Volume 6, Number 45 May  24, 2017

Dear Healthcare at Home Colleague,

Two thank-you's to start this week. We received many comments with praise for our new web site. Glad you like it. Second, thanks to Thornberry Ltd's Tom and Linda Peth and their entire team for their hospitality this week at their 20th NDoc User Conference. I was invited to speak to them about technology and the state of the industry and got to stay for the dining and dancing to celebrate their 25th year in business and their impressive fourth consecutive First in Klas award.

In this week's news
Another acquisition: The consolidation that has been producing a steady stream of news about acquisitions in the Healthcare at Home provider community bled over into the tech vendor community again this week. Our lead story details the acquisition of Hospicesoft by Optima Health Solutions, including an interview with CEO Josh Pickus. If either vendor name is new to you, remember to use our search tool on our new home page to see what we have written about them in the past.

Hospice changes: We also bring to your attention a proposal by CMS to update wage and hour policies for hospices. The CMS publication announcing this update is worth reading, so we reprint it for you in its entirety.

Free online tool: Everybody appreciates a gift. Be sure to click on the link in this week's story about OperaCare. The New Mexico-based OASIS accuracy support software developer is offering a free tool. They tell us it will help providers compare themselves to competitors in their area with regard to their relative attractiveness to Value Based Purchasing partners. It also calculates a certified HHAs risk of audit review.

In other announcementsDeyta Analytics, a HEALTHCAREfirst company, has named its 2017 Hospice Honors recipients. And Alora Healthcare Systems has released a new mobile system.

Next week: We delve into a trend we've been watching that you are likely to have noticed as well. Acquisitions are bringing together software systems from all post-acute sectors. We will take a look at Skilled Nursing Facility software vendors who are moving into home health and hospice. With the growing recognition of the importance of care coordination, we will pay special attention to the work being done by MatrixCare, which last year acquired AOD, the SNF software vendor that had itself previously acquired home care software vendor Soneto. The combination puts them in a unique position to help providers keep patients from falling through the cracks between care locales.

Worth the trip: Post-Acute Link is coming up in a couple of weeks in Chicago. Click on the Lincoln Health display at at the bottom of this page for more information. I hope to see you there.

Have a great week. Keep making a difference!

Editor signature
Tim Rowan

Optima Healthcare Solutions Acquires Hospicesoft; Begins to Integrate Products
After making a splash at state and national association meetings last fall with its expansion from physical therapy into home health software, both developed in-house, Optima Health now expands into hospice by acquiring Utah-based software developer.

CMS Proposes Hospice Wage & Hour Policy Update
Proposed changes to life expectancy certification, CAHPS, HIS, HEART reporting tool. Comment period open until June 26.

OperaCare Releases Free VBP and Revenue Integrity Toolkit
Home health agencies are now able to identify their level of attractiveness as a VBP partner and connect their cost of care with risk of audit review.

Deyta Analytics Announces 2017 Hospice Honors Recipients
Acquired by HEALTHCAREfirst in 2015, Deyta LLC recognizes hospices based on caregiver feedback.

Alora Healthcare Systems Unveils Mobile System
New release brings full, HIPAA-compliant system to medical and non-medical mobile workers.

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

During the 4th Quarter of 2017, web sites of the above advertisers were visited by home care and hospice executives and staff 2855 times.

To inquire about placing your message here, contact:


Last Week's Most-Read Stories:
The 21st Century Housecall
Many ED visits could be avoided if an on-call physician could see and talk with a patient remotely. Now, with the assistance of a home health nurse and a two-way video communication system, those visits can be avoided.
Checkbox Charting May Lead Directly to a ZPIC Investigation
Guest author and longtime Medicare appeals consultant Michael McGowan warns that CMS will increase its fraud/waste/abuse containment efforts by resurrecting long-dormant rules. Among them: the rule against lazy charting.

As of this date, approximately 25,696,000 Baby Boomers have become Medicare eligible.

Notable Upcoming Conferences Free Webinars

Home Health Emergency Preparedness CoP Requirements:
Getting Your Agency Ready

Featuring Mary St. Pierre, RN, BSN, MGA
Free, sponsored by HEALTHCAREfirstSeptember 13

1:00 pm Central Time
Omni Austin Hotel Southpark

Details and registration


  • Overview of the emergency preparedness requirement
  • What surveyors will be looking for
  • Steps home health agencies should take to prepare

Our Home Care Landscape: Big Challenges, Bigger Opportunities *
Annual Meeting of the Home Care Association of America
October 8-11
Austin, TX
Information and registration

AHHC 2017 Leadership ConferenceAssociation for Home & Hospice Care of North Carolina
October 9-10
Holiday Inn Resort
Wrightsville Beach

