home health service providers will be required to use Electronic Visit Verification
  • Instead of basing application of moratoria on the location of the provider, it will now be based on the site where services are performed
Indirectly, CURES will also affect home care by requiring:
  • Medicare contractors to follow standards for issuance of Local Coverage Determinations
  • That terminated Medicaid providers be monitored
  • A Medicare fee-for-service provider directory be published
Both the direct and indirect provisions, except for the telehealth expansion are expected to cut costs that will in turn offset costs for additional funding for medical research and making changes to the FDA approval process.

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