Volume 6, Number 45 February  13, 2017



Dear Healthcare at Home Colleague,

I am writing to inform you that we may have jumped the gun a bit in the way we characterized the sudden closure on January 13 of all 19 Bethany HomeHealth Services locations in our February 1 issue. Bethany was a CMS 1.5-star HHA serving East Texas.

Our intention was to warn our readers about the risks of accepting large numbers of patients from closed competitors without notifying their MAC, not to in any way impugn the reputation of a business entity that no longer exists. We apologize if we got some of the details wrong. We have learned that it was not an FBI raid but a 100% ZPIC payment suspension that led to a business decision to cease operations.

Though the Longview News-Journal reported on January 13 that Bethany had shuttered its doors and stopped returning telephone calls in five East Texas cities, without advance notice to employees or to the Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services, as required by law, the former company's COO Stacy Landers assured us that the abrupt closure of all 19 locations was nothing more than a business decision to no longer participate in the CMS program. As the company's business was nearly 100 percent Medicare, that meant ceasing business entirely.

There was no FBI raid, we now know. We simply got that wrong. Again, we apologize, to our readers and to Bethany ownership.

Correction
What we should have said is that we had heard from various employees that it is common knowledg
e among staff that the company was under a ZPIC investigation for months and had been placed on 100 percent payment suspension under
42 CFR 405.371-372, allegedly due to extraordinarily high average lengths of stay for patients with low acuity, reportedly over 200 days, compared to the national average in the 50 to 60-day range.

The Longview News-Journal was the first to raise questions about whether the decision to close was planned or sudden. Writing from the employee perspective, the local daily pointed out in its January 13 story that Texas legal code requires home health entities that are closing permanently to notify the state Department of Aging and Disability Services within five days before closing an agency, branch office or alternative delivery site. The article added, "According to Christine Mann, spokeswoman for the Texas Health & Human Services Commission, the commission's staff learned about the closure plans in a phone conversation Thursday [January 12] from Bethany. 'At this point, we are not sure if this is a permanent closure or just temporary,' Mann said. 'We have only had verbal confirmation.'"

In a follow-up report in its January 16 online edition, the News-Journal added that Ms. Mann said that "Bethany had disclosed pending closures only in Longview, Carthage, Nacogdoches, Texarkana and Lufkin, not companywide."

A January 18 report by KTRE-TV, the ABC affiliate serving Lufkin and Nacogdoches, however, quoted Ms. Mann as saying that Bethany told the Commission "seven offices would be closing effective January 27." Still, phone calls to company headquarters in Plano from KTRE, Longview News-Journal and us went unanswered as early as January 13. The television report stated that "several clients and workers with the company have called KTRE seeking answers, saying the company has not been in communication with them about the future of its services."

KTRE also posted a photograph of a sign posted on the locked door of the Lufkin branch office, reading, "Attendant's Checks: All checks were mailed out from are [sic] corporate office, if you have any questions please contact are [sic] corporate office at (972-248-2441)... Thank You" Calls to that number were answered by a generic voice recording Monday afternoon.

While the state Health & Human Services Commission had been notified one day in advance of the closing, the newspaper added, "the company had not notified the real estate company that manages and leases its Longview building, Zach Williams Commercial Real Estate, or the Texas Workforce Commission of its closure plans. In contrast, Workforce Commission Communications Director Lisa Givens said American HomePatient Services notified her office before laying off 98 employees at its Longview support center and closing on December 31."

 

Editor signature
Tim Rowan



ZPIC Shuts Down Large Texas Agency
The regulatory massacre in Texas, 20,000 patients suddenly without a home health agency, will be repeated in one Medicare zone after another. Here is how it happened and what you can do to prevent it from happening to you.

 
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Notable Upcoming Conferences Free Webinars

National Leadership Conference *
Sponsored by:
Visiting Nurse Associations of America

Alliance for Home Health Quality and Innovation

April 19-21

Hilton San Diego Bayfront
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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.
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ATA Annual Meeting

American Telemedicine Association
April 23-25
Orange County Convention Center
Orlando

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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

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

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)


Annual Meeting

Texas Association for Home Care & Hospice 50th Annual Meeting
August 27-29
The Gaylord Texan Resort
Grapevine, TX

Information and registration


National Healthcare CNO/CMO/Informatics Summit

Presented by Marcus Evans Events

Date: March 18-19, 2019
Location: The Langham Huntington, Pasadena, Los Angeles, CA

