Volume 7, Number 22 March  14, 2018

Dear Healthcare at Home Colleague,

We have more of what we learned at this year's HIMSS conference this week. See my interview with three HIMSS executives and experience my amazement at how unfamiliar some of them are with anything that goes on outside hospital walls.
(HIMSS Execs Discuss LTPAC IT)

In addition, we have a new guest author I am certain you will enjoy reading. Michael Smith is a former home health executive and IT specialist who has designed programs to enhance the capabilities of EMR software in use at more than one of his corporate assignments. Do not miss his "The Importance of Data Analytics in Compliance Audits."

We also feature Part 4 of Darcey Trescone's series on how to ensure a successful software implementation, "Software Implementation: A Vendor-User Team Effort." An all-too-frequent comments from software vendors and from outside consultants is that many home healthcare owners and administrators think they are saving money by skimping on the implementation and training phase. The reality is that inefficient use of a software system can be far more expensive than the implementation fee. Even if you take the highly recommended path and engage an outside project manager to act as liaison between your staff and your vendor, the price is still less than a failed implementation and subsequent search for a "better software."

SIDEBAR: Here is a good way to look at the problem. You and I argue all the time with payers, legislators, and regulators that investing money in post-discharge in-home care services does not increase overall per-patient healthcare costs. It ultimately reduces them, in fewer hospital admissions and ED utilization, increased patient satisfaction, and patient engagement in managing their chronic conditions. The same argument applies to software implementation. Shorten the process, ignore the importance of change management in order to save a few bucks, and you wind up with insufficient use of the software system, more unnecessary manual workarounds (spreadsheets), damaged employee satisfaction leading to a higher turnover rate, and ultimately blaming the vendor and its product and then going through the agony of another software search and purchase. In other words, saving by skimping on implementation and training costs you more, lots more.

(Soapbox now dismounted and stored.)

This week's news also includes results of a new study of healthcare executives' opinions about automating the patient experience. Plus, here is one announcement we just heard and did not have time to post as an article. NAHC's Home Care Technology Association of America has appointed HEALTHCAREfirst's Brad Caldwell to its board of directors. We congratulate Brad and express our hope that HCTAA will once again become an effective platform for Healthcare at Home software vendors to discuss ideas and problems and make their common voice heard in Washington.

Lastly, we have posted for you the dial-in instructions for a CMS Special Open Door Forum, set for March 20, about the new Medicare cards without Social Security Numbers.

Have a great week. Keep making a difference!

Editor signature
Tim Rowan

Software Implementation: A Vendor-User Team Effort
In part 4 of her series, Darcey Trescone, RN speaks from her years of experience assisting home care agencies with software implementations, then offers a stern warning to administrators who would turn the whole project over to a software vendor's implementation team.

HIMSS Execs Discuss LTPAC IT
We tracked down three HIMSS executives and asked them how important home health and hospice are to them. As Galileo said to Pope Urban VIII, "Do you really want to know?"

The Importance of Data Analytics in Compliance Audits
Your ongoing effort to remain compliant with regulations can be tremendously enhanced through the application of data analytics.

Study Finds Most Healthcare Executives Would Automate Patient Experience
With a broad range of benefits, timelines for automated healthcare adoption are being expedited.

CMS News: Learn About the New Medicare Card System
Beneficiaries will be receiving Medicare cards with random ID numbers instead of Social Security Numbers starting April 1.

When you click on these ads,
you make sure HCTR continues to come to you for free.

During the 1st Quarter of 2018, web sites of the above advertisers were visited by home care and hospice executives and staff 2597 times.

To inquire about placing your message here, contact:


Last Week's Most-Read Stories:
What A 30-Day Episode Means to HHAs
Exploring the depth of misunderstanding of the serious challenge that will be presented by HHGM and 30-day episodes.
HIMSS Finally Paying Attention to Post Acute Care
More than in past years, we were able to find home health, home care, and hospice-relevant products at the annual HIMSS meeting. Take a peek at the movement toward user-friendly Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning that will soon generate products in our corner.

As of this date, approximately 28,930,000 Baby Boomers have become Medicare eligible.

