Volume 7, Number 44 — August  1, 2018



Dear Healthcare at Home Colleague,

As we predicted last week, H.R. 6042 sailed through Congress and was almost immediately signed into law. State-by-state mandated Electronic Visit Verification now has an official deadline of January 1, 2020. In this week's lead article, we have some links to pertinent documents and forecasts from three of our industry's EVV leaders.

In our CMS News article, you will read about the CMS announcement of the final rule for the 2019 hospice payment rate and wage index. We attached a second CMS announcement at the end of that story but we're not sure why that announcement was made, nor of its timing. In it, CMS administrator Seema Verma pointed out that Part D monthly premiums will be about a dollar lower next year. At the same time, an advocacy group called the Medicare Rights Center was addressing a Capitol Hill meeting on the rising costs of prescription medications. It makes one wonder if the announcement might have been prompted by that meeting. After reading both articles, you decide.

A guest writer opens a series of articles that will appear over the next few issues. The topic is loneliness and depression among the elderly. Entrepreneur Eric Taub kicks off the series with an exploration of technology tools that combat social isolation.

Our Vendor Watch column this week has three interesting announcements from the vendor community, not the least of which is another acquisition by Mediware. You will also want to read down to the end of the column to learn about a pilot project going on in Minnesota to test out new methods for staff recruitment and retention.

Worth the trip
Be sure to scroll down to check out our weekly listings of upcoming conferences and webinars. I will be attending the HCAOA meeting in Washington DC next month to meet with Private Duty providers. Before that, I have been invited to deliver a presentation on technology at the Ohio Council for Home Care and Hospice in Columbus in mid-September. I look forward to seeing you at one or both of those gatherings.

Have a great week. Keep making a difference!

Editor signature
Tim Rowan



EVV Delay Bill Signed Into Law
H.R. 6042 delays Electronic Visit Verification mandate to 2020.

Tech Tools Combat Social Isolation
From specialized tablets to flat-panel TVs to smartphones, operators engage seniors in new ways while trying to lower caregiving costs.

CMS News: Final Hospice 2019 Pay Rates and Wage Index
This final rule updates the hospice wage index, payment rates, and cap amount for FY 2019. This rule also finalizes changes to the Hospice Quality Reporting Program (Hospice QRP). Seema Verma also announced that Part D premiums will decrease again next year.

Part D Premiums May Go Down a Buck But Prescription Drug Prices Soar
Medicare Rights Center president reminds Congressional leaders that medications cost a lot more than Part D premiums.

Vendor Watch
— Mediware® Acquires BlueStrata EHR
— Clairvoyant Networks wins telehealth award.
— PHI starts staffing recruitment initiative with three Minnesota home care providers.


 
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During the 3rd Quarter of 2018, web sites of the above advertisers were visited by home care and hospice executives and staff 1726 times.

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Last Week's Most-Read Stories:
EVV Mandate May Be Delayed
Bill sails through Congress; awaits President's signature.
 
Retention and Recruitment: Fresh Ideas for Dealing With Caregiver Shortage
Staffing is the number one problem for many home care agencies. Guest author Scott Herrmann says the reason might be that you are recruiting with the wrong message in the wrong places.

As of this date, approximately 30,470,000 Baby Boomers have become Medicare eligible.



Notable Upcoming Conferences Free Webinars

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
Frisco

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)


Medicare and Managed Care Reimbursement Necessities

Presented by HealthCare Synergy, Inc. and Illinois Homecare & Hospice Council

Featuring: Melinda Gaboury, COS-C
Date: Wednesday, September 5
Time: 8:30 am CDT
Location: Northern Illinois University

This is an In-person Workshop and Live Webinar

Information and Registration

(HealthCare Synergy clients, call for a special discount: 714-229-8700; ext 118 for Rangsey Ouk or ext. 137 for Edleen English.)

To maximize your reimbursement, you need to be well informed. Melinda Gaboury of Healthcare Provider Solutions, and a trusted consultant for HealthCare Synergy, will help you stay on top of constantly changing regulatory requirements so you can get paid.


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

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

 

Information for Providers and Exhibitors


NAHC 2018 Annual Meeting*National Association of Home Care and Hospice
October 7-9
Gaylord Texan
Grapevine, TX

Information and registration


TRANSFORMATIONS *
New York Association of Health Care Providers
Annual Management Conference and Exhibition


October 23-24
Uniondale, NY
Information and registration


The 8th Annual Medicare Compliance Cruise *

Presented by Pearson & Bernard, PSC

January 12-19, 2019
Departs from Ft. Lauderdale

Information and registration


*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

Home Health Regulatory Update: Final Rule CY2019/CY2020 Payment & Policy Changes

Hosted by Healthcarefirst

Date:
Tuesday, December 11
Time: 2:00 pm EST
Audience: Home Health Agencies
Fee:
Free


Register Here

Please join HEALTHCAREfirst for a discussion of the final rule and how it may impact your agency. Topics include:
  • Payment rates, rural changes/FIPS
  • Elimination of the recertification estimate
  • HHVBP/HHQRP updates
  • Patient Driven Groupings Model (PDGM) including OASIS-D2 and no RAP payment for newly certified agencies
  • Patient monitoring and home infusion therapy updates


 

The 2019 Home Health Final Rule: Preparing for change
Your PDGM Questions Answered

Presented by WellSky

Featuring: Executive Management Consultant Sharon S. Harder and Home Health Clinical Expert Jill Dyer, BSN, RN, HCS-D, HCS-O
Date: Download on demand
Fee: FREE

Download now

Get answers to questions about the 2019 final rule and PDGM:

