Volume 5, Number 42 August  3, 2016



Dear Healthcare at Home Colleague,

If you have been watching the Olympics, you know about the third-generation Olympian whose grandfather had been an Olympic star himself. The story told by the NBC commentator was that her grandfather passed away only days before she got the news that she had made the team. In the midst of our quadrennial international celebration of youth and physical perfection, it's a simple reminder that the senior folks for whom you care may belong to networks of people whom you may never know.

Their stories may be common or profound, newsworthy or of interest only to the family. And there you are, part of the end of the story, offering a few more moments of dignity, whether they are famous or not. What you do is important. Don't ever let anyone tell you different.

That leads me to my preview of this week's news, which centers around the people who question your greatness. In spite of all the good you do, the organizations that pay you to do it are scrutinizing you yet again because a handful of criminals have infiltrated your ranks. The Office of the Inspector General within the Department of of Health and Human Services issued a report that offers the opinion that more than half of the money Medicare pays for home health services is "improper." That is $10 billion out of $18.4 billion. 

Note to non-medical and private duty providers: you can be certain that Medicaid and all the health insurance companies that pay your invoices and claims are reading this OIG report and drawing conclusions that will impact your business sooner or later as well.

We summarize the OIG report in our lead article this week and follow our summary with the official response from the VNAA. They make the point that there is an incongruity between the types of improper payments the OIG is concerned about and the CMS response, which is to impose pre-claim approval on all agencies.

While we agree with the VNAA, we want to point to a different problem with the OIG report. By now it is well known that CMS and its Medicare Administrative Contractors have overreacted to the intent of Congress with regard to the Face-to-Face requirement. Instead of simply making sure a patient has been seen by a physician before being admitted to home healthcare, they have decided physicians have to write lengthy narratives and use certain words in their eligibility certification documents. But they instruct their reviewers to evaluate those words subjectively, plus they offer no physician education and forbid home care agencies from providing it themselves. This is the source of most of the "improper" payments the OIG has identified, not criminal activity.

For this reason, it was clearly inappropriate that the only real-world example the OIG used to illustrate its concerns was the case of Dr. Jacques Roy, the Dallas physician at the center of a Medicare home care fraud ring that was exposed in 2014 and convicted of felonies earlier this year. His case is the very definition of an outlier and not at all representative of the problems facing our healthcare at home industry. 

Enough rant. Before you click on this week's news articles, be sure to scroll down  to our weekly "Upcoming Conferences" section. There are some important events and free webinars on the schedule.

Have a great week. Keep making a difference!

 

Editor signature
Tim Rowan



OIG Says 54 Percent of Home Health Payments are Improper
Criminal fraud, sloppy documentation, missing F2F dates and signatures all lumped into same category to identify 27 fraud-prone regions.

VNAA Responds to OIG Fraud Report
The Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General has released a general description of home health agencies frequently found to be involved in fraudulent activities. The VNAA would like to know why CMS has decided not to use this guideline but is instead created an unrelated solution, pre-claim review, that does not address the issues identified by the OIG.

HHA Deploys Zoom Video Communications Over Kubi Robot
What do you do with a tablet-based patient communication system when the patient cannot hold it or speak through it? Connect it to a robot! This healthcare at home agency is changing lives with such a system.

 
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During the 2nd Quarter of 2017, web sites of the above advertisers were visited by home care and hospice executives and staff 2300 times.

To inquire about placing your message here, contact:

Kristin@rowanresources.com

Last Week's Most-Read Stories:
Court Declares NAHC Violated Its Own By-Laws
The unfortunate story that began last October is nearly at an end. Joanne Cunningham and Laurie Neander were reinstated by a Washington DC Superior Court to the NAHC board as though their improper dismissal had never happened. Here is the complete story to this point.
 
Many Hospices Not Taking The NOE Problem Seriously
It may be that some of the mechanics of how to comply with CMS's Notice of Eligibility rule are unclear. We spoke with the CEO of a hospice software vendor to gain some clarification.

As of this date, approximately 22,462,000 Baby Boomers have become Medicare eligible.



Notable Upcoming Conferences Free Webinars

ICD-10 Coding Conference
Texas Association for Home Care & Hospice

Featuring Lisa Selman-Holman
September 13-14
Westin Galleria
Houston

Receive up to 11 clock or contact hours.

http://tahch.org/tahchorg/education/icd10


Public Policy Leadership Conference
Visiting Nurse Associations of America

Wednesday, September 14 at 8:00 AM through Thursday, September 15 at 3:00 PM
Washington Court Hotel
Washington, DC

More information and registration

 


By the Numbers: ICD-10 Coding Conference
Texas Association for Home Care & Hospice
September 13-14
Westin Galleria Hotel
Houston


Information and registration



By the Numbers: ICD-10 Coding Conference

Texas Association for Home Care & Hospice
September 13-14
Westin Galleria Hotel
Houston

Information and registration


HURRICANE Home Care Marketing Boot Camp 2.0 *
October 5-7
Embassy Suites Philadelphia Airport
http://homecaremarketing.net/hurricanebootcamp/

Home Care Sales and Marketing Society *
6th Annual Conference

Learn tactics and techniques for gaining more patients and clients. This year, two breakout tracks: "Field Sales Tactics" and "Internal Operational Excellence: Intake, Admissions and Inquiry."

