Volume 8, Number 25 February  20, 2019



Dear Friends and Colleagues,

This special edition marks two anniversaries. I hope you might indulge me while I look back on my 20 years as editor of Home Care Technology Report. Even if you have been around as long as I have, there may be some history you did not know.

Anniversary #1: 20 years of home health, home care and hospice news

HCTR was originally a print publication called Home Care Automation Report. Founded in 1995 by United Communications Group, today known as Decision Health, HCAR was a companion to their primary publication, ...home health line. When UCG discontinued HCAR in December, 1998, one of their occasional authors, nationally-known home care technology expert Tom Williams, acquired it. Tom had come to national prominence in the early 90's as the VP of a Medicare Regional Home Health Intermediary in Milwaukee.

I met Tom in June of 1998 when we were both speaking at a UCG seminar. One month later, when my IT Director position at a Colorado agency fell victim to the IPS disaster, UCG invited me to try my hand as a reporter. By December, Tom had become familiar with my writing. As soon as he took over as publisher, he took a big risk and asked me to be his editor and primary writer. After some strategy meetings in Port Washington, Wisconsin in January, we released our first issue together. It was dated February, 1999.

Under Tom's ownership, HCAR evolved from a mailed, monthly print publication to a PDF in magazine format delivered by email to what it is today, a fully electronic weekly newsletter with full-length articles posted on a web site accompanied by headlines with summaries emailed to subscribers. When we went electronic in 2005, Tom also converted HCAR from subscriber-supported to today's free, advertiser-supported format.

For 10 years, I was essentially Tom Williams' apprentice. A renowned story-teller, he tutored me with tales of his first-hand experiences of the history of our industry, his battles against fraudulent providers as the head of an RHHI, and some eye-opening, insider secrets about its tech vendors and trade associations. We began to be frequent speakers at national and state association conferences; we organized tech vendors into a professional trade association; and, with help from software developer Tom Theimer, we expanded into online training services as the "Home Care Information Network."

Two events helped me understand who Tom Williams was. One day, as we walked out of the Milwaukee airport, he encountered an old friend, a single mother he had hired at Blue Cross when no one else would, giving her a chance to move from welfare to work and on to a college degree. After a big hug and brief chat, he introduced me to his former employee, "Tim, this is Congresswoman Gwen Moore, the representative for Wisconsin's 4th congressional district."

The other happened at my first NAHC meeting in October, 1999. Frustrated with the small turnout that final year of IPS, three leading software company owners approached our booth, shook a finger at Tom, and proclaimed, "We've had it. We want a meeting of all the vendors and we want you to call the meeting because if you call it, they will all come." The following month, 12 CEOs showed up in Chicago, vented their grievances, formulated a plan, and the Homecare Information Technology Council was born. HITC published magazines and educational CDs, represented the vendor community with a common voice, and created the "CEO School," a longtime fixture on the morning before the NAHC Annual Meeting. It was HITC that inspired NAHC founding president Val Halamandaris to create the Home Care Technology Association of America.

Anniversary #2:

Tom WilliamsOn January 9, 2009, Tom was taken from us, without any previous diagnosis or symptoms, by an apparent heart attack. He was 59 years old. Exactly ten years after our initial strategy meetings, and ten years ago last month, I again found myself flying to Milwaukee.

For 10 years we've been on our own

Devastated, Tom's widow and I, assisted by the rest of the team — Michael Siegel, Tom Theimer, Randy Weisheit, and my son, Jeremy, the HCIN videographer — tried to keep things going but Tom's wife was an elementary school teacher and deeply grieving. When we realized she did not have the desire or the time to run Tom's company, Theimer and Weisheit took over HCIN and I purchased the rights to HCAR. Siegel found a home at Simione Consulting until he retired. Jeremy took his video skills to Relias Learning, stayed a few years, and then took a hard right turn into the outdoors as owner of Outlaw Jeep Adventures in Moab, Utah.

Now we are in June, 2009. As owner, editor, publisher, and principle writer, I set out to keep HCAR going by myself. I was humbled and gratified to see the sponsors sticking with me, assuring me I could step into Tom's shoes and that HCAR was worth the effort. By July, to make it more my own, I made a slight change to the newsletter's name and updated its look and feel. That summer, Home Care Technology Report debuted with my name on it in thousands of inboxes. Over the years, most people began to refer to it as The Rowan Report. We gave in and are starting to use that name more often.

That brings us to today, the 20th anniversary of my tenure at Home Care Technology Report and the 10th anniversary of the passing of my friend and mentor, and the one responsible for launching this second career of mine. I still relish the responsibility of finding valuable news for you every week and, though I cannot promise you another ten years, I do promise that, when the time comes, I will hand the keyboard over to someone with the expertise and integrity to carry on, perhaps improve on, the tradition Tom and I began 20 years ago today.

