Volume 7, Number 46 August  29, 2018



Dear Healthcare at Home Colleague,

We do not often do single-topic issues, but this is an important one. Last week, CMS administrator Seema Verma published a document describing the agency's efforts to keep prescription drug prices under control, not just slowing the rate of increase but possibly even lowering them. Knowing how pricing affects the frail elderly more than any other demographic segment, and how a patient's economizing measures are often limited to dangerously stretching a 30-day prescription so it lasts 60 — with an avoidable rehospitalization as the inevitable result, it got us to wondering. What is the source of drug costs? Why are they tens or hundreds of times more expensive here than in other countries? How much control does CMS actually have over pricing, as compared to, say, Congress?

So, this issue is devoted, with a couple of exceptions, exclusively to those questions. We reprint the CMS announcement and we accompany it with the results of our research into our questions. We were surprised at what we found. While political appointees and bureaucrats in regulatory agencies certainly can make incremental adjustments, those efforts are dwarfed by the single stroke of a pen by lawmakers and executives. Our research took us back to events that occurred during the second Bush, the Obama, and the current administrations. I believe you will find it enlightening, particularly if you work with patients who cannot afford their prescriptions.

Worth the trip

I mentioned last week that I have been invited again this year to the faculty led by attorneys Lou Bernard and Liz Pearson on their 8th Annual "Compliance Cruise." I found the content compelling last year and am looking forward to learning more from them, and from the rest of the team. If regulatory compliance is near the top of your worry list, and if you are available in mid-January, and if you expect to be sick and tired of winter by then, take a look at the preliminary brochure and sign-up sheet. Come aboard and tell me you are a subscriber and I'll buy you a drink with a little umbrella in it.

Ohio readers, I hope to see you in Columbus next month at the OCHCH annual meeting, September 11-12. I will be delivering a presentation titled, "New Technologies You Haven't Heard of But Desperately Need."

To private duty providers: at the end of the month I will be demonstrating my competition-busting system that leverages the power of happy patient/family/client reviews when posted online. I'll be at the annual meeting of the Home Care Association of America, September 22-25 in Washington DC. Come to booth #209. We'll be giving away our secrets to our competition-busting system.

Upcoming webinars

You know that we promote in-person events and online educational opportunities at the bottom of this page every week, and that we rarely mention them here. But I have to make an exception this week. Curaport is hosting a reasonably-priced webinar by BKD's Aaron Little on the Review Choice Demonstration (formerly Pre-Claim Review). I've heard Aaron speak before and you probably have too. He is among the most knowledgeable and entertaining accountants I have ever met. Scroll down and check it out.

I also cannot allow this milestone to pass without calling your attention to it. ElevatingHome, the umbrella association that includes the VNAA and the Alliance for Home Health Quality Improvement, is hosting a series of webinars it is calling the "Public Policy Leadership Series." What is significant about this is that NAHC president Bill Dombi will be a panelist on the first episode, October 3. You know two things: until now, there has been a decades-long, unfortunate rivalry between NAHC and the VNAA; second, we here at HCTR have often shared our dream that one day there will be one single national association presenting our message to Congress, MedPAC, and CMS, just as there is in the behavioral health sector (thanks to the negotiating skills of the leadership team at Netsmart). Is this a step in that direction? Dream big!

Have a great week. Keep making a difference!

Editor signature
Tim Rowan



CMS Takes Action to Lower Drug Prices
Agency is providing flexibility through private sector tools to negotiate lower prescription drug prices on behalf of beneficiaries.

Lowering Drug Prices is More Complicated Than Verma Says
CMS Administrator Seema Verma's self-congratulatory announcement only scratches the surface of the problem. We researched in some detail a crisis that will impact most home health and home care patients.

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























During the 4th Quarter of 2018, web sites of the above advertisers were visited by home care and hospice executives and staff 2106 times.

To inquire about placing your message here, contact:

Kristin@rowanresources.com

Last Week's Most-Read Stories:
Vendor Watch
— In its second alliance announcement of the summer, Maxwell Consulting forms a cooperative agreement with Gateway Coding and Consulting.
— PlayMaker Health Acquires viaDirect Solutions, Refines Brand
— Mediware acquires Rock Pond Solutions
 
10 Benefits of Listing Your Hospice Online
As Google replaces the Yellow Pages, you must learn how to maximize your online visibility. Guest author Roger McManus explains why, and how to do it for a tiny fraction of your marketing budget.

