Volume 8, Number 18 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
 
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During the 1st Quarter of 2019, web sites of the above advertisers were visited by home care and hospice executives and staff 2026 times.

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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

 


PDGM National Summits - Coming to a City Near You!

National Association of Home Care and Hospice

In early 2019, 12 summits were planned at strategically located cities around the United States. There are still 8 summits available to attend. Find the nearest location to gain insights and receive the tools you need to successfully transition to PDGM.  You still have time!

Previous Locations:
January 23, 2019 Orlando, Florida (Done)
January 24, 2019 Kansas City, Missouri (Done) 
February 5, 2019 New Orleans, Louisiana (Done)
February 6, 2019 Portland, Oregon (Done)
February 7, 2019 Valley Forge, Pennsylvania (Done)
February 13, 2019 Denver, Colorado (Done)

Locations Upcoming:

February 21, 2019 Columbus, Ohio

February 27, 2019 Charlotte, North Carolina

March 5, 2019 Chicago, Illinois

March 12, 2019 Boston Region - Northampton, MA (Sold Out)

March 13, 2019 Boston Region - Northampton, MA

March 19, 2019 Los Angeles, California

March 26, 2019 Dallas, Texas

Click Here for Information and to Register!

The most consequential changes to impact home health in decades are coming in 2020 — are you ready? The Patient-Driven Groupings Model (PDGM) was created by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and is slated to debut on January 1, 2020. PDGM will revolutionize the payment methodology for all Medicare Home Health Agencies (HHAs) in the United States.


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.

Hospice & Palliative Care Leadership & Advocacy Conference 2019 (LAC 2019)*

National Hospice & Palliative Care Organization 

Preconference Dates: April 13-14, 2019
Main Conference Dates: April 15-17, 2019
Location: Marriott Wardman Park Hotel, Washington, DC

Rates and Fees

Register Online

Executive leadership and management at all levels of hospice and palliative care will comprise the audience for this conference, including presidents and CEOs, administrators, directors, clinical managers, finance and development professionals, quality and performance improvement professionals, regulatory and compliance officers, marketing and public relations professionals, educators, researchers and other leaders working to promote advancement of hospice and palliative care and plan its future development.


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

WEDI Spring Conference

Presented by: Workgroup for Electronic Data Interchange

Date: May 20-22
Location: Hyatt Regency La Jolla at Aventine, San Diego

Information and Registration

Serving as a private and public industry solution to critical healthcare problems, WEDI is a coalition comprised of a cross-section of the healthcare industry: doctors, hospitals, health plans, laboratories, pharmacies, clearinghouses, dentists, vendors, government regulators and other industry stakeholders.

Agenda will include the following sessions:
- The Imperatives for Interoperability Standards in the Future of Healthcare and Plecosystem Economy
- The Changing Dynamic in Healthcare Security: The risk or the promise?
- Understanding the Models, Transactions, and Data Flows of Encounter Data Reporting
- Best Practices for EFT Enrollment Security
- Provider Adjustments (PLB) in the Electronic Remittance Advice (835) – How do they work?
- Anatomy of Value-Based Payment: An Interactive Discussion
- Barriers to the Broader Adoption of Telehealth

 


*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.




How to Drive Hospice Growth: New Strategies and Opportunities

Presented by: Netsmart
Featuring: Lisa Lapin, Simione Principal; Wayne Regan, Simione Director; Stacie Stark, Netsmart

Date: Thursday, May 30
Time: 2:00 pm EDT
Fee:
Free

Register Now

Have you identified new growth opportunities for your hospice agency? Do you have solid referral management strategies in place? Join us as Simione Principal Lisa Lapin and Director Wayne Regan discuss how to perform a market analysis and needs assessment so you can discover potential growth opportunities. Stacie Stark, director of client engagement with Netsmart, will explain how you can develop referral management strategies to grow your business. At the end of the webinar, you will be able to:

  • Describe growth opportunities in the hospice market
  • Identify steps to perform a market analysis and needs assessment
  • Define the key elements of an integrated marketing plan
  • Identify ways to work with data to enter new markets


The ABCs of PDGM: What it Means to Home Health and How You Should Prepare
Hosted and presented by: HEALTHCAREfirst 
Date:  May 16, 2019
Time: 1:00pm CT
Fee: Free

REGISTER NOW

According to industry experts, the Patient-Driven Groupings Model (PDGM) is the biggest change to home health in nearly 20 years. HHAs of all shapes and sizes can expect significant changes for episodes beginning on or after January 1, 2020. You must have a deep understanding of how PDGM works and how it will affect your reimbursement to successfully prepare well in advance of this change. Join HEALTHCAREfirst’s regulatory team for an overview of PDGM, including tips and resources to help your home health agency prepare.

We’ll share with you:

  • Overview of PDGM
  • PDGM Basics including 30-day Payment Periods and Case-Mix Components
  • Documentation, billing, and reimbursement changes
  • Best practices to help get your agency ready


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

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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.