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.

 
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During the 2nd Quarter of 2019, web sites of the above advertisers were visited by home care and hospice executives and staff 2157 times.

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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

ICD-10 Coding: Beginner & Intermediate Workshops, Plus HCS-D Certification Exam

Presented by Home Care Association of Florida

Join HCAF and Home Health Solutions' J'non Griffin for full day ICD-10 workshops for beginner and intermediate coders, plus an optional Home Care Coding Specialist - Diagnosis certification exam!

Workshop 1: Beginner Coding
Date: March 4
Time: 8:30 am - 4:30 pm EST
Location: Four Points Miami Airport West

Beginner: Information and Registration

Overview: In this interactive class, you will learn the basics of assigning ICD-10-CM coding for home health and hospice. You will understand how it relates to billing, audits, OASIS, and compliance, and why it is so important to have accurate coding on your agency claims. You will learn the guidelines and conventions, and ethical and legal considerations. We will also teach you how to properly look up codes in your manual. Bring a current 2019 ICD-10 CM manual with you to class.

 

Workshop 2: Intermediate Coding
Date: March 5-6
Time: 8:30 am - 4:30 pm EST
Location: Four Points Miami Airport West

Intermediate: Information and Registration

Overview: This class is for the coder who understands the basics and is ready to take their coding knowledge to the next level. In this 2-day session, we will work through common home health and hospice scenarios for each chapter and discuss the rationale behind each. Understand how coding can affect accurate reimbursement, outcomes, and how important coding will be under PDGM. Understand the interaction between face-to-face documentation, clinical notes from the provider, accurate coding, and an accurate comprehensive assessment. Learn why it is important to get it right the first time. We will also discuss the latest coding clinic guidance related to coding. Bring a current 2019 ICD-10 CM manual with you to class.

 

Workshop 3: HCS-D Certification Exam
Date: March 7
Time: 8:00 am - 12:00 pm EST
Location: Four Points Miami Airport West

Download the Exam Registration Form

Overview: The Association of Home Care Coding & Compliance's (AHHC) credentialing arm, the Board of Medical Specialty Coding & Compliance (BMSC), offers professional credentials, including the only nationally accredited home health coding credential that tests coding skills exclusively, the "Home Care Coding Specialist - Diagnosis (HCS-D)." BMSC has been credentialing home health coders since 2003. More than 68% of agencies require coders to have earned the HCS-D credential as a condition of employment.


National Healthcare CNO/CMO/Informatics Summit

Presented by Marcus Evans Events

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 and registration

 


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.

National Healthcare 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 National Healthcare CXO Summit is the premium forum bringing senior level healthcare executives and solution providers together. As an invitation-only event, taking place behind closed doors, the Summit offers an intimate environment for a focused discussion of key new drivers shaping the healthcare industry.


NAHC Financial Managers Meeting *

July 14-16
Sheraton Grand Hotel
Chicago

Information and Registration


Senior Care 360: Strategy and Solutions Conference *

Presented by: Lincoln Healthcare Leadership

Date: July 31 - August 2
Location: Gaylord National Resort, National Harbor, MD

Information and Registration


 

3rd Interoperability Forum

Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) 

Date: August 21-22
Location: Renaissance Hotel, Washington, DC

Register Online

This event will bring people together from ONC, the healthcare industry, and the technology sector to:
  • Learn about recent efforts to advance interoperability nationwide
  • Identify concrete actions in response to current interoperability barriers
Attendees will hear keynotes from industry influencers, have the opportunity to view demos showcasing innovative solutions and participate in tracks focused on various aspects of interoperability. Co-led by industry leaders and supported by ONC experts, the tracks will provide an opportunity to discuss the latest issues and identify actions that can be taken to address key barriers to interoperability in a group setting.
Who: Health IT standards and technology community, including developers, policymakers, technology staff at provider organizations, and consumers.

SAGE/2019 *

Hosted by Honor

Date: September 10
Location
: Portofino Hotel & Marina, Redondo Beach, CA
Time: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm

Information and Registration
(Rowan Report subscribers have been offered a 25% discount; use discount code "Rowan" when you register)

How we care for our aging population is one of the most daunting and important challenges we face as family members, as community builders, as leaders in our industry.
That’s why Honor is launching SAGE/2019, a day of inspiring keynotes, lively panel discussions, and intimate conversations on the most compelling topics in senior care and wellness. We’re bringing together thinkers and doers, innovators and entrepreneurs, academics and leaders in healthcare and home care.
You’ll meet creative thinkers who are shifting the narrative about aging, company founders who are driving change, and visionaries who are imagining what’s possible in the future. This is a unique opportunity to network with thought leaders, peers, and potential partners, to revolutionize how we think about aging, and, most importantly, to take action.