As of this date, approximately 30,778,000 Baby Boomers have become Medicare eligible.



Notable Upcoming Conferences Free Webinars

Hospice Financial and Administrative Management Academy

Presented by: The Health Group, LLC

Date: September 17-18
Location: Mirage Las Vegas

Information and registration


PDGM National Summit in the Rockies *

Home Care Association of Colorado & NAHC


Date:
February 13, 2019
Location:
Hyatt Regency Aurora/Denver Conference Center
Fee Schedule:

Early bird – ends 11:59 p.m. MST Friday, January 11
Member $249, Non-Member $449

Regular Price  - ends 11:59 p.m. MST Sunday, February 10
Member $299, Non-Member $499 

Onsite – February 13 
Member $349, Non-Member $549

*Member rates apply to members of: Home Care Association of Colorado, National Association of Home Care & Hospice and participating state home care associations. 

Register now!

The Home Care Association of Colorado and the National Association of Home Care, together with state home-care associations in the region, will host a one-day conference Feb. 13 on the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services' Patient Directed Groupings Model. PDGM's adoption will bring significant change to home health care. This one-day regional conference on PDGM allows providers to hear from national experts on the new model, with significant time allocated to Q&A. Click here to view the schedule.



Information for Providers and Exhibitors


National Healthcare CNO/CMO/Informatics Summit

Date: March 18-19, 2019
Location: The Langham Huntington, Pasadena, Los Angeles, CA

The Healthcare Summits are the premium forums bringing senior level medical executives and solution providers together. The one-on-one business meetings provide access to senior medical executives within the largest healthcare organizations across the United States. A thorough selection process ensures a qualified audience, which grants unparalleled business and networking opportunities in a luxurious and stimulating environment.
Information

PDGM National Summits - Coming to a City Near You!

National Association of Home Care and Hospice

In early 2019, 12 summits were planned at strategically located cities around the United States. There are still 8 summits available to attend. Find the nearest location to gain insights and receive the tools you need to successfully transition to PDGM.  You still have time!

Previous Locations:
January 23, 2019 Orlando, Florida (Done)
January 24, 2019 Kansas City, Missouri (Done) 
February 5, 2019 New Orleans, Louisiana (Done)
February 6, 2019 Portland, Oregon (Done)
February 7, 2019 Valley Forge, Pennsylvania (Done)
February 13, 2019 Denver, Colorado (Done)

Locations Upcoming:

February 21, 2019 Columbus, Ohio

February 27, 2019 Charlotte, North Carolina

March 5, 2019 Chicago, Illinois

March 12, 2019 Boston Region - Northampton, MA (Sold Out)

March 13, 2019 Boston Region - Northampton, MA

March 19, 2019 Los Angeles, California

March 26, 2019 Dallas, Texas

Click Here for Information and to Register!

The most consequential changes to impact home health in decades are coming in 2020 — are you ready? The Patient-Driven Groupings Model (PDGM) was created by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and is slated to debut on January 1, 2020. PDGM will revolutionize the payment methodology for all Medicare Home Health Agencies (HHAs) in the United States.


2019 Omaha System International Conference: A Key to Practice, Documentation, and Information Management

Date: April 3-5, 2019
Location: Eagan, Minnesota
Fees: Pre-Conference (1 day): $165
Conference (2 days): $335
Pre-conference and Conference (all 3 days): $500

Registration and Information
The Omaha System International Conference is held every two years as a venue for those in practice, education, research, and software development to exchange experiences. There is something for everyone involved with the Omaha System, from beginners to experts to everyone in between. Joyce Sensmeier, HIMSS is the keynote speaker, and The University of Texas at Austin School of Nursing is the school host. The 2019 PDF flier includes location and registration information, speaker/planner list, agenda, exhibitors, and more.