October 6-7
Bally's Hotel and Casino
Las Vegas
Click here for more information


Annual Meeting *
National Association for Home Care and Hospice

October 23-25
Gaylord Palms Resort and Convention Center
Orlando

Information and Registration


Pre-Claim Revue Implementation
Palmetto GBA and CGS Tours Texas in Partnership with TAHC&H

Multiple Locations:
October 11 – McAllen
October 13 – San Antonio
November 16 – Houston
November 17 – Dallas
Details for each conference


The Journey Forward
South Carolina Home Care & Hospice Association Annual Conference
December 5-6
Hyatt Place + Hyatt House | Historic District
Charleston
www.schchaconferences.com

Pre-Claim Revue Seminars
Presented by QIRT
Seminars and webinars will be offered in the pilot states in advance of each state's pre-claim start date.

  • Florida seminars in September (PCR roll out date:October 1, 2016)
  • Texas seminars in November (PCR roll out date: December 1, 2016
  • Michigan and Massachusetts seminars in December (PCR roll out date: January 1, 2017)

QIRT.com


The 6th Annual Medicare Compliance Cruise *

Presented by Pearson & Bernard, PSC

January 15-22
Departs from Ft. Lauderdale
Information and registration


2017 Northeast Home Health Leadership Summit

Sponsoring Associations:

  • Connecticut Association for Healthcare at Home
  • Home Care and Hospice Alliance of Maine
  • Home Care Alliance of Massachusetts
  • Home Care Association of New Hampshire
  • Home Care and Hospice Association of New Jersey
  • Home Care Association of New York State
  • New York State Association of Health Care Providers
  • Rhode Island Partnership for Home Care
  • VNAs of Vermont

January 17-19, 2017
Colonnade Hotel
Boston

Information and Registration


OASIS-C2: The Next Steps

Texas Association for Home Care & Hospice
Presented by Lisa Selman-Holman
January 19, 2017
Westin Riverwalk Hotel

San Antonio 
Details and registration


Homecare 100 *February 4-7
Ritz-Carlton
Amelia Island, FL
Registration is full. To be added to the waiting list, contact Miriam Adams at madams@lincolnhc.com

National Leadership Conference *
Sponsored by:
Visiting Nurse Associations of America

Alliance for Home Health Quality and Innovation

April 19-21

Hilton San Diego Bayfront
https://www.homebasedcareevents.com/

Omaha System International ConferenceA Key to Practice, Documentation and Information Management
April 20-22, 2017
Eagan, MN
Bi-annual conference offers opportunities to gain knowledge about using electronic health records across diverse settings, exchanging health information, and enabling data sharing among practice, education, and research. For additional information about the conference, the call for poster abstracts and award nominations, and to register, visit www.omahasystem.org/conferences.html.
Email abstracts to lchoromanski@gillettechildrens.com

ATA Annual Meeting

American Telemedicine Association
April 23-25
Orange County Convention Center
Orlando

http://www.ata2017.org


Pediatric Home Care Conference

Texas Association for Home Care & Hospice
May 9
Omni Austin Hotel Southpark

Details and registration


Community Care Conference

Texas Association for Home Care & Hospice
May 9
Omni Austin Hotel Southpark

Details and registration


New England Home Care & Hospice Conference & Trade ShowMay 16-18
Radisson Hotel
Manchester, NH
Brochure and Registration

Annual Conference *Home Care Association of Colorado
May 17-19
Keystone Resort & Conference Center
Keystone, CO
http://www.homecareofcolorado.org


Technologies and Tactics Transforming Long-term Care Conference: Igniting Innovation and Best Practices Across the Long-term and Post-acute Care Continuum
Sponsored by TCBI and Telehealth and Medicine Today
June 30
Washington, DC
Information and registration

2017 Annual Conference and Trade Show *
Home Care Association of FloridaJuly 23-27
Renaissance Orlando at Sea World
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

Hospice Financial and Administrative Management Conference
Presented by The Health Group
November 6-7
Caribe Hilton
San Juan, Puerto Rico
Registration: conference@healthgroup.com
 

*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

2017 Regulatory Updates, Including Home Health Conditions of Participation

Free Webinar Hosted by DeVero Software and Relias Learning
Featured Speakers: Michael Tidd, Healthcare Synergy; Robert Love, DeVero
Tuesday, March 21
2:00 pm EDT / 11:00 am PDT

Register Here


A New Approach for Home Health Face-to-Face:
Updated Info, Updated Insights

Sponsored by Kinnser Software
Featuring Arlene Maxim, RN
Thursday, April 20
1:00 pm EDT

Learn:

  • What CMS requires for "adequate documentation" under Face-to-Face
  • How to handle inadequate progress notes provided by the physician/in-patient facility
  • Exactly what to include on your checklist of items for the physician's packet

Free: Register here



How to be the TOP DOG Sales Rep
Sponsored by PlaymakerCRM
Featuring Cheryl Peltekis, RN
December 14
2:00 EST
Register here


Grow Your Census with Online Marketing Tools

Sponsored by Shoshana Technologies

October 20
http://rosemarksystem.com



Clinician Recruitment, Retention & Satisfaction: Does Technology Help or Hinder?