I'll close with a hearty thanks to all 13,000 subscribers who read our words every week and to the sponsors that make it all possible. Here are some of my favorite stories from the last 20 years:

December 7 Tribute: From War Hero to Father to Home Health Patient (12/7/2011)

It Is Time for CMS to Figure Out the Difference Between Typos and Crimes (3/18/2015)

Reflections on A Sad Visit to Wisconsin (1/21/2009)

Friends and Colleagues Offer Their Memories of Tom Williams (1/14/2009)

Editor's Comments on the Occasion of the Passing of NAHC President Val Halamandaris (8/2/2017)

Private Duty Home Care Suffers From Extreme Competition (11/15/2017)

Editor signature
Tim Rowan



Editor's Reflections on 20 Years of Home Care Tech Report
Editor Tim Rowan recounts the origin story of Home Care Technology: The Rowan Report
 
When you click on these ads,
you make sure HCTR continues to come to you for free.























During the 2nd Quarter of 2019, web sites of the above advertisers were visited by home care and hospice executives and staff 2157 times.

To inquire about placing your message here, contact:

Kristin@rowanresources.com

Last Week's Most-Read Stories:
Experts Offer PDGM Advice at Home Care 100
At last month's Home Care 100 conference, CEOs from our largest home health organizations delivered stark, severe warnings to their peers about the folly of waiting too long to start PDGM preparations.
 
Early Adopters Thrive with Artificial Intelligence in Home Care
Artificial Intelligence is the buzzword at this year's HIMSS meeting...and every other healthcare IT meeting in the country. What does it mean for post-acute care? Guest author James Cohen has some ideas that may change the way you think about AI.

As of this date, approximately 32,703,000 Baby Boomers have become Medicare eligible.



Notable Upcoming Conferences Free Webinars

ICD-10 Coding: Beginner & Intermediate Workshops, Plus HCS-D Certification Exam

Presented by Home Care Association of Florida

Join HCAF and Home Health Solutions' J'non Griffin for full day ICD-10 workshops for beginner and intermediate coders, plus an optional Home Care Coding Specialist - Diagnosis certification exam!

Workshop 1: Beginner Coding
Date: March 4
Time: 8:30 am - 4:30 pm EST
Location: Four Points Miami Airport West

Beginner: Information and Registration

Overview: In this interactive class, you will learn the basics of assigning ICD-10-CM coding for home health and hospice. You will understand how it relates to billing, audits, OASIS, and compliance, and why it is so important to have accurate coding on your agency claims. You will learn the guidelines and conventions, and ethical and legal considerations. We will also teach you how to properly look up codes in your manual. Bring a current 2019 ICD-10 CM manual with you to class.

 

Workshop 2: Intermediate Coding
Date: March 5-6
Time: 8:30 am - 4:30 pm EST
Location: Four Points Miami Airport West

Intermediate: Information and Registration

Overview: This class is for the coder who understands the basics and is ready to take their coding knowledge to the next level. In this 2-day session, we will work through common home health and hospice scenarios for each chapter and discuss the rationale behind each. Understand how coding can affect accurate reimbursement, outcomes, and how important coding will be under PDGM. Understand the interaction between face-to-face documentation, clinical notes from the provider, accurate coding, and an accurate comprehensive assessment. Learn why it is important to get it right the first time. We will also discuss the latest coding clinic guidance related to coding. Bring a current 2019 ICD-10 CM manual with you to class.

 

Workshop 3: HCS-D Certification Exam
Date: March 7
Time: 8:00 am - 12:00 pm EST
Location: Four Points Miami Airport West

Download the Exam Registration Form

Overview: The Association of Home Care Coding & Compliance's (AHHC) credentialing arm, the Board of Medical Specialty Coding & Compliance (BMSC), offers professional credentials, including the only nationally accredited home health coding credential that tests coding skills exclusively, the "Home Care Coding Specialist - Diagnosis (HCS-D)." BMSC has been credentialing home health coders since 2003. More than 68% of agencies require coders to have earned the HCS-D credential as a condition of employment.


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.


National Healthcare CFO Summit
Sponsored by Marcus Evans

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

Register

Andrew Gwin, Senior Director of Revenue Cycle, and his colleague David Maxwell, Senior Director of Performance Excellence at Ascension, present "Denials:Improving Your Playbook." They will discuss how Clinical Denials continue to be a leading opportunity to improve net revenue for most acute hospital organizations, and how Ascension is taking a collaborative approach by developing a comprehensive Playbook that invites each hospital to take an interdisciplinary approach to improving denials.
The session will address:
  • Discuss how to develop a national best practice playbook
  • Review key components of a successful clinical denial mitigation program
  • How to implement a national best practice amongst 150+ hospitals
  • Tracking and monitoring results

