Home health targeted for $20-million Medicare cut

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) proposed cutting home health payments next year by 0.1 percent, which would take about $20 million from the sector.

CMS proposed the cut based on changes in underlying healthcare costs as well as earlier changes, including adjustments mandated by President Obama's healthcare law.

CMS also proposed changes to certain quality-improvement programs for home healthcare. The agency proposed new penalties for companies that do not meet federal safety standards, so that companies would not necessarily have to be kicked out of the Medicare program.