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 4th Quarter of 2017, web sites of the above advertisers were visited by home care and hospice executives and staff 2855 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

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


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


Home Health Emergency Preparedness CoP Requirements:
Getting Your Agency Ready

Featuring Mary St. Pierre, RN, BSN, MGA
Free, sponsored by HEALTHCAREfirstSeptember 13

1:00 pm Central Time
Omni Austin Hotel Southpark

Details and registration

http://www.healthcarefirst.com/webinars/

  • Overview of the emergency preparedness requirement
  • What surveyors will be looking for
  • Steps home health agencies should take to prepare

Our Home Care Landscape: Big Challenges, Bigger Opportunities *
Annual Meeting of the Home Care Association of America
October 8-11
Austin, TX
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

HCSSA Administrator Program
Texas Association for Home Care & Hospice
November 13-15
Westin Galleria
Houston
tahch.org

*HCTR will see you there.
CONNECTED HEALTH: Remote Patient Monitoring and Telehealth Summit

6th Annual Care Coordination and Technology Congress

January 24-26
Renaissance Atlanta Waverly Hotel & Convention Center
Agenda:
Designing successful bundles without collaboration between inpatient and post-acute (PAC) providers inhibits the cost-savings opportunities that make bundled payment a valuable model for hospitals and health systems. Designing care management incentives and solutions for complex patients requires integration across hospitals, home care, and the extended continuum of provider organizations.
Register for in-person or online participation


2018 National Leadership Conference
ElevatingHOME Annual Meeting
March 7-9
Grand Hyatt
Washington DC
Information and registration

New England Home Care and Hospice 2018 Conference
Presented by Home Care Associations of:
Connecticut
Maine
Massachusetts
New Hampshire
Rhode Island
Vermont


April 25-27
Cliff House Maine Hotel
Cape Neddick

Information and Registration


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


Juggling the New CoPs and Other Applicable Laws

Sponsored by Kinnser Software
Featuring Robert W. Markette, Jr., Esq., CHC, of Hall, Render, Killian, Heath & Lyman, P.C.
Thursday, January 25
1:00 - 2:00 pm EDT

Attend to Learn:

  • Why "legal representative" is a concept you should already be familiar with
  • What compliance with the nondiscrimination provision of the Affordable Care Act may mean for the new CoPs
  • Why you must be more aware of harassment issues and prepared to take action
  • How harassment issues affect your discharge policies

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


    Are You Marketing to the Wrong Person?
    A Different Way to Get Home Health Referrals

    Presented by Healthcare Synergy
    Featuring: Melinda Rodriguez, PT, DPT, MSCS, LSVT
    Date: Wednesday, March 7
    Time: 10:00 a.m. PST; 1:00 p.m. EST

    In this Webinar, you will:
    • Learn another way to market inpatient facilities other than discharge planners, case managers or social workers.
    • Discuss the role of Home Health in the challenging healthcare environment – Short Term Home health.
    • Describe the Continuum of Care Concept in the post acute care network
    • Identify strategies to reduce risk of acute care readmission.
    • Discuss options for discharge disposition for potential skilled nursing facility candidates to decrease SNF discharge rate for inpatient rehab units.

    Register



    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



    How to Attract and Retain Health System Relationships

    Presented by Netsmart
    Ongoing
    Free
    Watch now

     


    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 


    Increase Referrals, not Overhead- Streamlining the Intake Experience

    A streamlined, efficient intake process creates a better patient experience and improves referral relationships. During this webinar, industry experts will share their quick tips and best practices for improving your intake process and managing your organization's revenue cycle.

    Sponsored by Forcura
    Featuring: Craig Mandeville, Founder & CEO of Forcura Jessica Stover, Senior Manager of Blacktree Healthcare Consulting
    Tuesday, Oct 3
    2:00 pm EDT

    Registration


    QAPI Overview

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


    Transitional Care Management - What is Your Practice Missing?

    Presented by Curaport
    Featuring: Kimberly Kicklighter, MSN, RN,
    Director of Nursing & Quality, Successful Health & Wellness Solutions

    Thursday, February 22
    2:00 p.m. Eastern

    Fee: $39

    Information & Registration

     



    The Hospice Cost Report
    Prepare Your Way With Expert Advice from Maureen Laskowski

    Presented by Healthcare Synergy

    Monday, March 12
    10:00 a.m. PDT; 1:00 p.m. EDT

    Click here to register



    Social Worker Documentation: The Route to Quality Assessments

    Presented by Curaport

    Featuring Christina A. Nuqui, M.S.W., Home Healthcare Solutions, LLC
    Tuesday, February 20
    2:00 p.m.EST
    $99
    Click here to register

    (approved for 1 contact hour of Continuing Education for Nursing)


    What Does Behavioral Health Have to do With Home Health Outcomes?

    Presented by: Netsmart/DeVero
    Featuring: Katherine J. Vanderhorst ,RN-BC,BSN and Dr. Amy Craven

    Thursday, February 22
    2:00 p.m. Eastern
    Learn why integrating behavioral health with chronic care management can improve star ratings.

    Many home health patients have co-existing Chronic Behavioral Health problems that are not dealt with. If not addressed, problems like anxiety and depression leave patients unable to self-manage diabetes, congestive heart failure, CHF, COPD and other serious medical conditions. This presentation will show why recognizing and managing behavioral health diagnoses and can have a positive outcome on your agency’s STAR ratings. Presented by Katherine J. Vanderhorst ,RN-BC,BSN and Dr. Amy Craven.

    Registration



    Prevention of Diabetes Related Lower Extremity Amputation

    Presented by Curaport

    Featuring Myra Varnado, BS, RN, CWON, CFCN, Director of Clinical Services, Corstrata
    Thursday, February 8
    2:00 p.m. EST
    $49

    Click here to register

    (approvedfor one (1) contact hour of Continuing Education for Nursing)

     



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