Volume 5, Number 42 November  16, 2016

Dear Healthcare at Home Colleague,

This week it is about people more than technology, although we still have a couple of new product announcements you will find interesting. First, we received this email message the other day from HEALTHCAREfirst CEO Bobby Robertson: 

"After some serious soul searching, I’ve decided to retire and set out to start the next chapter of my life. This is effective immediately, and Kevin Porter will succeed me as CEO. Kevin is a strong leader, a good man, and a friend that will protect the HEALTHCAREfirst culture and carry forward our vision to become the first choice solution provider to companies involved in the delivery of care in the home." 

Bobby went on to tell us that he has taken a seat on the board of directors and will continue to "stay close to this industry that does such critically important work for our nation's most vulnerable population."

Interesting people with great stories
At last month's NAHC meeting, we met one of the founders of Optima Healthcare Solutions and saw a demo of their new home health EMR. This week, we'll tell you about our trip to the company's headquarters and the fascinating story we learned about how he and his partners got into the software business. Preview: it includes a surfboard, a 14 year-old genius and a fateful
coin flip.

The other interesting person we met founded an online learning company. It was not her career plan. Perhaps you can relate to her motivation. Have you ever sat through a seminar and came away knowing you had just wasted an entire day, or more than that if you had to travel to get there? That is the experience that inspired the creation of the Institute for Professional Care Education. You will enjoy meeting Sharon Brothers as much as we did.

Other people in the news this week include familiar faces popping up at new companies and familiar companies introducing new faces. One of these might raise an eyebrow; a familiar home care software company landed a former WebMD CEO to serve on its board of directors.

Free webinars
After you recuperate from Thanksgiving, there are two free educational events you may want to look into. On Tuesday, November 29, Sharon Harder, President of C3 Advisors, will explain the 2017 Home Health "Increasing Sales Effectiveness with HME Market Intelligence Data" will walk you through the 2017 Home Health Final Rule. Click on the banner ad above to register. "Increasing Sales Effectiveness with HME Market Intelligence Data" is the topic to be presented by Ryan Ball, Director, VGM Market Data, on November 20. Click on the "Free Webinar" box at the top of our ad column to the right to register.

Lastly, we will bring you more details in next week's issue but we just heard that CMS is replacing the HHABN. If you cannot wait for our report, look up the Medicare Claims Processing Manual, Chapter 30, Section 60 at cms.gov.

Have a great week. Keep making a difference!

Editor signature
Tim Rowan

From Riding Waves to Writing Code: The Optima Healthcare Solutions Story
"We just fell in love with old people." Company co-founder – and avid surfer – Steve Mackie invited HCTR to his Florida headquarters to meet his staff and hear the story behind Healthcare at Home's latest EMR entry.

NIH Scientists Identify Potent Antibody that Neutralizes Nearly All HIV Strains
Many HCTR readers work for or operate hospices. We thought you would be interested in reading about this breakthrough in the treatment of HIV.

Online Learning Company Founder Wants to Transform Caregiving
A single bad seminar experience led to the launch of one of home care's earliest, and most successful, online learning companies. Sharon Brothers describes how she was inspired to create the Institute for Professional Care Education.

PlayMaker CRM Adds Senior Product Director, Famous Board Member
As it continues its strong growth path, Playmaker CRM adds two highly credentialed MBAs, one to manage product development, the other to join Board of Directors.

Vendor Watch
— Thornberry Ltd. Announces Ray DeArmitt as New
— Bayada Home Health Deploys Social Network for Patients from PreparedHealth
— PasswordWrench Releases Secure Password Management Solution

When you click on these ads,
you make sure HCTR continues to come to you for free.

During the 4th Quarter of 2017, web sites of the above advertisers were visited by home care and hospice executives and staff 2855 times.

To inquire about placing your message here, contact:


Last Week's Most-Read Stories:
CMS Continues to Assert Pre-Claim is Going Well
Reports from Illinois providers continue to fuel doubt that CMS will ever be able to expand its Pre-Claim Review pilot to all 50 states.
New RACs and New Rules
Brace yourselves. RACs are back. This time there are more of them but, attorney Elizabeth Hogue explains, they will still pit their subjective definition of homebound status and terminal illness against yours. There is some good news in the new rules, however. Read on...

As of this date, approximately 23,617,000 Baby Boomers have become Medicare eligible.

