Volume 8, Number 31 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 2nd Quarter of 2019, web sites of the above advertisers were visited by home care and hospice executives and staff 2157 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

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

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.

Home Health, Home Care, Hospice GROWTH SUMMIT *

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

Information and Registration

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


Register with code "HCTR" for $100 off.


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.

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.



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.


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


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


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



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.