Click here to register

HCSSA Administrator Program
Texas Association for Home Care & Hospice
November 13-15
Westin Galleria

*HCTR will see you there.
CONNECTED HEALTH: Remote Patient Monitoring and Telehealth Summit

6th Annual Care Coordination and Technology Congress

January 24-26
Renaissance Atlanta Waverly Hotel & Convention Center
Designing successful bundles without collaboration between inpatient and post-acute (PAC) providers inhibits the cost-savings opportunities that make bundled payment a valuable model for hospitals and health systems. Designing care management incentives and solutions for complex patients requires integration across hospitals, home care, and the extended continuum of provider organizations.
Register for in-person or online participation

2018 National Leadership Conference
ElevatingHOME Annual Meeting
March 7-9
Grand Hyatt
Washington DC
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

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

Juggling the New CoPs and Other Applicable Laws

Sponsored by Kinnser Software
Featuring Robert W. Markette, Jr., Esq., CHC, of Hall, Render, Killian, Heath & Lyman, P.C.
Thursday, January 25
1:00 - 2:00 pm EDT

Attend to Learn:

  • Why "legal representative" is a concept you should already be familiar with
  • What compliance with the nondiscrimination provision of the Affordable Care Act may mean for the new CoPs
  • Why you must be more aware of harassment issues and prepared to take action
  • How harassment issues affect your discharge policies

Free: Register here

Creating A Successful Preceptor Program in Home Health Care

Sponsored by Elevating Home
Michael Ward RN, BSN, Division Director; BAYADA Pediatrics; Margit Moran, RN, BA, Director of Pediatric Clinical Education at BAYADA

Thursday, March 29
1:00 - 2:00 pm EDT

Information and registration

Are You Marketing to the Wrong Person?
A Different Way to Get Home Health Referrals

Presented by Healthcare Synergy
Featuring: Melinda Rodriguez, PT, DPT, MSCS, LSVT
Date: Wednesday, March 7
Time: 10:00 a.m. PST; 1:00 p.m. EST

In this Webinar, you will:
  • Learn another way to market inpatient facilities other than discharge planners, case managers or social workers.
  • Discuss the role of Home Health in the challenging healthcare environment – Short Term Home health.
  • Describe the Continuum of Care Concept in the post acute care network
  • Identify strategies to reduce risk of acute care readmission.
  • Discuss options for discharge disposition for potential skilled nursing facility candidates to decrease SNF discharge rate for inpatient rehab units.


How to Attract and Retain Health System Relationships

Presented by Netsmart
Watch now


Increase Referrals, not Overhead- Streamlining the Intake Experience

A streamlined, efficient intake process creates a better patient experience and improves referral relationships. During this webinar, industry experts will share their quick tips and best practices for improving your intake process and managing your organization's revenue cycle.

Sponsored by Forcura
Featuring: Craig Mandeville, Founder & CEO of Forcura Jessica Stover, Senior Manager of Blacktree Healthcare Consulting
Tuesday, Oct 3
2:00 pm EDT


QAPI Overview

Presented by Diane Link, BlackTree Healthcare Consulting
Tuesday, May 23rd
2:00 p.m. EST
Cost:  $99

Compliance Program Basics

Presented by Curaport
Featuring: Stephanie Koehn, RMA, CPC, CPPM, CPCO

Tuesday, March 20
2:00 p.m. EDT

Fee (per attendee): $49
Information & Registration

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

The Hospice Cost Report
Prepare Your Way With Expert Advice from Maureen Laskowski

Presented by Healthcare Synergy

Monday, March 12
10:00 a.m. PDT; 1:00 p.m. EDT

Click here to register

Home Health Aide Skills and Documentation

Presented by Curaport

Featuring: J'non Griffin, RN, MHA, WCC, Owner & President, Home Healthcare Solutions, LLC
Thursday, March 22
2:00 p.m. EDT
Information and registration


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



What Does Behavioral Health Have to do With Home Health Outcomes?

Presented by: Netsmart/DeVero
Featuring: Katherine J. Vanderhorst ,RN-BC,BSN and Dr. Amy Craven

Thursday, February 22
2:00 p.m. Eastern
Learn why integrating behavioral health with chronic care management can improve star ratings.

Many home health patients have co-existing Chronic Behavioral Health problems that are not dealt with. If not addressed, problems like anxiety and depression leave patients unable to self-manage diabetes, congestive heart failure, CHF, COPD and other serious medical conditions. This presentation will show why recognizing and managing behavioral health diagnoses and can have a positive outcome on your agency’s STAR ratings. Presented by Katherine J. Vanderhorst ,RN-BC,BSN and Dr. Amy Craven.


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

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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.