Home Health, Home Care, Hospice GROWTH SUMMIT *

Date: Sept. 17-19
Location: Green Valley Ranch, Las Vegas

Information and Registration

Join renowned agency mentors Cheryl Peltekis and Melanie Stover for an owners' and executives' ONLY event focusing on how to survive and thrive in this rapidly changing environment. Cheryl and Melanie will break down exactly how to maximize your agency’s growth during this time of disruption in an easy to follow system you can use, over and over.

HCAOA 2019 Annual Leadership Conference *

Home Care Association of America

Date: September 22-23
Location: Marriott Tucson Starr Pass Resort

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!



How to Satisfy the OIG's Requirements for Fraud and Abuse Compliance Training
Featuring: Elizabeth E. Hogue, Esq.
Date: Wednesday, August 7
Time: 1:00 - 2:30 pm EDT
Available on demand after broadcast date.
Option to purchase CD & handouts
Information and Registration
 
The OIG requires that home care providers of all types must provide effective training on fraud and abuse compliance for employees early in their employment and on at least an annual basis thereafter. Let us help you satisfy these requirements by participating in this teleconference! Whether you are a home health agency, hospice, HME company or private duty agency, gather your staff members together for this teleconference to satisfy the OIG's requirements. 
Participants will learn about three major types of fraud and abuse: false claims, kickbacks, and violations of the Stark law. Practical examples in the home care industry will be emphasized with concrete guidance about what to do about possible violations. The teleconference will also focus on how employees should raise concerns about possible fraudulent conduct internally before they even consider going outside the company. 
 


Interoperability for Service Providers through CMS’s EMDI Initiative

Presented by: ElevatingHOME and VNAA

Featuring: Pallavi Talekar, Project Manager, Scope Infotech, Inc.; Ray Wilkerson, Sr. Business Analyst, Scope Infotech, Inc.; Nandini Ganguly, Business Analyst, Scope Infotech, Inc.; Kishan Patel Business Analyst, Scope Infotech, Inc.; Briana Barnes, Project Coordinator, Scope Infotech, Inc.

Date: Tuesday, July 30
Time:
12:00 pm EDT
Fee:
Free to ElevatingHome, VNAA, and Alliance for Home Health Quality Improvement members

Registration

Representatives from the EMDI Initiative team will discuss interoperability using health IT standards, including Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR). Participants will learn about pilot opportunities with CMS to enhance provider workflow using three critical use cases. Participants will:
  • Gain knowledge of interoperability concepts and use of latest standards, including FHIR;
  • Gather information on three critical use cases in the post-acute care setting to reduce provider burden and enhance their interoperability footprint; and
  • Identify next steps for participation in an upcoming pilot opportunity with CMS.


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

 



Security Risk Assessment Tool Overview and User Feedback Session

Presented by: CMS

Date: Wednesday July 17

Time: 1:00 pm EDT

Fee: Free

ONC and the HHS Office for Civil Rights are holding a training session and overview of the Security Risk Assessment (SRA) Tool. The tool is designed to assist small to medium providers in conducting an internal security risk assessment. This assessment will aid providers with their security risk analysis as required by the HIPAA Security Rule and the CMS EHR Incentive program. Following the webinar, participants will have the opportunity to ask questions and provide feedback.
 
Register


PDGM’s Behavioral Adjustments - What You Need to Know Now

Sponsored by eSolutions

Featuring: Karri Wright, Sr. Director, Product Management at Homecare Homebase

Date: Thursday, August 29
Time: 2:00 pm CDT
Fee: Free

REGISTER NOW

The webinar covers:

  • CMS assumptions and intended adjustments and their impact on:
    • Upcoding
    • Comorbidities
    • LUPA Avoidance
  • Considerations for HHAs
  • Evaluating your HHA data now to assess tomorrow based on today’s reality


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.



Hospice compliance 2019: confronting a surprising new survey focus
Sponsored by: Wellsky
Featuring: Robert Markette, esq.
Date: March 14
Time: Noon CDT
Fee: None
Hospice providers today are confronting a new and unexpected survey focus. Hospice surveyors are increasingly focused on issues relating to hospice administration. This administrative focus includes topics such as your hospice’s corporate structure, the relationship between your hospice’s parent office and its multiple locations, and the role and job title of your administrator. Hospice providers who have been successfully operating for years are suddenly finding themselves hit with condition level citations. How will your hospice team adapt to the major survey focus of 2019? Join renowned hospice attorney Robert W. Markette of Hall, Render, Killian, Heath & Lyman, P.C. for an exclusive webinar that will prepare you and your team for the major survey focus of 2019.

Information and registration

Attend and learn:
Why a poorly drafted organizational chart can be a significant problem for your hospice
What hospice surveyors are looking for in the relationship between your hospice’s parent office and its multiple locations
Why calling your administrator something other than “administrator” could be a survey issue


Webinar hosts, send your announcements to: Conferences@RowanResources.com

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