Volume 6, Number 45 November  8, 2017



Dear Healthcare at Home Colleague,

I apologize but I believe I may have buried the lead last week. The joint effort by several national associations to talk some sense into Congress and CMS about the dangers of their 2018 Home Health PPS reimbursement changes, popularly known as HHGM, for Home Health Groupings Model, was our most important message. Without thinking it through, however, we placed the urgent plea and instructions for you to add your comments at the end of the article.

Here are two things journalists know. Few people read all the way to the end of an article. And far more of you read my opening "Dear Colleague" letter each week than who read each issue's news articles. So, here is what you may have missed:

All parties conclude their individual and joint statements by urging all stakeholders to help deliver the message. "To defeat this payment rule before it brings havoc to the industry, we need home health leaders, employees and patients to make their voices heard by policymakers in Washington, D.C. Without your support and advocacy, this rule cannot be stopped," the official NAHC statement reads. To make it easy to help, NAHC has added to its Legislative Action Center a page where members can ask Congress to tell CMS to withdraw the payment rule. Your career may depend on whether you follow that link and offer your representative your views right now.

In this week's news: We start with a book review. Industry veteran Tina Marrelli, known for her best-sellers Handbook of Home Health Standards & Documentation: Guidelines for Reimbursement and Home Care Nursing: Surviving in an Ever-Changing Care Environment, has written a comprehensive manual for caregivers themselves. It will be useful to family caregivers as well as to your employees. Be sure to check out our review of A Guide for Caregiving: What's Next? Planning for Safety, Quality, and Compassionate Care for Your Love One and Yourself.

With the impending Medicare reimbursement changes, we decided to focus our other two stories in that direction. First, we reprint for you CMS's 2018 Final Rule Fact Sheet. (Remember that all of our articles are easily printed. Just look for the "print" icon after you open the article.) We also believe you will enjoy the highly controversial joint statement by the Medicare Rights Center and the Center for Medicare Advocacy about the negative effects for Medicare beneficiaries if Congress passes the version of the tax reform bill recently introduced into the House of Representatives.

If you read this in time, consider tuning in to Tuesday's episode of the DeVero/Netsmart Expert Webinar Series, featuring OperaCare founder Michael McGowan. Entitled 5-Star Ratings: Not Good Enough for the Long Haul, the 90-minute webinar will be presented at 11:00 am PST, 2:00 EST. Reserve your seat for this free webinar by clicking here.

You will also benefit from the 7-part Workforce Webinar series presented by ElevatingHOME. The titles and descriptions of all seven segments are too long to summarize here. Get the details and registration information for segment two, "From Turnover to Engagement for the Healthcare Executive: What Returns Value," on the ElevatingHOME web site. You can also download segment one from last week, "Why Staff Leave and How to Keep Them!"

Have a great week. Keep making a difference!

 

Editor signature
Tim Rowan



Book Review: New Marrellli Guide Tackles Your #1 Problem
An informal poll of medical and non-medical home care agency owners and administrators revealed that personnel issues -- from staffing to training to compliance violations -- dominate their daytime thoughts and nighttime anxieties. Just in time, Tina Marrelli's A Guide for Caregiving arrives. Read our book review to see why we recommend you do not buy it for yourself. Buy a copy for every one of your in-home caregivers.

CMS Releases 2018 Final Rule Fact Sheet
Last week, CMS issued a final rule (CMS-1672-F) that updates the calendar year 2018 Medicare payment rates and the wage index for home health agencies serving Medicare beneficiaries. We reprint the entire fact sheet here for you.

Medicare Advocacy Groups Concerned About Tax Reform Proposal
Opinions are beginning to appear about the recently released House version of the tax cut bill the President needs to fulfill a campaign promise. This one comes in a joint from the Medicare Rights Center and the Center for Medicare Advocacy.

 
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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:

Kristin@rowanresources.com

Last Week's Most-Read Stories:
CY18 Home Health Prospective Payment System Called Disastrous
The final rule for the 2018 Home Health payment system is likely to be revealed this week. Every national home health association and many large providers have joined forces to urge Congress to order CMS administrator Seema Verma not to implement the system as it appeared in the proposed rule. This level of cooperation among competing organizations only occurs when the situation is dire.
 
NAHC Opens Its New Era With A Pledge for Openness
At this year's Annual Meeting, the path toward "NAHC 2.0" was laid out by its Interim President. We spoke to him about what comes next.

As of this date, approximately 27,544,000 Baby Boomers have become Medicare eligible.



Notable Upcoming Conferences Free Webinars

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

*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
Agenda:
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:
Connecticut
Maine
Massachusetts
New Hampshire
Rhode Island
Vermont


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
Date(s)
Hotel or Conference Center, City, State
URL

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



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.

Register



How to Attract and Retain Health System Relationships

Presented by Netsmart
Ongoing
Free
Watch now

 


Transitional Care Management - What is Your Practice Missing?

Presented by Curaport
Featuring: Kimberly Kicklighter, MSN, RN,
Director of Nursing & Quality, Successful Health & Wellness Solutions

Thursday, February 22
2:00 p.m. Eastern

Fee: $39

Information & Registration

 



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



Social Worker Documentation: The Route to Quality Assessments

Presented by Curaport

Featuring Christina A. Nuqui, M.S.W., Home Healthcare Solutions, LLC
Tuesday, February 20
2:00 p.m.EST
$99
Click here to register

(approved for 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.

Registration



Prevention of Diabetes Related Lower Extremity Amputation

Presented by Curaport

Featuring Myra Varnado, BS, RN, CWON, CFCN, Director of Clinical Services, Corstrata
Thursday, February 8
2:00 p.m. EST
$49

Click here to register

(approvedfor one (1) contact hour of Continuing Education for Nursing)

 



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

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Home Care Technology Report is published by Rowan Consulting Associations, Inc., Colorado Springs, CO. All rights reserved. Request reprint permission by writing to editor@homecaretechreport.com.

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