Volume 9, Number 46 July  29, 2020

Dear Healthcare at Home Colleague,

If we were to put a headline on the early results from our poll, it would be "Bad News in Store for Landlords." The poll is still open (click here) but early results show a number of you are seriously thinking about downsizing your office space to save rent, and keep some staff working from home in order to facilitate that. If you haven't already, please share your own post-pandemic plans. There are only four questions. Would you give a couple of minutes to help all readers?

In this week's news

HOME HEALTH: CMS published the proposed rule for Calendar Year 2021 and you have until August 31 to submit your comments. Guest author John Reisinger, CPA, went through the proposed rule with a fine toothed comb and offer his analysis of the changes it may bring. He targets for us specific areas of the rule that the entire industry should comment on. Preview: Get used to the term "No-Pay RAP." John's excellent analysis is below, aptly titled "It Is Time to Send CMS Your Comments on 2021 Proposed Rule."

Yes, you are tired of hearing about COVID-19, but CMS keeps sending out updates to its provisions and warnings. There are three separate announcements in this week's CMS News column, including a list of support calls the agency has scheduled for August, targeted to home health and hospice.

HOME CARE: Staff writer Darcey Trescone spoke with an innovative home care provider in New York who has improved both patient care and caregiver retention by sending his caregivers to advanced training and supplying them with a mobile app. Read about Richard Keller, President of All Metro Health Care in "Building A Stronger Direct Care Workforce Yields Better Outcomes."

Speaking of New York, the state's home care association has made headlines recently. The Home Care Association of New York State was awarded a grant from the Mother Cabrini Health Foundation to leverage Selfhelp Community Services’ "Virtual Senior Center," so that every home care provider in the state can make VSC available to their patients.

VENDOR RELEASES INDUSTRY DATA: PlayMaker Health does a quarterly deep-dive analysis of CMS claims data. The recent release of Q4 2019 data will create a benchmark against which the twin 2020 challenges of PDGM and COVID-19 can be compared. Read about the shrinking number of HHAs, growing influence of Medicare Advantage, and lengthening hospice stays in this week's Vendor Watch column.  A CRM company, PlayMaker Health's data is informative well beyond physician referral counts.

We round out this week's issue with a reprint of an appeal by the American Telemedicine Association to Congress to pass the "Protecting Access to Post-COVID-19 Telehealth Act." It is a bill to keep support for remote patient monitoring going post-COVID-19.

As we approach the dog days of summer, I hope you are taking some time for yourself. After the last seven months, you deserve it.

Have a peaceful, healthy week. Keep making a difference! (And please take a moment to take our survey.)

Editor signature
Tim Rowan

It Is Time to Send CMS Your Comments on 2021 Proposed Rule
Public comment period expires August 31. Home health financial advisor says, "Let's flood CMS with thoughtful comments."

Vendor Watch: PlayMaker Health Releases Q4 2019 Market Data and Growth Trends
Medicare Advantage enrollment up. Consolidation a growing factor. Hospice admissions may be impacted by Palliative Care.

CMS News: Three Major COVID Updates
— New COVID-19 Data Reveals Impact on Medicare Beneficiaries. Important to all, especially to those serving minority populations, especially Native Americans.
— Home Health QRP COVID-19 PHE Tip Sheet is Available
— COVID-19 Stakeholder Engagement Calls — July 27 to August 14

Building A Stronger Direct Care Workforce Yields Better Outcomes
New York HHA increases aide retention, improves patient care by providing aides with training and a mobile app.

ATA Urges Congress to Protect Telehealth Post-COVID
Though it does not mention home care, the ATA issued a statement pushing Congress to pass the "Protecting Access to Post-COVID-19 Telehealth Act."

State Association Expands "Virtual Senior Center" for NY Home Care Patients
Grant from Mother Cabrini Health Foundation to fund statewide technical expansion of Selfhelp's online VSC platform so home care providers statewide can offer service, connect patients.

During the 3rd Quarter of 2020, web sites of the above advertisers were visited by home care and hospice executives and staff 3691 times.

To inquire about placing your message here, contact:


As of this date, approximately 38,478,000 Baby Boomers have become Medicare eligible.


Last Week's Most-Read Stories:

Overcoming Sales Challenges During the COVID Pandemic
It is time to rethink sales and be more strategic in our approach to sales and marketing during this era of forced social distancing. Donning her sales consultant hat, Darcey Trescone shares strategies that have worked for her clients.

