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 1st Quarter of 2018, web sites of the above advertisers were visited by home care and hospice executives and staff 2597 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

2018 Annual Conference

AHHC of North Carolina

May 7-9
Sheraton Imperial Hotel & Convention Center

Register


West Coast Payer and Provider Summit to Address Social Determinants of Health for Complex PopulationsA World Health Care Congress Executive Series Event

June 4-5

Doubletree Resort Paradise Valley
Scottsdale, AZ


Download agenda

Post Acute 360: Strategy and Solutions Conference

Presented by: Lincoln Healthcare Leadership

June 25-27
Gaylord National Resort
National Harbor, MD
Information and Registration


Leading in a Changing World

Texas Association for Home Care & Hospice 49th Annual Meeting
August 8-9
Moody Gardens Hotel & Spa
Embassy Suites Frisco Hotel & Convention Center
Frisco

Information and registration


Home Care Cruise

Sponsored by: HealthCare Synergy
Featuring: Melinda Gaboury, Michael Tidd, Paula Pettit
Dates: August 24-27
Location: Carnival Inspiration, Los Angeles to Ensenada, Mexico

Information and Registration

(Early Bird Pricing Ends May 15)


Hospice Financial and Administrative Management Academy

Presented by: The Health Group, LLC

Date: September 17-18
Location: Mirage Las Vegas

Information and registration


2018 National Leadership Conference *

Home Care Association of America

Date:
September 22-25
Location: Marriott Wardman Park Hotel
Washington DC

 

Information for Providers and Exhibitors


*HCTR will see you there.

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

Patients' Right to Freedom of Choice of Providers: How to Avoid Lawsuits

 

Presented by Elizabeth Hogue, Esq.

 

Thursday, June 14 (Encore Date: 6/21)
Recording available 24/7 On Demand; option to purchase CD & handouts.
1:00 - 2:30 pm EDT

 

Register here

 

Conflict between hospitals and home health agencies, private duty agencies, hospices and HME companies that receive referrals from hospitals may be intensifying regarding patients' right to freedom of choice. Hospitals say that they comply with all requirements while some post-acute providers maintain the exact opposite. Now post-acute providers are suing hospitals for violations.
  • What exactly are hospitals supposed to do?
  • What do post-acute providers say are common violations?
  • What is an example of a recent lawsuit filed against hospitals for violations?
  • What can hospital discharge planners/case managers do to avoid these types of lawsuits?
  • How can providers help ensure that patients' rights are honored instead of filing court cases against hospitals?
Participate in this teleconference to learn the answers to all of these questions! Extensive handouts will be provided that will also serve as a resource when questions come up in the future.


FY2019 Hospice Proposed Rule: What You Need to Know

Sponsored by HEALTHCAREfirst
Featuring:
Deanna Loftus, Director of Regulatory Compliance, HEALTHCAREfirst

Date: Tuesday, June 5
Time: 2:00 pm EDT

Free Registration

On April 27, 2018, CMS issued a proposed rule that would update FY2019 Medicare wage index and payment rates for Medicare hospice agencies. The proposed rule includes changes to the hospice payment rates, updates to the Hospice Quality Reporting Program (HQRP), and more. Ms. Loftus will review the latest information regarding proposed changes and how they may affect you.


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

 


Dementia, Alzheimer's, and Mental Health Aide Education

Presented by Curaport
Featuring:
J'non Griffin, RN, MHA, WCC, President, Home Healthcare Solutions, LLC

Date: Tuesday, May 15
Time: 2:00 p.m. EDT

Fee: $79 (per attendee)
Information & Registration

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

 



Clinical Impact of OASIS-D

Presented by HEALTHCAREfirst

Featuring:

Deanna Loftus, HEALTHCAREfirst Director of Regulatory Compliance
Mary St. Pierre, RN, BSN, MGA, Regulatory Consultant

Tuesday, May 1
2:00 pm EDT

Free Registration

In March 2018, CMS released the draft of the latest version of the OASIS data set, OASIS-D. Modifications are being made to OASIS in order to comply with the IMPACT Act, to reduce data collection burden, and to improve formatting throughout the document. CMS is seeking approval from the Office of Management and Budget for a January 1, 2019 implementation date. Topics:

  • Addition of six new standardized items
  • The removal of 28 OASIS questions that will no longer be assessed.
  • Modification to M1311 to support a new standardized pressure ulcer measure.
  • Addition of responses to M1028, M1311, M2102 and removal of responses to M2310.
  • Review of additional changes to OASIS

 



ADR Education: Prevention & Response

Presented by Curaport

Featuring: Diane Link, RN, MHA

Date: Thursday, May 17
Time: 2:00 p.m. EDT
Fee: $79 (per attendee)

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.

Registration



The Penalty Box Compliance Series Part 8: The IMPACT Act

Presented by Curaport
Featuring Kristi Bajer, RN, MSN

Wednesday, May 23
1:00 p.m. EDT
$39

Information and registration

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



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