Home Health Training: Get Your NRS Information Right

Plus, it is essential to know the difference between routine versus non-routine supply definitions

What are non-routine supplies? CMS definition of non-routine is pretty global but you can figure it out. Their definition says, “Those supplies needed to treat a patient’s specific illness or injury in accordance with the physician’s plan of care.” And basically, what they're saying is those are supplies that are very specific to the patient and require an order. Go through this expert information on non routine supplies provided by our speaker in a home health conference.

And, you know, there were days where we separated very clearly -- because we always billed for supplies – non-routine from routine because they actually paid for supplies and would send us back any claims that had routine supplies.

According to the home health guidelines, the definition of routine supplies is those supplies customarily used during the course of most home care visits, routine supplies are usually included in the clinician’s supplies and not designated for a specific patient including but not limited to thermometers, alcohol preps, cotton swabs, band aids, non-sterile gloves, non-sterile applicators, infection control supplies and lab draw items.

Our expert mentioned in a recent home health conference that the cost of routine supplies is expected to be included in the total cost of providing the home care visit. And hopefully, that'll help you think about the difference between routine and non-routine supplies better. When we're talking about billing supplies, remember, do not bill routine supplies. You cannot bill an alcohol swab and lab draw supplies.

You cannot bill the little red boxes that we use to dispose of our needles. Those are not patient specific supplies even if they're provided to a patient. Just as thermometers are not a patient specific supply even though many of us have given a thermometer to a patient at admission.

Routine versus non-routine supply definitions

That usually is a really big issue. Most people unbeknownst to them really have been billing, if they’ve billed at all, they have been including routine supplies in that and really didn’t understand that definition.

Again, do not forget the importance of the whole organization really understanding this particular piece because this again, is sort of found revenue.

In many respects, you're going to have – many, many respects, you're going to have more money for medical supplies than we were getting just because, in every episode, we were getting that $52.53 or whatever it was.

Because, we're actually going to get paid for what we used, not item by item. Again, it's all related to how we code CMS OASIS. But it's just a very important process that we need to understand.

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