Volume 7, Number 37 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.

 
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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.

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

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


*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
Date(s)
Hotel or Conference Center, City, State
URL

Final Modifications to the Quality of Patient Care Star Rating Algorithm Call

Presented by HealthcarefirstHosted by CMS
Wednesday, October 3
2:00 pm EDT / 11:00 am PDT
Free

Register Here

During this call, learn about planned modifications to the Home Health Quality of Patient Care star ratings, including:

  • Removal of the Drug Education on All Medications Provided to Patient/Caregiver during All Episodes of Care measure
  • Addition of the Improvement in Management of Oral Medications measure.

CMS presents the rationale, timing, and impact of this change. A question and answer session follows the presentation.



 

Wound Care Basics: Acute and Chronic Wound Healing
Presented by Curaport
Featuring:
Myra Varnado, BS, RN, CWOCN, Director of Clinical Services, Corstrata
Date: Thursday, October 9
Time: 2:00 pm EDT

Fee: $59
Register
*This education session is approved for one (1) contact hour of Continuing Education for Nursing
Providing the best level of Wound Care for your patients is an expensive and daunting task.  Or is it?  To be an expert at Wound Care, you first must master the basics.  This education session will get your clinicians on the right path to improving outcomes for your Wound population.  Part 1 of a 4-part Series.


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




P2P Forum: Strategies to Improve Your Referral, Intake, and Order Processes

Presented by HealthcareFirst
Hosted by CMS

Date: September 13
Time: 2:00 pm EDT
Fee: None

Information and registration

If your home health or hospice agency spends a large amount of time processing documentation associated with referrals, intake, and orders, delaying turnaround times and billing, you will not want to miss this Forum. Kim Gaffey, MSN, RN, owner of Gaffey Home Nursing & Hospice, will share how her agency has significantly improved accuracy, compliance, and turnaround time while reducing time spent managing documentation with HEALTHCAREfirst and Forcura. They are now receiving orders within 24-48 hours and are billing RAPs within 7 days of the start of care, improving their cash flow and profit margins too! Join us to learn how you can experience results like these in this 30-minute open forum. 



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.



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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