Notable Upcoming Conferences Free Webinars

Pre-Claim Revue Implementation
Palmetto GBA and CGS Tours Texas in Partnership with TAHC&H

Multiple Locations:
October 11 – McAllen
October 13 – San Antonio
November 16 – Houston
November 17 – Dallas
Details for each conference

The Journey Forward
South Carolina Home Care & Hospice Association Annual Conference
December 5-6
Hyatt Place + Hyatt House | Historic District

The 6th Annual Medicare Compliance Cruise *

Presented by Pearson & Bernard, PSC

January 15-22
Departs from Ft. Lauderdale
Information and registration

2017 Northeast Home Health Leadership Summit

Sponsoring Associations:

  • Connecticut Association for Healthcare at Home
  • Home Care and Hospice Alliance of Maine
  • Home Care Alliance of Massachusetts
  • Home Care Association of New Hampshire
  • Home Care and Hospice Association of New Jersey
  • Home Care Association of New York State
  • New York State Association of Health Care Providers
  • Rhode Island Partnership for Home Care
  • VNAs of Vermont

January 17-19, 2017
Colonnade Hotel

Information and Registration

OASIS-C2: The Next Steps

Texas Association for Home Care & Hospice
Presented by Lisa Selman-Holman
January 19, 2017
Westin Riverwalk Hotel

San Antonio 
Details and registration

Homecare 100 *February 4-7
Amelia Island, FL
Registration is full. To be added to the waiting list, contact Miriam Adams at madams@lincolnhc.com

National Leadership Conference *
Sponsored by:
Visiting Nurse Associations of America

Alliance for Home Health Quality and Innovation

April 19-21

Hilton San Diego Bayfront

Omaha System International ConferenceA Key to Practice, Documentation and Information Management
April 20-22, 2017
Eagan, MN
Bi-annual conference offers opportunities to gain knowledge about using electronic health records across diverse settings, exchanging health information, and enabling data sharing among practice, education, and research. For additional information about the conference, the call for poster abstracts and award nominations, and to register, visit www.omahasystem.org/conferences.html.
Email abstracts to lchoromanski@gillettechildrens.com

ATA Annual Meeting

American Telemedicine Association
April 23-25
Orange County Convention Center


Pediatric Home Care Conference

Texas Association for Home Care & Hospice
May 9
Omni Austin Hotel Southpark

Details and registration

New England Home Care & Hospice Conference & Trade ShowMay 16-18
Radisson Hotel
Manchester, NH
Brochure and Registration

Annual Conference *Home Care Association of Colorado
May 17-19
Keystone Resort & Conference Center
Keystone, CO

Home Health Emergency Preparedness CoP Requirements:
Getting Your Agency Ready

Featuring Mary St. Pierre, RN, BSN, MGA
Free, sponsored by HEALTHCAREfirstSeptember 13

1:00 pm Central Time
Omni Austin Hotel Southpark

Details and registration


  • Overview of the emergency preparedness requirement
  • What surveyors will be looking for
  • Steps home health agencies should take to prepare

AHHC 2017 Leadership ConferenceAssociation for Home & Hospice Care of North Carolina
October 9-10
Holiday Inn Resort
Wrightsville Beach

Click here to register

Our Home Care Landscape: Big Challenges, Bigger Opportunities *
Annual Meeting of the Home Care Association of America
October 8-11
Austin, TX
Information and registration

HCSSA Administrator Program
Texas Association for Home Care & Hospice
November 13-15
Westin Galleria

*HCTR will see you there.
CONNECTED HEALTH: Remote Patient Monitoring and Telehealth Summit

6th Annual Care Coordination and Technology Congress

January 24-26
Renaissance Atlanta Waverly Hotel & Convention Center
Designing successful bundles without collaboration between inpatient and post-acute (PAC) providers inhibits the cost-savings opportunities that make bundled payment a valuable model for hospitals and health systems. Designing care management incentives and solutions for complex patients requires integration across hospitals, home care, and the extended continuum of provider organizations.
Register for in-person or online participation

2018 National Leadership Conference
ElevatingHOME Annual Meeting
March 7-9
Grand Hyatt
Washington DC
Information and registration

New England Home Care and Hospice 2018 Conference
Presented by Home Care Associations of:
New Hampshire
Rhode Island

April 25-27
Cliff House Maine Hotel
Cape Neddick

Information and Registration

Your state or national association meeting not listed? Send the details to Conferences@RowanResources.com using this format:

Conference Title
Sponsoring Association
Hotel or Conference Center, City, State

2017 Regulatory Updates, Including Home Health Conditions of Participation

Free Webinar Hosted by DeVero Software and Relias Learning
Featured Speakers: Michael Tidd, Healthcare Synergy; Robert Love, DeVero
Tuesday, March 21
2:00 pm EDT / 11:00 am PDT

Register Here

Juggling the New CoPs and Other Applicable Laws

Sponsored by Kinnser Software
Featuring Robert W. Markette, Jr., Esq., CHC, of Hall, Render, Killian, Heath & Lyman, P.C.
Thursday, January 25
1:00 - 2:00 pm EDT

Attend to Learn:

  • Why "legal representative" is a concept you should already be familiar with
  • What compliance with the nondiscrimination provision of the Affordable Care Act may mean for the new CoPs
  • Why you must be more aware of harassment issues and prepared to take action
  • How harassment issues affect your discharge policies

Free: Register here

How to be the TOP DOG Sales Rep
Sponsored by PlaymakerCRM
Featuring Cheryl Peltekis, RN
December 14
2:00 EST
Register here

Creating A Successful Preceptor Program in Home Health Care

Sponsored by Elevating Home
Michael Ward RN, BSN, Division Director; BAYADA Pediatrics; Margit Moran, RN, BA, Director of Pediatric Clinical Education at BAYADA

