Volume 7, Number 18 April  18, 2018

Dear Healthcare at Home Colleague,

In my consulting practice, my partners and I frequently encounter home healthcare agencies or hospices that are dissatisfied with their Electronic Medical Record software and are ready to search for a better one. More often than not, however, the source of their distress turns out to arise not from any software deficiency but from an insufficient, poorly executed implementation and training.

We decided to find out — from you — just how serious the problem of inadequate implementations might be. Our 20-question survey should take you about 10 minutes to complete. Would you please do me a favor and help us? Click here to start. We are seeking input from agency staff and ownership. We will share the results with you and use your input to help build education materials for the benefit of all. The survey is completely anonymous and we are not asking you to identify your EMR software. Thank you in advance for your cooperation.

Vendors, I know you're curious. If you want to know the questions on the survey, go ahead and look, but please do not click the final "submit" button. We only want responses from your customers.

In this week's news: At this year's HIMSS conference, we kept hearing the same three buzzwords: facial recognition, artificial intelligence, and Blockchain. The first two we are familiar with, though we will be looking into how they are going to be used in healthcare. But "Blockchain" just sounded like to random words combined for no good reason...we were wrong.

After some research, we are prepared to offer a primer. You are going to say, "Why do I need to know what Blockchain is?" and I don't blame you. But you do need to know because it is a technology making a rapid entrance into the healthcare space. Before long, it will appear on your software vendor's sales materials. And you do not want to get caught nodding wisely, pretending to know what it is. Here's why it matters, and why you should at least give this week's lead article a glance: Blockchain technology improves data sharing between hospitals and post-acute care; it virtually eliminates hacking; and, perhaps most importantly, it guarantees data integrity. It is virtually impossible to surreptitiously alter patient data in the Blockchain.

Humana is on the move again. Read this week about the insurance giant's acquisition of a large physician practice, even while it is itself in the middle of being acquired by Walmart.

If you are a clinical manager, don't miss our interview with a colleague of yours in Arizona. This innovative home health agency bought mobile printers for its nurses and therapists. Good idea? Bad idea? You decide, after reading "Should Nurses Carry Portable Printers?"

Lastly, we also have good news on the Telehealth front. The budget bill Congress passed and the President signed into law includes a major step forward for the use of remote patient monitoring systems. Read the reaction of the American Telemedicine Association in "ATA Lauds Telehealth Expansion in FY2018 Budget Bill."

Be sure to scroll down to the bottom section of this report. We have listings of several important upcoming conferences and some free or low-cost webinars that look quite valuable.

Have a great week. I hope to see you in DC at the NHPCO Conference. Keep making a difference!

Editor signature
Tim Rowan

Blockchain 101
It will not be long before your software vendor starts tossing the word "blockchain" around to describe their latest version. Here is a primer so you can look smart when they do.

ATA Lauds Telehealth Expansion in FY2018 Budget Bill
The federal funding bill signed into law on February 9 includes the entirety of the "Creating High-Quality Results and Outcomes Necessary to Improve Chronic Care" Act, known as CHRONIC.

Should Nurses Carry Portable Printers?
Arizona home care agency answers a resounding "yes." Significant efficiencies gained. Staff satisfaction high.

Humana Acquires Florida Physician Group
April 10 acquisition not the first of its kind; it won't be the last. Soon to join Walmart, the Humana/Kindred company now owns one of Florida's largest physician clinic.

HSBlox Adds R3 Co-Founder Todd McDonald and Dr. Luke Burchard to Advisory Board
Blockchain technology in healthcare. Should you care? Absolutely. Here is one company to watch.

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:
Netsmart Announces Next Generation Platform
myUnity™ will support full continuum of care at home and senior living communities.
Backlog of Appeals Before ALJs: More Progress
Home care attorney Elizabeth Hogue has been keeping a close eye on recent, positive developments in the ALJ backlog problem. She gave us permission to reprint two recent articles based on her research. We put them all in one place for reader convenience. The court is getting frustrated with HHS, slamming "Medicare's Byzantine four-stage administrative appeals process" and "the harrowing labyrinth of Medicare appeals."

As of this date, approximately 29,315,000 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

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

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

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.