NAHC Financial Managers Meeting *

July 14-16
Sheraton Grand Hotel
Chicago

Information and Registration


Senior Care 360: Strategy and Solutions Conference *

Presented by: Lincoln Healthcare Leadership

Date: July 31 - August 2
Location: Gaylord National Resort, National Harbor, MD

Information and Registration


 

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

Information and Registration
(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.
That’s why Honor is launching SAGE/2019, a day of inspiring keynotes, lively panel discussions, and intimate conversations on the most compelling topics in senior care and wellness. We’re bringing together thinkers and doers, innovators and entrepreneurs, academics and leaders in healthcare and home care.
You’ll meet creative thinkers who are shifting the narrative about aging, company founders who are driving change, and visionaries who are imagining what’s possible in the future. This is a unique opportunity to network with thought leaders, peers, and potential partners, to revolutionize how we think about aging, and, most importantly, to take action.

HCAOA 2019 Annual Leadership Conference *

Home Care Association of America

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

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
Date(s)
Hotel or Conference Center, City, State
URL

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.



Giving and Getting Referrals from Hospitals

Featuring: Elizabeth E. Hogue, Esq.

Date: Wednesday, May 8
Time: 1:00 - 2:30 pm EDT

Encore date: May 15
Option to purchase CD & handouts

Information and Registration


Referrals from hospitals may be even more important for agencies under the Medicare Program's Patient-Driven Groupings Model (PDGM). Hospitals also remain a major source of referrals for hospices and HME, amid increasing competition. Private duty agencies have a key role to play in the discharge of patients to home and referrals from hospitals are expanding rapidly. All types of providers need to know how to get more referrals from hospitals without breaking the law. And hospital discharge planners/case managers need to know the rules so the referral process remains in compliance!

This teleconference will address crucial questions for both providers and discharge planners, such as:

  • Can home care providers participate in discharge planning meetings?
  • Should home care providers have access to case managers and patients prior to discharge?
  • What do regulations and interpretive guidelines for discharge planning say about giving and getting referrals?
  • How can providers and case managers use Preferred Provider Agreements?

Extensive handouts will be provided, and there will be time for comments, questions and answers.



Understanding the Hospice PEPPER

Presented by: ElevatingHOME and VNAA

Featuring: Kimberly Hrehor, Program Director, RELI Group

Date: Tuesday, May 7
Time: 12:00 pm EDT
Fee: Free to ElevatingHome, VNAA, and Alliance for Home Health Quality Improvement members

Registration

This free webinar reviews the Hospice PEPPER—a report that summarizes Medicare claims data for individual hospices and compares their statistics to other hospices in the nation, Medicare Administrative Contractor jurisdiction, and their state. The Hospice PEPPER can be used to support hospices’ efforts to protect the Medicare Trust Fund by helping to ensure that services are correctly coded and billed, and appropriate and in accordance with Medicare Payment Policy. A new release of the Hospice PEPPER is available as of April 5. Participants will gain working knowledge of how to use their Hospice PEPPER.

Kimberly Hrehor, MHA, RHIA, CHC, PMP is a program director with the RELI Group. She currently manages a contract with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to develop, produce, and distribute comparative billing reports for a variety of healthcare providers that summarize Medicare claims data in areas that are vulnerable to improper Medicare payments. Her previous experience includes health information management, quality/performance improvement, and compliance.




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


"Motivating Providers to Deliver Care Vitually"

Sponsored by Arizona Telemedicine Program and Southwest Telehealth Resource Center

Presented by Jan Ground, PT MBA

Date: June 6, 2019
Time:
12:00pm MT
Fee: Free

REGISTER NOW

Learning Objectives:

1. Define the problem: be clear on the problem to be solved with telehealth initiatives.

2. Sponsorship: identify the right sponsorship, be clear on what is specifically needed from each level of sponsors.

3. Reinforcement: start with positive reinforcement, move to negative reinforcement on the clearly defined behavior changes

Jan Ground PT, MBA, has been leading clinicians and other healthcare personnel through change for more than twenty years. She led the virtual care work for the Colorado Permanente Medical Group and was the Innovation Hunter for the Colorado Region of Kaiser Permanente (KPCO). Most of her work supported innovation initiatives to enable people to get care anywhere and providers to provide care from anywhere. Areas of focus have included video visits, remote patient monitoring, e-visits, as well as the use of mobile apps and social media in care delivery. In all of these efforts, motivating providers to provide care differently was the most significant barrier to success. Jan has trained physicians and staff inside and outside of KP in Innovation, Meeting Management, and Leading People through Change. Jan has degrees in psychology, physical therapy, exercise science, and business administration from Middlebury College, Middlebury, VT; Emory University, Atlanta, GA; and the Univ of S. FL



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


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

Did you receive this issue as a forward from a colleague? Would you like to have your own free subscription? Click here.

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.