Thursday, March 29
1:00 - 2:00 pm EDT

Information and registration

Navigating the Final Rule for Medicare PPS for CY 2017
Sponsored by PPS Plus
Tuesday, November 15, 1:00 - 2:30 pm CST
Featuring Dave Macke, CHFP, FHFMA
Director of Reimbursement Services, VonLehman & Company

Register here

Are You Marketing to the Wrong Person?
A Different Way to Get Home Health Referrals

Presented by Healthcare Synergy
Featuring: Melinda Rodriguez, PT, DPT, MSCS, LSVT
Date: Wednesday, March 7
Time: 10:00 a.m. PST; 1:00 p.m. EST

In this Webinar, you will:
  • Learn another way to market inpatient facilities other than discharge planners, case managers or social workers.
  • Discuss the role of Home Health in the challenging healthcare environment – Short Term Home health.
  • Describe the Continuum of Care Concept in the post acute care network
  • Identify strategies to reduce risk of acute care readmission.
  • Discuss options for discharge disposition for potential skilled nursing facility candidates to decrease SNF discharge rate for inpatient rehab units.


Why your claims are being denied:  Performing a self-assessment of your ZPIC, Pre-Claims, and VBP liabilities

Featuring Michael McGowan, CEO, OperaCare
Tuesday, January 17
2:00 p.m. EST
Cost:  $79

2017 What You Need to Know about Electronic Visit Verification

EVV offers many benefits to agencies and care providers, and choosing the right solution can lead to improved operating efficiency, caregiver communication, quality of care, and client satisfaction.

Wednesday, March 15
11:00 am MST - 12:15 pm MST

Register Here

How to Attract and Retain Health System Relationships

Presented by Netsmart
Watch now


Under Pressure — OASIS Service Utilization Review

Presented by Michael McGowan of OperaCare
Thursday, April 6
12:00 p.m. EDT
Cost: $49

What You Need To Know About Electronic Visit Verification
Presented by Darby Anderson, CDO, Addus HomeCare Corporation
Sponsored by CellTrak
Wednesday, April 12
1:00 p.m. EDT
Cost:  Complimentary
Registration link

Understanding the Effect Functional Scoring Has on Your Agency
Presented by Chad Whitefield, PTA, Managing Partner of Advance Rehabilitation Management Group
Thursday, April 13
2:00 p.m. EST
Cost:  $99
Registration link 

Increase Referrals, not Overhead- Streamlining the Intake Experience

A streamlined, efficient intake process creates a better patient experience and improves referral relationships. During this webinar, industry experts will share their quick tips and best practices for improving your intake process and managing your organization's revenue cycle.

Sponsored by Forcura
Featuring: Craig Mandeville, Founder & CEO of Forcura Jessica Stover, Senior Manager of Blacktree Healthcare Consulting
Tuesday, Oct 3
2:00 pm EDT


QAPI Overview

Presented by Diane Link, BlackTree Healthcare Consulting
Tuesday, May 23rd
2:00 p.m. EST
Cost:  $99

Compliance Program Basics

Presented by Curaport
Featuring: Stephanie Koehn, RMA, CPC, CPPM, CPCO

Tuesday, March 20
2:00 p.m. EDT

Fee (per attendee): $49
Information & Registration

This education session is approved for one (1) contact hour of Continuing Education for Nursing

The Hospice Cost Report
Prepare Your Way With Expert Advice from Maureen Laskowski

Presented by Healthcare Synergy

Monday, March 12
10:00 a.m. PDT; 1:00 p.m. EDT

Click here to register

Home Health Aide Skills and Documentation

Presented by Curaport

Featuring: J'non Griffin, RN, MHA, WCC, Owner & President, Home Healthcare Solutions, LLC
Thursday, March 22
2:00 p.m. EDT
Information and registration


*This education session is approved for one (1) contact hour of Continuing Education for Nursing



What Does Behavioral Health Have to do With Home Health Outcomes?

Presented by: Netsmart/DeVero
Featuring: Katherine J. Vanderhorst ,RN-BC,BSN and Dr. Amy Craven

Thursday, February 22
2:00 p.m. Eastern
Learn why integrating behavioral health with chronic care management can improve star ratings.

Many home health patients have co-existing Chronic Behavioral Health problems that are not dealt with. If not addressed, problems like anxiety and depression leave patients unable to self-manage diabetes, congestive heart failure, CHF, COPD and other serious medical conditions. This presentation will show why recognizing and managing behavioral health diagnoses and can have a positive outcome on your agency’s STAR ratings. Presented by Katherine J. Vanderhorst ,RN-BC,BSN and Dr. Amy Craven.


The Penalty Box Compliance Series Part 6: Audit-Proof Your Visit Notes

Presented by Curaport
Featuring Kristi Bajer, RN, MSN

Wednesday, March 21
1:00 p.m. EDT

Information and registration

*This education session is approved for one (1) contact hour of Continuing Education for Nursing

Webinar hosts, send your announcements to: Conferences@RowanResources.com

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