Volume 8, Number 11 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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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.


2019 Telehealth - Innovative Changes in Healthcare Delivery Conference *

Presented by: Connected Home Living

Date: April 18-19, 2019
Location: Paris Hotel - Las Vegas
Fee: $595 per person

Register

During this event, hear from some of the most dynamic and educational industry experts about current and upcoming CMS rules.  Learn about how telehealth can ease the burden of PDGM for home health, updates on PDPM for Skilled Nursing Facilities, the Physician Fee Schedule, and 2019 Quality Payment Program (QPP) for physicians.  CMS is dramatically expanding opportunities for providers to include telemedicine and telehealth in plans for improving patient care, reducing costs, and improving patient satisfaction.

 


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

*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.



How to Use FREE Online Marketing Tools

Sponsored by Shoshana Technologies
Featuring:
Tim Rowan, Editor, The Rowan Report, and Roger McManus, principal, Rowan Reputation Resources

Date: Wednesday, February 27
Time: 3:00 pm EST
Fee: None

Information and Registration

About Shoshana Private Duty EMR Software

Tim and Roger will explain the difference between Global and Local SEO and offer step-by-step instructions how to grow your census by raising your online profile.



The Ultimate Guide for Surviving a Home Health Survey

A Two-Part Series Presented by: HealthcareFirst

Date: March 27 and April 3
Time:
2:00 - 3:00 EDT

Fee:
Free

Register here for both sessions
Is your agency survey ready? With CMS continuing to put high expectations on home health providers to have substantial and continued compliance with the CoPs, it’s crucial to have a plan in place for surveyor readiness. These webinars will provide best practices to promote a consistent state of survey readiness as part of your general operational plan. We’ll also provide you with the foundation to develop and successfully implement an effective plan of correction.
Session one: "Preparing for a Home Health Survey" begins with identifying key leaders to guide organization and planning. Next, survey documents and the importance of updating policies and procedures. Then, tips for building a data-driven QAPI program. Finally, expert recommendations for staff preparation on all levels.

Session two: "Implementing an Effective Plan of Correction" will discuss the importance of an effective plan, including important steps you should take when developing your plan and best practice tips in its implementation, formatting, and submission. Lastly, we’ll provide valuable insight into how you can integrate your plan of correction with your QAPI program for results that are effective and long lasting.

 



CMS to Test Hospice Carve-In Under Medicare Advantage
VNAA and ElevatingHOME
Date: February 20, 2019
Time:1:00pm EST
Fee: Free
Register Now 
What does this CMS demonstration mean for the hospice community? There are many unanswered questions for providers and potential relationships with Medicare Advantage (MA) plans. More than 20 million Medicare beneficiaries (34%) are enrolled in MA plans, which are mainly HMOs and PPOs offered by private insurers as an alternative to the traditional Medicare program.  
Join VNAA and ElevatingHOME Policy Consultant Jenna Paladino for an in-depth webinar to discuss the demonstration, next steps to position your program for success, and actionable items to share with your team. Now is the time to ask questions and learn how a carve-in would impact your patients. 


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.