Volume 6, Number 23 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 1st Quarter of 2017, web sites of the above advertisers were visited by home care and hospice executives and staff 1312 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


Community Care Conference

Texas Association for Home Care & Hospice
May 9
Omni Austin Hotel Southpark

Details and registration


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


Technologies and Tactics Transforming Long-term Care Conference: Igniting Innovation and Best Practices Across the Long-term and Post-acute Care Continuum
Sponsored by TCBI and Telehealth and Medicine Today
June 30
Washington, DC
Information and registration

2017 Annual Conference and Trade Show *
Home Care Association of FloridaJuly 23-27
Renaissance Orlando at Sea World
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

Hospice Financial and Administrative Management Conference
Presented by The Health Group
November 6-7
Caribe Hilton
San Juan, Puerto Rico
Registration: conference@healthgroup.com
 

*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

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


A New Approach for Home Health Face-to-Face:
Updated Info, Updated Insights

Sponsored by Kinnser Software
Featuring Arlene Maxim, RN
Thursday, April 20
1:00 pm EDT

Learn:

  • What CMS requires for "adequate documentation" under Face-to-Face
  • How to handle inadequate progress notes provided by the physician/in-patient facility
  • Exactly what to include on your checklist of items for the physician's packet

Free: Register here



Leveraging Technology on Your Path for A 5-Star Rating

Sponsored by Brightree
Featuring Diane Link, RN, MHA, Blacktree Healthcare Consulting; Michael Puskarich, CEO, Kenosha VNA; Wendy Cofran, CIO, Natick VNA; Elaine Stephens, RN, MPH, FHHC, CEO, Walpole Area VNA

April 13
2:00 pm - 3:15 pm EDT

Learn:

  • The impact technology and process have on a 5-star rating
  • How to utilize dashboards to track and trend data that may impact outcomes
  • How to develop outcome scorecards, and how to use them during employee evaluations
  • How to utilize reports to identify educational opportunities

Free: Register here



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



Navigating Alternative Payment Models

Presented by Mark Sharp and Raymond Belles of BKD
Tuesday, March 28
2:00 p.m. EDT
Cost: $79
Registration

 


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 


Navigating Pre-Claim Review

The controversial Pre-Claim Review Demonstration has been delayed in FL and paused in IL. So what's next? We'll cover what we've learned, what you should be doing now, and what home health care agencies can expect next.

Sponsored by Forcura
Featuring: Nick Seabrook, BlackTree Healthcare Consulting; Craig Mandeville, Forcura; Kim Gaffey, MSN, RN, Gaffey Home Nursing & Hospice
Thursday, April 13
2:00 pm EDT

Registration Link


Hospice Proposed Rule FY2018

Presented by Curaport

Featuring Katie Wehri, CHPC, Healthcare Provider Solutions
Tuesday, June 6
2:00 p.m. EDT
Cost: $89
Registration


QAPI Overview

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


Understanding the Effect Functional Scoring Has on Your Agency

Presented by Curaport

Featuring Chad Whitefield, PTA, Managing Partner of Advance Rehabilitation Management Group
Monday, June 12
2:00 p.m. EDT 
Cost: $59 
Registration


The Trump Effect: How the New Administration is Impacting Homecare

Presented by Curaport

Featuring Angelo Spinola, Shareholder, Littler Mendelson PC
Thursday, June 29
11:00 a.m. EDT 
Cost: $99 
Registration



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

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