Volume 6, Number 43 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 3rd Quarter of 2017, web sites of the above advertisers were visited by home care and hospice executives and staff 2425 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.

4th Annual Home Care Winter Warm-Up
Home Care Association of Florida

January 16-17
Boca Raton Marriott
Keynotes by Stephen Tweed, Bill Dombi, 12 others

Information and Registration


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

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

Workforce Webinar Series: Stacking the Odds in Your Favor
Best Practice Selection Strategies


Presented by ElevatingHOME

All programs in the series have been archived for those unable to attend live:

 

  • Part 1, "Why Staff Leave and How to Keep Them," sponsored by Exact Recruiting, a Simione Talent Solution. Click here to view this session.
  • Part 2, "From Turnover to Engagement for the Healthcare Executive," sponsored by Relias. Click here to view this session.
  • Part 3, "The ROI of Using Pre-Hire Assessments," sponsored by Relias. Click here to view this session.
  • Part 4, "Stacking the Odds in Your Favor: Best Practice Selection Strategies," sponsored by Home Health Selection Solutions. Recorded 11/28, recording available soon.

Upcoming topics in the Workforce Webinar Series:

Part 5: "Recruiting and Compensation Strategies that Work," sponsored by Exact Recruiting, a Simione Talent Solution
December 5 | 1:00 p.m. ET

Register here

 

Part 6: "Employee Engagement: Your Key to Exceeding Home Health and Hospice Outcomes," sponsored by Fazzi Associates
December 12 | 1:00 p.m. ET

Register here

 

Part 7: TBD
December 19 | 1:00 p.m. ET
Details coming soon.


How to Attract and Retain Health System Relationships

Presented by Netsmart
Ongoing
Free
Watch now

 


Patient Engagement & Health Literacy

Presented by Curaport

Featuring Stephanie Koehn, RMA, CPC CPPM, CPCO
Thursday, December 7
2:00 p.m. EST
Cost: $39
Click here to register



QAPI Series, Part 4: Revenue Cycle Management

Presented by Curaport

Featuring Diane Link and Nick Seabrook of BlackTree Healthcare Consulting
Tuesday, December 12
2:00 p.m.EST
Click here to register



The Penalty Box Compliance Series: Part 3, Care Planning for HHGM & VBP Success

Presented by Curaport
Featuring Kristi Bajer, RN, MSN, VP OperaCare
Wednesday, December 6
1:00 p.m. EST
$39

Click here to register



Navigate your Way to Referral Success in 2018

Presented by Home Care Sales

Featuring Melanie Stover and Cheryl Peltekis
Friday, December 15
12:00 p
.m. EST
Registration and Information



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.

HCTR is free to subscribers and supported by its generous advertisers. To inquire about presenting your message to our 5,000 subscribers, write to Kristin in our ad sales department, Kristin@RowanResources.com.