Sponsored by Brightree and Elevating Home
Featuring: Karri Harpole, RN, BSN, Brightree; Tarrah Lowry-Schreiner, President & CEO, Sangre de Cristo Hospice & Palliative Care; Wendy Cofran, CIO, Century Health Systems, Inc.; Melissa Polly, MBA, Brightree Product Marketing (moderator)

Wednesday, July 26
1:00 pm EDT

Learn:

  • Best practices related to the use of technology and the best way to engage clinicians in a model that provides the most value the organization, including recruitment, retention and satisfaction; 
  • From colleagues, how to get the most value from the use of technology from clinical documentation and nurse satisfaction to operational efficiencies; and,
  • How changes in the post-acute environment, from regulatory drivers to value-based care, drive effective utilization of technology.

Register



    Navigating the Final Rule for Medicare PPS for CY 2017
    Sponsored by PPS Plus
    Tuesday, November 15, 1:00 - 2:30 pm CST
    Featuring Dave Macke, CHFP, FHFMA
    Director of Reimbursement Services, VonLehman & Company
    FREE

    Register here


    Nursing Reference Center Plus Overview
    Sponsored by VNAA
    Date: Every Thursday through December 8
    Time: 1:30 PM Eastern
    Nurses use Nursing Reference Center Plus to get answers to questions, access care plans, watch video demonstrations, strengthen nursing skills, earn continuing education credits, access drug information and patient education.
    Register and attend


    Why your claims are being denied:  Performing a self-assessment of your ZPIC, Pre-Claims, and VBP liabilities

    Featuring Michael McGowan, CEO, OperaCare
    Tuesday, January 17
    2:00 p.m. EST
    Cost:  $79
    Register


    2017 What You Need to Know about Electronic Visit Verification

    EVV offers many benefits to agencies and care providers, and choosing the right solution can lead to improved operating efficiency, caregiver communication, quality of care, and client satisfaction.

    Wednesday, March 15
    11:00 am MST - 12:15 pm MST

    Register Here



    Navigating Alternative Payment Models

    Presented by Mark Sharp and Raymond Belles of BKD
    Tuesday, March 28
    2:00 p.m. EDT
    Cost: $79
    Registration

     


    Under Pressure — OASIS Service Utilization Review

    Presented by Michael McGowan of OperaCare
    Thursday, April 6
    12:00 p.m. EDT
    Cost: $49
    Registration



    What You Need To Know About Electronic Visit Verification
    Presented by Darby Anderson, CDO, Addus HomeCare Corporation
    Sponsored by CellTrak
    Wednesday, April 12
    1:00 p.m. EDT
    Cost:  Complimentary
    Registration link
     


    Understanding the Effect Functional Scoring Has on Your Agency
    Presented by Chad Whitefield, PTA, Managing Partner of Advance Rehabilitation Management Group
    Thursday, April 13
    2:00 p.m. EST
    Cost:  $99
    Registration link 


    Navigating Pre-Claim Review

    The controversial Pre-Claim Review Demonstration has been delayed in FL and paused in IL. So what's next? We'll cover what we've learned, what you should be doing now, and what home health care agencies can expect next.

    Sponsored by Forcura
    Featuring: Nick Seabrook, BlackTree Healthcare Consulting; Craig Mandeville, Forcura; Kim Gaffey, MSN, RN, Gaffey Home Nursing & Hospice
    Thursday, April 13
    2:00 pm EDT

    Registration Link


    Hospice vs. Palliative Care: What's the Difference?

    Presented by Curaport

    Featuring Katie Wehri, CHPC, Healthcare Provider Solutions
    Thursday, August 17
    2:00 p.m. EDT
    Cost: $49 per attendee
    Registration


    QAPI Overview

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


    Home Health Conditions of Participation Series 1: Overview and Patient Rights

    Presented by Curaport

    Featuring Sharon Litwin, RN, BSHS, MHA
    Thursday, August 10
    2:00 p.m. EDT 
    Cost: $39 
    Registration



     

    The Current Homecare Market: an M&A Perspective

    Presented by Curaport

    Featuring Rich Tinsley, CEO, Stoneridge Partners
    Friday, July 14
    12:00 p.m. EDT 
    Cost: $39 
    Registration



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