Notable Upcoming Conferences Free Webinars

2018 Annual Conference

AHHC of North Carolina

May 7-9
Sheraton Imperial Hotel & Convention Center


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

Post Acute 360: Strategy and Solutions Conference

Presented by: Lincoln Healthcare Leadership

June 25-27
Gaylord National Resort
National Harbor, MD
Information and Registration

Leading in a Changing World

Texas Association for Home Care & Hospice 49th Annual Meeting
August 8-9
Moody Gardens Hotel & Spa
Embassy Suites Frisco Hotel & Convention Center

Information and registration

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)

Hospice Financial and Administrative Management Academy

Presented by: The Health Group, LLC

Date: September 17-18
Location: Mirage Las Vegas

Information and registration

2018 National Leadership Conference *

Home Care Association of America

September 22-25
Location: Marriott Wardman Park Hotel
Washington DC


Information for Providers and Exhibitors

*HCTR 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
Hotel or Conference Center, City, State

Patients' Right to Freedom of Choice of Providers: How to Avoid Lawsuits


Presented by Elizabeth Hogue, Esq.


Thursday, June 14 (Encore Date: 6/21)
Recording available 24/7 On Demand; option to purchase CD & handouts.
1:00 - 2:30 pm EDT


Register here


Conflict between hospitals and home health agencies, private duty agencies, hospices and HME companies that receive referrals from hospitals may be intensifying regarding patients' right to freedom of choice. Hospitals say that they comply with all requirements while some post-acute providers maintain the exact opposite. Now post-acute providers are suing hospitals for violations.
  • What exactly are hospitals supposed to do?
  • What do post-acute providers say are common violations?
  • What is an example of a recent lawsuit filed against hospitals for violations?
  • What can hospital discharge planners/case managers do to avoid these types of lawsuits?
  • How can providers help ensure that patients' rights are honored instead of filing court cases against hospitals?
Participate in this teleconference to learn the answers to all of these questions! Extensive handouts will be provided that will also serve as a resource when questions come up in the future.

FY2019 Hospice Proposed Rule: What You Need to Know

Sponsored by HEALTHCAREfirst
Deanna Loftus, Director of Regulatory Compliance, HEALTHCAREfirst

Date: Tuesday, June 5
Time: 2:00 pm EDT

Free Registration

On April 27, 2018, CMS issued a proposed rule that would update FY2019 Medicare wage index and payment rates for Medicare hospice agencies. The proposed rule includes changes to the hospice payment rates, updates to the Hospice Quality Reporting Program (HQRP), and more. Ms. Loftus will review the latest information regarding proposed changes and how they may affect you.

Dementia, Alzheimer's, and Mental Health Aide Education

Presented by Curaport
J'non Griffin, RN, MHA, WCC, President, Home Healthcare Solutions, LLC

Date: Tuesday, May 15
Time: 2:00 p.m. EDT

Fee: $79 (per attendee)
Information & Registration

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


Clinical Impact of OASIS-D

Presented by HEALTHCAREfirst


Deanna Loftus, HEALTHCAREfirst Director of Regulatory Compliance
Mary St. Pierre, RN, BSN, MGA, Regulatory Consultant

Tuesday, May 1
2:00 pm EDT

Free Registration

In March 2018, CMS released the draft of the latest version of the OASIS data set, OASIS-D. Modifications are being made to OASIS in order to comply with the IMPACT Act, to reduce data collection burden, and to improve formatting throughout the document. CMS is seeking approval from the Office of Management and Budget for a January 1, 2019 implementation date. Topics:

  • Addition of six new standardized items
  • The removal of 28 OASIS questions that will no longer be assessed.
  • Modification to M1311 to support a new standardized pressure ulcer measure.
  • Addition of responses to M1028, M1311, M2102 and removal of responses to M2310.
  • Review of additional changes to OASIS


ADR Education: Prevention & Response

Presented by Curaport

Featuring: Diane Link, RN, MHA

Date: Thursday, May 17
Time: 2:00 p.m. EDT
Fee: $79 (per attendee)

Information and registration

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

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

Information and registration

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

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

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