Volume 6, Number 35 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 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:
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

In-Home Care: Combining Compassion and Technology
Home Care Association of Arizona
September 15
Phoenix Airport Marriott
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

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

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



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



    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 


    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


    International Guidelines for Home Health Nursing

    Presented by: International Home Care Nurses Organization (IHCNO)

    Wednesday, October 25
    11
    :00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. EDT
    Registration

    www.ihcno.org/Registration

    Contact person: Marilyn Harris marilyn@ihcno.org



     

    The Current Homecare Market: an M&A Perspective

    Presented by Curaport

    Featuring Rich Tinsley, CEO, Stoneridge Partners
    Friday, July 14
    12:00 p.m. EDT 
    Cost: $39 
    Registration



    Home Health Conditions of Participation: Charting a Course for your Success

    Presented by: Kinnser Software

    This 5 part series begins

    Thursday, September 28
    11
    :00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. EDT
    Registration

    Contact person: Chip Schneider chip.schneider@kinnser.com




    Strategic Use of Technology in Home Health and Hospice Organizations

    Presented by: Elevating Home and Brightree

    Thursday, October 12
    1:00 p.m. EDT

    Speakers include:

    • Melissa Polly, Brightree (Moderator)
    • Paul Pisano, CEO, Interim Healthcare - Hartford
    • Tarrah Lowry-Schreiner, CEO, Sangre de Cristo Hospice & Palliative Care
    • Todd Montigney, Managing Director and Founding Member, BlackTree Healthcare Consulting
    • Nick Knowlton, CommonWell Alliance and Brightree

    Registration



    The Homecare & Technology Podcast Series

    Presented by ElevatingHOME and Curaport

    ElevatingHOME and Curaport have teamed up for a series discussing technology and the future of home-based care. Hosted by Tripp Matthews of Curaport and Danielle Pierotti, RN, PhD of ElevatingHOME, this five-part series features discussions with a new roundtable of industry leaders each week and dives into a range of topics focused on technology in home-based care. Download and subscribe on iTunes or SoundCloud. Episodes remain available after initial release. Topics:

    What do we know about technology in the business of home-based care?
    The impact of technology on home health policy and regulatory issues.
    Financial impacts of technology in home-based care
    OASIS in home health: The backbone of quality reporting
    Leadership: What's a leader to do?



    The Clinician's Role in CoP Compliance

    Presented by: SelectData

    Thursday, October 19
    1:30 p
    .m. EDT
    Registration


    Contact person: Lisa Engle services@selectdata.com



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