The Healthcare Summits are the premium forums bringing senior level medical executives and solution providers together. The one-on-one business meetings provide access to senior medical executives within the largest healthcare organizations across the United States. A thorough selection process ensures a qualified audience, which grants unparalleled business and networking opportunities in a luxurious and stimulating environment.
Information and registration

 


2019 Omaha System International Conference: A Key to Practice, Documentation, and Information Management

Date: April 3-5, 2019
Location: Eagan, Minnesota
Fees: Pre-Conference (1 day): $165
Conference (2 days): $335
Pre-conference and Conference (all 3 days): $500

Registration and Information
The Omaha System International Conference is held every two years as a venue for those in practice, education, research, and software development to exchange experiences. There is something for everyone involved with the Omaha System, from beginners to experts to everyone in between. Joyce Sensmeier, HIMSS is the keynote speaker, and The University of Texas at Austin School of Nursing is the school host. The 2019 PDF flier includes location and registration information, speaker/planner list, agenda, exhibitors, and more.

National Healthcare 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 National Healthcare CXO Summit is the premium forum bringing senior level healthcare executives and solution providers together. As an invitation-only event, taking place behind closed doors, the Summit offers an intimate environment for a focused discussion of key new drivers shaping the healthcare industry.


 

3rd Interoperability Forum

Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) 

Date: August 21-22
Location: Renaissance Hotel, Washington, DC

Register Online

This event will bring people together from ONC, the healthcare industry, and the technology sector to:
  • Learn about recent efforts to advance interoperability nationwide
  • Identify concrete actions in response to current interoperability barriers
Attendees will hear keynotes from industry influencers, have the opportunity to view demos showcasing innovative solutions and participate in tracks focused on various aspects of interoperability. Co-led by industry leaders and supported by ONC experts, the tracks will provide an opportunity to discuss the latest issues and identify actions that can be taken to address key barriers to interoperability in a group setting.
Who: Health IT standards and technology community, including developers, policymakers, technology staff at provider organizations, and consumers.

SAGE/2019 *

Hosted by Honor

Date: September 10
Location
: Portofino Hotel & Marina, Redondo Beach, CA
Time: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm

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(Rowan Report subscribers have been offered a 25% discount; use discount code "Rowan" when you register)

How we care for our aging population is one of the most daunting and important challenges we face as family members, as community builders, as leaders in our industry.
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Home Health, Home Care, Hospice GROWTH SUMMIT *

Date: Sept. 17-19
Location: Green Valley Ranch, Las Vegas

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Join renowned agency mentors Cheryl Peltekis and Melanie Stover for an owners' and executives' ONLY event focusing on how to survive and thrive in this rapidly changing environment. Cheryl and Melanie will break down exactly how to maximize your agency’s growth during this time of disruption in an easy to follow system you can use, over and over.

HCAOA 2019 Annual Leadership Conference *

Home Care Association of America

Date: September 22-23
Location: Marriott Tucson Starr Pass Resort

Information


NAHC 2019 Conference & Expo *

October 13-15
Seattle

Information and Registration


Two Sales Training Boot Camps: Home Health and Hospice & Palliative Care

Presented by Healthcare Strategica, LLC

Featuring: Michael Ferris
Location: Westin Lake Las Vegas Resort

Bootcamp 1: PDGM Home Health Sales
Date: November 12-13

Bootcamp 2: Hospice & Palliative Care Sales
Date: Novenber 14-15


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PDGM Success Seminars hosted by Axxess *
Sponsored by: BKD, Aegis Therapies, HealthCare ConsultLink, Home Health Care News, Gateway Home Health Coding and Consulting, Worldview, Connected Home Living, Laengrich Healthcare Partners and Swift Medical

Dates and Locations (open to all Home Care providers):
  • Dallas, TX Tuesday, September 24
  • Houston, TX Thursday, September 26
  • Boston, MA Tuesday, November 5
  • Fort Lauderdale, FL Thursday, November 14
  • Chicago, IL Tuesday, October 22
  • Columbus, OH Thursday, November 12
  • Las Vegas, NV Friday, October 4
  • McAllen, TX Tuesday, December 3
  • San Antonio, TX Thursday, December 5
Information and Registration (early bird discount code: Axxess2020)
The one-day seminars will focus on the following learning objectives:
  • The PDGM impact numbers that matter most, along with operational strategies to ensure proper reimbursement                   
  • Specific actions to take for each PDGM risk factor, including coding, non-groupable diagnoses, LUPA avoidance and management, chronic care management, and therapy management
  • How to drive growth for your organization through institutional referral strategies and the use of specialty programs, including wound care and complex nursing
Including specifics such as:
  • How to get the most important OASIS information you need in five minutes
  • Implementing maintenance therapy programs and telemonitoring
  • Setting up visit schedules that prevent avoidable LUPAs 
  • How each component of PDGM builds the case weight 
  • Restructuring intake processes to obtain necessary billing information

*The Rowan Report will see you there.

