Volume 7, Number 14 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

MHHA Annual Conference

Michigan Home Care & Hospice Association
April 25-26
Amway Grand Plaza
Grand Rapids
Information and Registration

New England Home Care and Hospice 2018 Conference
Presented by Home Care Associations of:
New Hampshire
Rhode Island

April 25-27
Cliff House Maine Hotel
Cape Neddick

Information and Registration

2018 Annual Conference

AHHC of North Carolina

May 7-9
Sheraton Imperial Hotel & Convention Center


2018 National Leadership Conference

Home Care Association of America

September 22-25
Marriott Wardman Park Hotel
Washington DC

Information for Providers and Exhibitors

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

Improving CAHPS Response Rates: 2 Free Webinars

Sponsored by HEALTHCAREfirst
Liz Silva, Director of Home Health & Hospice, HEALTHCAREfirst

Hospice CAHPS: Wednesday, May 2
2:00 pm EDT
Free Registration

Home Health HHCAHPS: Thursday, May 10
2:00 pm EDT
Free Registration

With greater visibility into quality through public reporting on Hospice Compare and Home Health Compare, hospice and home health providers have an even greater incentive for performance improvement. During each 45-minute webinar, we will discuss methods and activities that have been instrumental in improving CAHPS survey response rates, a key element of implementing a data-driven approach and improving your scores. To be discussed:

  • Hospice CAHPS Regulations
  • Response Rate Calculation
  • Available Benchmarks
  • Effective Strategies to Improve Response Rates


Good Ways to Break Bad News: Social Worker Edition

Presented by Curaport
Heather Calhoun, RN, BSN, COS-C, HSC-D

Date: Tuesday, May 1 
Time: 2:00 p.m. EDT

Fee: $79
Information & Registration

*This education session is pending approval from the National Association of Social Workers for one (1) contact hour of Continuing Education for Social Workers.




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


The Penalty Box Compliance Series
Part 7: Audit-Proof Your Visit Notes

Presented by Curaport

Featuring: Kristi Bajer, RN, MSN

Wednesday, April 18
1:00 p.m. EDT

Information and registration

Description: An auditor shows up on your doorstep and fear sets into your agency.  You have worked hard to be compliant, but you still have several days of anxiety until the auditor pronounces you have passed and are deficiency free!   Everyone celebrates.  The next day you receive 20 audits from CMS. Don't let this happen to you and your agency!  Learn from the compliance experts at OperaCare how to ensure compliance with the new CoP's. This education session in part 7 of the Penalty Box Compliance Series.

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




The Penalty Box Compliance Series Part 6: Audit-Proof Your Visit Notes

Presented by Curaport
Featuring Kristi Bajer, RN, MSN

Wednesday, March 21
1:00 p.m. EDT

Information and registration

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

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.