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 1st Quarter of 2018, web sites of the above advertisers were visited by home care and hospice executives and staff 2597 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


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


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

 


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

2018 Annual Conference

AHHC of North Carolina

May 7-9
Sheraton Imperial Hotel & Convention Center

Register


West Coast Payer and Provider Summit to Address Social Determinants of Health for Complex PopulationsA World Health Care Congress Executive Series Event

June 4-5

Doubletree Resort Paradise Valley
Scottsdale, AZ


Download agenda

Post Acute 360: Strategy and Solutions Conference

Presented by: Lincoln Healthcare Leadership

June 25-27
Gaylord National Resort
National Harbor, MD
Information and Registration


Leading in a Changing World

Texas Association for Home Care & Hospice 49th Annual Meeting
August 8-9
Moody Gardens Hotel & Spa
Embassy Suites Frisco Hotel & Convention Center
Frisco

Information and registration


Home Care Cruise

Sponsored by: HealthCare Synergy
Featuring: Melinda Gaboury, Michael Tidd, Paula Pettit
Dates: August 24-27
Location: Carnival Inspiration, Los Angeles to Ensenada, Mexico

Information and Registration

(Early Bird Pricing Ends May 15)


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


*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


Patients' Right to Freedom of Choice of Providers: How to Avoid Lawsuits

 

Presented by Elizabeth Hogue, Esq.

 

Thursday, June 14 (Encore Date: 6/21)
Recording available 24/7 On Demand; option to purchase CD & handouts.
1:00 - 2:30 pm EDT

 

Register here

 

Conflict between hospitals and home health agencies, private duty agencies, hospices and HME companies that receive referrals from hospitals may be intensifying regarding patients' right to freedom of choice. Hospitals say that they comply with all requirements while some post-acute providers maintain the exact opposite. Now post-acute providers are suing hospitals for violations.
  • What exactly are hospitals supposed to do?
  • What do post-acute providers say are common violations?
  • What is an example of a recent lawsuit filed against hospitals for violations?
  • What can hospital discharge planners/case managers do to avoid these types of lawsuits?
  • How can providers help ensure that patients' rights are honored instead of filing court cases against hospitals?
Participate in this teleconference to learn the answers to all of these questions! Extensive handouts will be provided that will also serve as a resource when questions come up in the future.


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



FY2019 Hospice Proposed Rule: What You Need to Know

Sponsored by HEALTHCAREfirst
Featuring:
Deanna Loftus, Director of Regulatory Compliance, HEALTHCAREfirst

Date: Tuesday, June 5
Time: 2:00 pm EDT

Free Registration

On April 27, 2018, CMS issued a proposed rule that would update FY2019 Medicare wage index and payment rates for Medicare hospice agencies. The proposed rule includes changes to the hospice payment rates, updates to the Hospice Quality Reporting Program (HQRP), and more. Ms. Loftus will review the latest information regarding proposed changes and how they may affect you.


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


Dementia, Alzheimer's, and Mental Health Aide Education

Presented by Curaport
Featuring:
J'non Griffin, RN, MHA, WCC, President, Home Healthcare Solutions, LLC

Date: Tuesday, May 15
Time: 2:00 p.m. EDT

Fee: $79 (per attendee)
Information & Registration

*This education session is approved for one (1) contact hour of Continuing Education for Nursing

 



Clinical Impact of OASIS-D

Presented by HEALTHCAREfirst

Featuring:

Deanna Loftus, HEALTHCAREfirst Director of Regulatory Compliance
Mary St. Pierre, RN, BSN, MGA, Regulatory Consultant

Tuesday, May 1
2:00 pm EDT

Free Registration

In March 2018, CMS released the draft of the latest version of the OASIS data set, OASIS-D. Modifications are being made to OASIS in order to comply with the IMPACT Act, to reduce data collection burden, and to improve formatting throughout the document. CMS is seeking approval from the Office of Management and Budget for a January 1, 2019 implementation date. Topics:

  • Addition of six new standardized items
  • The removal of 28 OASIS questions that will no longer be assessed.
  • Modification to M1311 to support a new standardized pressure ulcer measure.
  • Addition of responses to M1028, M1311, M2102 and removal of responses to M2310.
  • Review of additional changes to OASIS

 



ADR Education: Prevention & Response

Presented by Curaport

Featuring: Diane Link, RN, MHA

Date: Thursday, May 17
Time: 2:00 p.m. EDT
Fee: $79 (per attendee)

Information and registration

This education session is approved for one (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



The Penalty Box Compliance Series Part 8: The IMPACT Act

Presented by Curaport
Featuring Kristi Bajer, RN, MSN

Wednesday, May 23
1:00 p.m. EDT
$39

Information and registration

This education session is approved for one (1) contact hour of Continuing Education.



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

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