Hospice & Palliative Care Leadership & Advocacy Conference 2019 (LAC 2019)*

National Hospice & Palliative Care Organization 

Preconference Dates: April 13-14, 2019
Main Conference Dates: April 15-17, 2019
Location: Marriott Wardman Park Hotel, Washington, DC

Rates and Fees

Register Online

Executive leadership and management at all levels of hospice and palliative care will comprise the audience for this conference, including presidents and CEOs, administrators, directors, clinical managers, finance and development professionals, quality and performance improvement professionals, regulatory and compliance officers, marketing and public relations professionals, educators, researchers and other leaders working to promote advancement of hospice and palliative care and plan its future development.


2019 Telehealth - Innovative Changes in Healthcare Delivery Conference *

Presented by: Connected Home Living

Date: April 18-19, 2019
Location: Paris Hotel - Las Vegas
Fee: $595 per person

Register

During this event, hear from some of the most dynamic and educational industry experts about current and upcoming CMS rules.  Learn about how telehealth can ease the burden of PDGM for home health, updates on PDPM for Skilled Nursing Facilities, the Physician Fee Schedule, and 2019 Quality Payment Program (QPP) for physicians.  CMS is dramatically expanding opportunities for providers to include telemedicine and telehealth in plans for improving patient care, reducing costs, and improving patient satisfaction.

 


National CXO Summit *

Presented by Marcus Evans Events


Date: May 19-21
Location: Eau Palm Beach Resort

Keynote Presenters: Susan Blumenthal, past US Assistant Surgeon General; Nicholas Webb, Healthcare Futurist

Registration Information


*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

Navigating the Hospice Cost Report

Sponsored by: ElevatingHOME

Date: February 19, 2019
Time: 12:00pm EST
Fee: FREE

Register Now

CMS has stated that 66% of the cost reports previously filed should not have been accepted and will now be subject to more strenuous requirements. The cost reports will be used by CMS to recalibrate and adjust the hospice daily payment rates.

Join Elevating Home for this webinar as Tom Boyd, Vice President of Reimbursable Services with Simione Healthcare Consultants discusses what is new and help participants identify and understand the requirements for the completion of the Medicare Hospice cost report.



 

The Hospice Cost Report: A Requirement & A Management Tool

Presented by: Tom Boyd, MBA, CFE, CHFP, Vice President of Reimbursable Services, Simione Healthcare Consultants

Date: February 14
Time: 2:00 - 3:00 EST
Fee: FREE

Register now

Join Simione Healthcare Consultants for an overview of hospice cost reporting and ways to make sense of all the required information to support timely, accurate and affordable filing. A Simione cost report is backed by our longstanding experience with reimbursement and government reporting. Discover the difference and get the bigger picture on your hospice finances!



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




Learning Series Webinar: Million Hearts®2022 & Related Medicare-Covered Preventive Services 
CMS National Training Program

Date: February 14, 2019
Time: 1:00 - 2:30 EST
Fee: FREE

Register now

This webinar provides an overview of:

  • National Initiative—Million Hearts® 2022
  • Heart Disease and Stroke in the U.S.
  • Medicare-Covered Preventive Services Related to Heart Health

 



The Home Health Cost Report: Expert Advice for Hassle-Free Filing

Presented by: Tom Boyd, MBA, CFE, CHFP, Vice President of Reimbursable Services, Simione Healthcare Consultants

Date: February 21
Time: 2:00 - 3:00 EST
Fee: Free

Register now
Join Simione Healthcare Consultants for an overview of home health cost reporting and ways to make sense of all the required information to support timely, accurate and affordable filing. A Simione cost report is backed by our longstanding experience with reimbursement and government reporting. Discover the difference and get the bigger picture on your finances!

 



CMS to Test Hospice Carve-In Under Medicare Advantage
VNAA and ElevatingHOME
Date: February 20, 2019
Time:1:00pm EST
Fee: Free
Register Now 
What does this CMS demonstration mean for the hospice community? There are many unanswered questions for providers and potential relationships with Medicare Advantage (MA) plans. More than 20 million Medicare beneficiaries (34%) are enrolled in MA plans, which are mainly HMOs and PPOs offered by private insurers as an alternative to the traditional Medicare program.  
Join VNAA and ElevatingHOME Policy Consultant Jenna Paladino for an in-depth webinar to discuss the demonstration, next steps to position your program for success, and actionable items to share with your team. Now is the time to ask questions and learn how a carve-in would impact your patients. 


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.



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.