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Navigating the Hospice Cost Report

Sponsored by: ElevatingHOME

Date: February 19, 2019
Time: 12:00pm EST
Fee: FREE

Register Now

CMS has stated that 66% of the cost reports previously filed should not have been accepted and will now be subject to more strenuous requirements. The cost reports will be used by CMS to recalibrate and adjust the hospice daily payment rates.

Join Elevating Home for this webinar as Tom Boyd, Vice President of Reimbursable Services with Simione Healthcare Consultants discusses what is new and help participants identify and understand the requirements for the completion of the Medicare Hospice cost report.



 

The Hospice Cost Report: A Requirement & A Management Tool

Presented by: Tom Boyd, MBA, CFE, CHFP, Vice President of Reimbursable Services, Simione Healthcare Consultants

Date: February 14
Time: 2:00 - 3:00 EST
Fee: FREE

Register now

Join Simione Healthcare Consultants for an overview of hospice cost reporting and ways to make sense of all the required information to support timely, accurate and affordable filing. A Simione cost report is backed by our longstanding experience with reimbursement and government reporting. Discover the difference and get the bigger picture on your hospice finances!



Interoperability for Service Providers through CMS’s EMDI Initiative

Presented by: ElevatingHOME and VNAA

Featuring: Pallavi Talekar, Project Manager, Scope Infotech, Inc.; Ray Wilkerson, Sr. Business Analyst, Scope Infotech, Inc.; Nandini Ganguly, Business Analyst, Scope Infotech, Inc.; Kishan Patel Business Analyst, Scope Infotech, Inc.; Briana Barnes, Project Coordinator, Scope Infotech, Inc.

Date: Tuesday, July 30
Time:
12:00 pm EDT
Fee:
Free to ElevatingHome, VNAA, and Alliance for Home Health Quality Improvement members

Registration

Representatives from the EMDI Initiative team will discuss interoperability using health IT standards, including Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR). Participants will learn about pilot opportunities with CMS to enhance provider workflow using three critical use cases. Participants will:
  • Gain knowledge of interoperability concepts and use of latest standards, including FHIR;
  • Gather information on three critical use cases in the post-acute care setting to reduce provider burden and enhance their interoperability footprint; and
  • Identify next steps for participation in an upcoming pilot opportunity with CMS.


Learning Series Webinar: Million Hearts®2022 & Related Medicare-Covered Preventive Services 
CMS National Training Program

Date: February 14, 2019
Time: 1:00 - 2:30 EST
Fee: FREE

Register now

This webinar provides an overview of:

  • National Initiative—Million Hearts® 2022
  • Heart Disease and Stroke in the U.S.
  • Medicare-Covered Preventive Services Related to Heart Health

 



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



Security Risk Assessment Tool Overview and User Feedback Session

Presented by: CMS

Date: Wednesday July 17

Time: 1:00 pm EDT

Fee: Free

ONC and the HHS Office for Civil Rights are holding a training session and overview of the Security Risk Assessment (SRA) Tool. The tool is designed to assist small to medium providers in conducting an internal security risk assessment. This assessment will aid providers with their security risk analysis as required by the HIPAA Security Rule and the CMS EHR Incentive program. Following the webinar, participants will have the opportunity to ask questions and provide feedback.
 