CMS News: Audits to Resume August 3
In response to concerns from providers and association representatives, CMS published a Q&A page about its plans to return to pre-pandemic regulations and routines.

Upcoming Events

Virtual Conference: NAHC Financial Managers Annual Meeting

July 27-30


FREE WEBINAR: How Technology Enhances Home Care in an Increasingly Remote World *

Sponsored by: Care Connect

Moderator: Tim Rowan

Panelists: Mike Gelman, President COO, CareConnect; Jim Rolla, SVP, VNSYNY Partners in Care; Steve Pellito, SVP, Provider Sales, Sandata

Date: November 12
1:00 pm EDT


Virtual Conference: Southwest Homecare and Hospice

A collaborative online conference by the home care associations of:

Date: November 18-19

Information and Registration

Experience recognized experts and thought leaders as they share their insights, actionable strategies, and relevant tools and resources.

The 2021 Home Health Final Rule 

Insights to position your agency for success

Sponsored by: WellSky

Featuring: Sharon Harder, president, C3 Advisors; Jill Dyer, BSN, RN, HCS-D, HCS-O, president, JID Consulting and Coding, LLC

Date: November 18
Time: 1:00 - 2:00 EST

Attendees will learn:

  • How to prepare for and implement the operational changes imposed by the final rule, including submission of no-pay RAPs within five calendar days of the start of care and changes to the types of non-physician practitioners who can order home health services
  • The impact of CMS’s decision to retain the PDGM behavioral adjustment
  • The status of proposed legislation aimed to allow home health agencies to bill for telehealth services during public health emergencies and how this change would affect care planning and delivery

FREE WEBINAR: CY2021 Home Health Final PPS Rule

Presented by: HealthRev Partners

Featuring: John Reisinger, CPA

Date: November 19
Time: 2:00 EST


CMS released the Final Home Health Prospective Payment System Rule for CY2021, which will impact all Medicare-certified home health agencies. In this webinar, John Reisinger, CPA, will discuss the various updates and the projected impact on home health, all the way down to the agency level. He’ll review: – Significant issues and changes in the final rule – Home health payment rates – Telehealth provisions for home health – Requirements for home health infusion therapy suppliers – Preparation tips for upcoming changes

For more than 20 years, John Reisinger, CPA, Principal of Innovative Financial Solutions, has been an industry leader in education about the CMS rule-making process. His diverse background includes Medicare auditor, home health financial executive, and he currently serves as a highly in-demand home health and hospice consultant and turnaround specialist.

FREE WEBINAR: RAP Changes in 2021 – Learn and Prepare!

Sponsored by: HealthCare Synergy

Featuring: Mike Deck, Synergy EMR Project Manager

Date: Thursday, November 19
11:00 am PST / 2:00 pm EST

Information and Registration



CMS continues to drive new rules for home health care, and January 1, 2021 brings a change that will directly effect both your intake process and budgets.




FREE WEBINAR: Why it is All About Cash-Flow in 2021

Sponsored by: KanTime

Featuring: Kristi Bajer, RN, COSC VP clinical Operations @OperaCare, LLC; Michael McGowan, Founder, President @OperaCare,LLC

Date: November 24
Time: 1:00 EST; 10:00 PST



  1. Quick overview of the final rule and Review Choice Demonstration (RCD) We will review everything your agency needs to know about the final rule and RCD
  2. Deep dive into the RAP in 2021 History and future of the RAP What you need and don’t need to file a RAP in 2021 How does the RAP penalty work? What if the RAP is late? Exceptional circumstances, Cancelled RAPs and low utilization patients How to ensure HIPPS codes for RAP and final match
  3. Home health cash flow in 2021 Why flying blind financially is not an option for successful agencies How RAP timing is crucial for financial management Why controlling compliance and utilization is necessary for your agency’s health How to use your OASIS as your Medicare Pre-authorization
  4. Learn how OperaCare Clients submit their RAPs in 4-24 hours by utilizing "Live Interactive QA."


The 2020 Annual Conference of the South Carolina Home Care & Hospice Association

Virtual Conference: December 9-10
This year's conference will be presented online

Information and Registration

Keynote Speakers:

*The Rowan Report will see you there.

Your state or national association meeting or webinar not listed? Send the details to Conferences@RowanResources.com using this format:

Conference Title
Sponsoring Association
Hotel or Conference Center, City, State

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