  • How to calculate case-mix
  • How to qualify for a rural rate
  • What does the term "budget neutral" mean
  • How will your agency be reimbursed for therapy under PDGM
  • How will LUPAs be calculated under PDGM


Public Policy Leadership Series

Presented by: ElevatingHOME

Featuring:

• Joy Cameron, Vice President, Policy and Innovation, ElevatingHOME and VNAA
• Bill Dombi, President, National Association for Home Care & Hospice
• Sarah Myers, Partnership for Quality Home Healthcare

Schedule: Wednesdays, October 3 - November 7
Session 1: October 3
Time: 1:00 pm EDT
Fee: Free to ElevatingHome, VNAA, and Alliance for Home Health Quality Improvement members

Click here for complete schedule and registration




Hospitalization Performance Improvement Projects (PIPs)

Presented by HealthcareFirst
Hosted by ElevatingHOME & HHQI

Date: December 12
Time: 1:00 pm EST
Free

Information and registration

In this webinar, ElevatingHOME and HHQI will explore how to develop hospitalization avoidance Performance Improvement Project (PIP) for your Quality Assurance & Performance Improvement (QAPI) program. This will include data collection, goals, interventions, rapid-cycle testing, spread, and sustainment. They will review several key strategies to reduce avoidable hospitalizations and emergent visits.



PDGM is on the Horizon - What Now?

Presented by Netsmart

Featuring: Chris Attaya, President, Rapid Recovery Center; AJ Peterson,Netsmart VP of Interoperability

Date: Thursday, October 25
Time: 2:00 pm EDT
Fee: None

Register
To thrive in the regulatory climate today, it’s important to stay ahead of the changes and adjust your business model to face the challenges. That is why we invited Strategic Healthcare Programs (SHP) to share the latest updates from CMS and to review the components of the proposed Patient-Driven Groupings Model (PDGM) program.  
Using data from the SHP national database, Chris Attaya, vice president of product strategy, and Zeb Clayton, vice president of client services, will identify the expected winners and losers of the new model. They will share insights around the operational and clinical changes you need to consider to remain a vital organization. Teresa Craig, director of client strategy for Netsmart, will join the discussion to outline what you should expect from your EHR partner as you prepare for the new PDGM requirements.
Key Takeaways:
  • The latest updates from CMS and the components of the proposed PDGM model
  • Insights to help your agency prepare for a PDGM-like model
  • How to work with your EHR partner to prepare for new requirements


OASIS-D: Ensuring Consistency & Accuracy

Presented by Curaport
Featuring:
Melissa Abbott, RN, MSN, MHA, of 5 Star Consultants

Date: Thursday, October 18
Time: 2:00 p.m. EDT

Fee: $99 (per attendee)

Information & Registration

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

OASIS! Possibly the most spoken word, or acronym, in the Home Health industry. And just when you get to grips with the current version, the next set of changes arrive before you know it, this time in the form of OASIS-D. In this webinar, you will gain an understanding of the significant changes D brings to OASIS and how to ensure consistencies and accuracy within your agency.

 

*Curaport, LLC is an approved provider of Continuing Education by the California Board of Registered Nursing. All states accept this certification for their licensing requirements. No refund shall be given, except for any change in date or time of the webinar. In such case, a full refund shall be given to the registrant upon request.



Building a Successful, Data-Driven Quality Program

Presented by Brightree

Featuring: Rhonda Dornbos, RN, BSN, Chief Clinical Information Officer, DB HealthTech Consulting
Date: Wednesday, September 26
Time: 1:00 pm CDT

Free Registration

The home care and hospice industry is increasingly competitive. The shift from “volume” to “value” means that agencies must increasingly focus on quality outcomes and prove their “worth” to customers and referral sources alike.  Agencies must have a robust quality program in place that identifies, tracks, and trends key metrics against agency goals.  Successful agencies not only have visibility into their current performance, but they continually modify and develop new strategies for improvement, while engaging their clinicians.



Using a Sales & Marketing Dashboard to Get Ahead of Your Competition

Presented by Curaport

Featuring: Melanie Stover, OT, MBA, Homecare Sales

Date: Wednesday, September 5
Time: 2:00 p.m. EDT
Fee: $59 (per attendee)

Information and registration

Webinar Overview
Driving patient admissions and revenue is the top priority for your sales team. Creating a system that quickly monitors production is key to keeping your agency on track for sustainable growth.

This webinar will provide your agency with 3 ways to use your dashboard to get ahead (and stay ahead!) of your competition.



Introduction to the CMS Electronic Medical Documentation Interoperability (EMDI) Program

Presented by: ElevatingHome
Featuring:

  • Pallavi Talekar, Project Manager, Scope Infotech, Inc.
  • Ray Wilkerson, Sr. Business Analyst, Scope Infotech, Inc.
  • Nandini Ganguly, Business Analyst, Scope Infotech, Inc.
  • Briana Barnes, Project Coordinator, Scope Infotech, Inc.
Date: Wednesday, August 8
Time: 1:00 p.m. EDT

Registration

 

Participants will gain understanding of the CMS-driven Electronic Medical Documentation Interoperability program, focused on reducing provider burden by engaging health care providers and stakeholders in pilots that establish secure communication to share medical documentation by aligning with nationally recognized interoperable standards. This event is designed for providers and vendors who are willing to enhance their workflows and communication to achieve efficiency by reducing time and cost.

In this session participants will learn about interoperability and shift in the health care IT landscape, EMDI pilot program details, EMDI pilot program benefits, and how to partner with the EMDI to achieve interoperability.



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.

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