Register


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
 


PDGM’s Behavioral Adjustments - What You Need to Know Now

Sponsored by eSolutions

Featuring: Karri Wright, Sr. Director, Product Management at Homecare Homebase

Date: Thursday, August 29
Time: 2:00 pm CDT
Fee: Free

REGISTER NOW

The webinar covers:

  • CMS assumptions and intended adjustments and their impact on:
    • Upcoding
    • Comorbidities
    • LUPA Avoidance
  • Considerations for HHAs
  • Evaluating your HHA data now to assess tomorrow based on today’s reality


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


OASIS-D: Ensuring Consistency & Accuracy

Presented by Curaport
Featuring:
Melissa Abbott, RN, MSN, MHA, of 5 Star Consultants

Date: Thursday, October 18
Time: 2:00 p.m. EDT

Fee: $99 (per attendee)

Information & Registration

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

OASIS! Possibly the most spoken word, or acronym, in the Home Health industry. And just when you get to grips with the current version, the next set of changes arrive before you know it, this time in the form of OASIS-D. In this webinar, you will gain an understanding of the significant changes D brings to OASIS and how to ensure consistencies and accuracy within your agency.

 

*Curaport, LLC is an approved provider of Continuing Education by the California Board of Registered Nursing. All states accept this certification for their licensing requirements. No refund shall be given, except for any change in date or time of the webinar. In such case, a full refund shall be given to the registrant upon request.



A QUALITY JOB: Clinical Management & Care Coordination Under PDGM

Hosted by VNAA
Sponsored by MatrixCare/Brightree
Presented by Simione Healthcare Consultants

Featuring: Laura Wilson, RN, BSN, Sr. Manager, Simione Healthcare Consultants
Date: Wednesday, September 11
Time: 12:00 pm EDT

Free Registration

PDGM is so much more than a billing change! Home health agencies preparing for payment reform need to look closely at clinical operations to make accommodations that will uphold quality, including care alternatives that add value to the equation. In this webinar, we’ll share insights based on the findings of gap analyses to help your organization make a successful transition under the new requirements. Recommended Attendees: Clinical Managers, Intake Staff, Coders / QA, Finance & Billing personnel Hosted by VNAA, sponsored by MatrixCare/Brightree, presented by Simione Healthcare Consultants



Using a Sales & Marketing Dashboard to Get Ahead of Your Competition

Presented by Curaport

Featuring: Melanie Stover, OT, MBA, Homecare Sales

Date: Wednesday, September 5
Time: 2:00 p.m. EDT
Fee: $59 (per attendee)

Information and registration

Webinar Overview
Driving patient admissions and revenue is the top priority for your sales team. Creating a system that quickly monitors production is key to keeping your agency on track for sustainable growth.

This webinar will provide your agency with 3 ways to use your dashboard to get ahead (and stay ahead!) of your competition.



Introduction to the CMS Electronic Medical Documentation Interoperability (EMDI) Program

Presented by: ElevatingHome
Featuring:

  • Pallavi Talekar, Project Manager, Scope Infotech, Inc.
  • Ray Wilkerson, Sr. Business Analyst, Scope Infotech, Inc.
  • Nandini Ganguly, Business Analyst, Scope Infotech, Inc.
  • Briana Barnes, Project Coordinator, Scope Infotech, Inc.
Date: Wednesday, August 8
Time: 1:00 p.m. EDT

Registration

 

Participants will gain understanding of the CMS-driven Electronic Medical Documentation Interoperability program, focused on reducing provider burden by engaging health care providers and stakeholders in pilots that establish secure communication to share medical documentation by aligning with nationally recognized interoperable standards. This event is designed for providers and vendors who are willing to enhance their workflows and communication to achieve efficiency by reducing time and cost.

In this session participants will learn about interoperability and shift in the health care IT landscape, EMDI pilot program details, EMDI pilot program benefits, and how to partner with the EMDI to achieve interoperability.



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.



Hospice compliance 2019: confronting a surprising new survey focus
Sponsored by: Wellsky
Featuring: Robert Markette, esq.
Date: March 14
Time: Noon CDT
Fee: None
Hospice providers today are confronting a new and unexpected survey focus. Hospice surveyors are increasingly focused on issues relating to hospice administration. This administrative focus includes topics such as your hospice’s corporate structure, the relationship between your hospice’s parent office and its multiple locations, and the role and job title of your administrator. Hospice providers who have been successfully operating for years are suddenly finding themselves hit with condition level citations. How will your hospice team adapt to the major survey focus of 2019? Join renowned hospice attorney Robert W. Markette of Hall, Render, Killian, Heath & Lyman, P.C. for an exclusive webinar that will prepare you and your team for the major survey focus of 2019.

Information and registration

Attend and learn:
Why a poorly drafted organizational chart can be a significant problem for your hospice
What hospice surveyors are looking for in the relationship between your hospice’s parent office and its multiple locations
Why calling your administrator something other than “administrator” could be a survey issue


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