Volume 7, Number 46 December  19, 2018

Dear Healthcare at Home Colleague,

Our final issue of the year (except for our annual year-end summary of most-read articles) is loaded with technology vendor news that impacts both non-medical home care and Medicare home health providers, as well as hospices. As always, our goal is to see all post-acute providers working collaboratively for the benefit of patients. On the surface, we may be a news outlet, but down deep we remain an advocate for the industry, its owners, caregivers, and patients. But longtime readers already knew that.

Some of the vendors of which we speak have sent us more than one major announcement this week. As you peruse the headlines, you will see some names repeated. No, we're not playing favorites, that is just how the news cycle flows.

So look for news about partnerships and collaborations, even a notable acquisition, involving Netsmart, Kindred, WellSky (you knew them as Mediware and Kinnser until October), and PlayMaker Health.

The PlayMaker Health story will give some healthcare at home providers pause. As they gathered mountains of data for their popular CRM system, they discovered they could measure length of stay by region and compare one part of the country to another. Take a look at "PlayMaker Health's Data Reveals Wide Regional Length-of-Stay Differences."

Medicare providers are scrambling to learn as much as they can about the payment system that takes effect in a couple of weeks, as well as the Patient Driven Groupings Model that is currently set to begin in 2020. WellSky is among those doing what it can to help. After hosting a webinar presented by two industry reimbursement experts, the company published a Frequently Asked Questions document generated by the attendees at that webinar. The instructions in "WellSky Publishes FAQs from Recent PDGM Webinar" will show you how to download that document.

The latest partnership chasing the Interoperability holy grail is between Netsmart and Kindred. A longtime Netsmart customer, Kindred operates post-acute care services that span home care, hospice, rehab facilities, LTACs, and hospice. Together, the companies are building a software system to enhance care coordination across all Kindred service areas. See our interview with Netsmart's VP Kevin Scalia.

In this week's Vendor Watch column, WellSky appears twice. Once is for a partnership with PlayMaker Health that will create advantages for users of both platforms. The other is the big news of the week. The Lenexa, Kansas conglomerate backed by TPG Capital has acquired rival Consolo Services Group, a leading hospice software vendor.

Worth the trip
Surprisingly, there is still room to join me and a faculty of top consultants and attorneys on the 8th Annual Compliance Cruise, January 13-20. Don't you need a break from winter yet? One where you can learn techniques to protect your agency against fraud and abuse accusations? Click here to read faculty bios and registration instructions and come along to the Caribbean with us.

Lastly, our congratulations go out to friend of The Rowan Report, Laura Mitchell. Her PR consulting company has been selected as the senior and aging market expert for the Unified Strategies Public Relations Network. USPR is an international network of independent Public Relations and Marketing Communication professionals in specific areas and demographics. usprnetwork.com

Have a great week and a Merry Christmas. Keep making a difference!

Editor signature
Tim Rowan

PlayMaker Health's Data Reveals Wide Regional Length-of-Stay Differences
Home health and hospice providers in the South and West have higher average lengths of stay than other regions of the country.

WellSky Publishes FAQs from Recent PDGM Webinar
Sharon Harder and Jill Dyer, BSN, RN, HCS-D, HCS-O summarize provider concerns over PDGM heard in recent webinar.

Netsmart Partners with Kindred
Partnership said to hasten development of interoperable software for all of Kindred's post-acute care business lines.

Vendor Watch
— WellSky Acquires Consolo
— PlayMaker Health inks partnership agreement with WellSky

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During the 4th Quarter of 2018, web sites of the above advertisers were visited by home care and hospice executives and staff 2106 times.

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Last Week's Most-Read Stories:
NIH Post-Acute Study Authors Blast CMS
Researchers offer proof that post-acute care saves so much for payers that those payers should not quibble about how much post-acute care costs.
Exclusive Interview: Software CEO Looks at Post Acute Care's Future
Silver Tsunami will lead to a Silver Rush in post-acute care, says WellSky CEO Bill Miller.

As of this date, approximately 32,010,000 Baby Boomers have become Medicare eligible.

Notable Upcoming Conferences Free Webinars

The 8th Annual Medicare Compliance Cruise *

Presented by Pearson & Bernard, PSC

January 12-19, 2019
Departs from Ft. Lauderdale

Information and registration

17th Annual Northeast Home Health Leadership Summit: Playing to Win!

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

Date: January 22-24, 2019
Location: Colonnade Hotel, Boston

Information and Registration

In addition to the pre-conference and full Summit program, There will be a bonus Home Care & Hospice Special Medical Directors Meeting that coincides with the conference on January 23 from 8:30 to 10 a.m. Details.

PDGM National Summit in the Rockies *

Home Care Association of Colorado & NAHC

February 13, 2019
Hyatt Regency Aurora/Denver Conference Center
Fee Schedule:

Early bird – ends 11:59 p.m. MST Friday, January 11
Member $249, Non-Member $449

Regular Price  - ends 11:59 p.m. MST Sunday, February 10
Member $299, Non-Member $499 

Onsite – February 13 
Member $349, Non-Member $549

*Member rates apply to members of: Home Care Association of Colorado, National Association of Home Care & Hospice and participating state home care associations. 

Register now!

The Home Care Association of Colorado and the National Association of Home Care, together with state home-care associations in the region, will host a one-day conference Feb. 13 on the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services' Patient Directed Groupings Model. PDGM's adoption will bring significant change to home health care. This one-day regional conference on PDGM allows providers to hear from national experts on the new model, with significant time allocated to Q&A. Click here to view the schedule.

Information for Providers and Exhibitors

National CXO Summit *

Presented by Marcus Evans Events

Date: May 19-21
Location: Eau Palm Beach Resort

Keynote Presenters: Susan Blumenthal, past US Assistant Surgeon General; Nicholas Webb, Healthcare Futurist

Registration Information

*The Rowan Report 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
Hotel or Conference Center, City, State


The 2019 Home Health Final Rule: Preparing for change
Your PDGM Questions Answered

Presented by WellSky

Featuring: Executive Management Consultant Sharon S. Harder and Home Health Clinical Expert Jill Dyer, BSN, RN, HCS-D, HCS-O
Date: Download on demand

Download now

Get answers to questions about the 2019 final rule and PDGM:

  • How to calculate case-mix
  • How to qualify for a rural rate
  • What does the term "budget neutral" mean
  • How will your agency be reimbursed for therapy under PDGM
  • How will LUPAs be calculated under PDGM

Dementia Webinar Series

Presented by Home Care Association of America

Featuring: Dr. Deborah Bier, PhD

Date: Thursday, January 17
Time: 1:00 pm EST
Fee: None

Dr. Bier will discuss how to create dementia behavior handling success within home care. In addition, this presentation will include ten “secrets” few in home care understand about dementia and behavior handling. Part 2 of the series is set for January 24.

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.