Volume 6, Number 45 February  1, 2017



Dear Healthcare at Home Colleague,

We have to start with bad news. Sorry. Last week I talked with you about the regulatory compliance conference at which I was invited to speak, organized by a couple of attorneys. We learned about Medicare rules and labor laws that certified and private duty home healthcare providers violate at their own peril. As if the urgency of their message was not already apparent, fate stepped in to underscore it...with a bright red pen. On Friday, January 13, as speakers and attendees were traveling to that conference, a surprise FBI raid shut down all 19 offices of Bethany HomeHealth Services, which served more than 20,000 patients a year in 160 Texas counties.

You will not find the reason for the sudden closure with a Google news search or in other home health newsletters. Local TV stations and Texas newspapers only reported that phones were not being answered, employees were not being paid and the Texas department of labor had not been given the required advance notice. Even the FBI web site is silent about its Friday the 13th raid. Our story comes from an extremely reliable source, a consultant Bethany engaged to help clean up their compliance issues. Apparently, they waited too long to bring him in.

According to our source, Bethany owners were not consciously in business for the purpose of defrauding Medicare. They were not career criminals. They were just guilty of sloppy practices and failure to see the world changing around them. The Feds no longer put up with the practice of four, five or six (or more, sometimes a lot more) consecutive PPS episodes the way they used to, especially when OASIS assessments do not support medical necessity. Take this as a warning: Bethany was not doing anything different than many of you who are reading this. This will not be the last home health FBI raid. You need to be looking over your shoulder not only at MAC claim denials and ZPIC audits. You've got to keep an eye on the guys with guns and badges too. Compliance! (If you do not know where to turn, I suggest clicking on the ad for OperaCare in the middle of this page.)

Note to other Texas agenciesIf you find yourself absorbing former Bethany patients and employees, please notify your MAC immediately. As attorneys Lucian Bernard and Liz Pearson warned one of your colleagues when we all heard this news, a sudden, unexplained census spike automatically generates an ADR. The only protection you have is if your intermediary knows the reason for your spike in advance.

With that uplifting intro, let's look at this week's other news 
This year's Homecare 100 gathering was the best ever. With all eyes on Washington, especially following the confirmation of Dr. Tom Price as HHS Secretary, we feature a summary of statements made by a former Pennsylvania representative, both from the Homecare 100 stage and in our follow-up conversation with him. His insider insights into how things work on Capitol Hill may allay some of your worries.

Guest author Elizabeth Hogue, esq. rejoins us with an important update on the infamous Jimmo case. The court found that CMS did not comply (there's that word again) with its previous order to educate providers about the difference between intermittent and maintenance therapy. The federal agency was ordered to write the difference in a clear, one-paragraph statement, a task that proved too difficult. So, the court wrote the statement for them and then ordered CMS to enter into a Corrective Action Plan. You must read the entire article. It is sad and laughable at the same time.

Keeping you up with vendor news, we have stories about a couple of new partnerships: BlackTree Consulting with Relias Learning, and HEALTHCAREfirst with MEDsys, as well as news of an expanded library of webinars from Curaspan. Lastly, a big welcome to our newest sponsor, KanTime. Be sure to click on their ad at the right to welcome them to the family.

Have a great week. Keep making a difference!

 

Editor signature
Tim Rowan



CMS Ordered to Create Its Own Corrective Action Plan
Bureaucrats at CMS are getting a chance to find out what it is like to be forced to follow a Plan of Correction. Ordered by the court to improve its messaging, agency failed to write a required paragraph, so the judge wrote it for them.

Former Congressman Explains "Repeal and Replace"
Former Congressman educates Homecare 100 audience about planning for the uncertainty of healthcare reform under a new HHS Secretary.

HEALTHCAREfirst Partners with MEDsys for EVV
Partnership with one of the two surviving HHSC-approved EVV vendors in Texas is designed to ensure that home health agencies meet EVV compliance protocols.

Curaport Launches New Educational Services
New online healthcare information and education curator offers convenient online learning tools.

Vendor Watch
— BlackTree Consulting partners with Relias Learning
— Catch him if you can. Abagnale to speak at HIMSS

 
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:

Kristin@rowanresources.com

Last Week's Most-Read Stories:
Loophole May Provide Hope for Beleaguered Palliative Care Providers
The MACRA law is being implemented by CMS in a way that creates a dilemma for palliative care providers based inside hospices. We spoke with the Center to Advance Palliative Care and learned there may be hope.
 
Failing Pre-Claim Review Experiment Should Not Expand to Another State
Guest author Julianne Haydel brings a 20-year veteran home health consultant's perspective to the crisis PGBA has created in Illinois with the way it is implementing the CMS Pre-Claim Review experiment in Illinois.

As of this date, approximately 24,464,000 Baby Boomers have become Medicare eligible.



Notable Upcoming Conferences Free Webinars

Homecare 100 *February 4-7
Ritz-Carlton
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
https://www.homebasedcareevents.com/

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
Orlando

http://www.ata2017.org


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
http://www.homecareofcolorado.org


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

http://www.healthcarefirst.com/webinars/

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

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

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

Click here to register

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

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



Clinician Recruitment, Retention & Satisfaction: Does Technology Help or Hinder?

Sponsored by Brightree and Elevating Home
Featuring: Karri Harpole, RN, BSN, Brightree; Tarrah Lowry-Schreiner, President & CEO, Sangre de Cristo Hospice & Palliative Care; Wendy Cofran, CIO, Century Health Systems, Inc.; Melissa Polly, MBA, Brightree Product Marketing (moderator)

Wednesday, July 26
1:00 pm EDT

Learn:

  • Best practices related to the use of technology and the best way to engage clinicians in a model that provides the most value the organization, including recruitment, retention and satisfaction; 
  • From colleagues, how to get the most value from the use of technology from clinical documentation and nurse satisfaction to operational efficiencies; and,
  • How changes in the post-acute environment, from regulatory drivers to value-based care, drive effective utilization of technology.

Register



    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



    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
    Ongoing
    Free
    Watch now

     


    Under Pressure — OASIS Service Utilization Review

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



    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

    Registration


    QAPI Overview

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


    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)

     



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