Volume 9, Number 50 — August  12, 2020

Dear Healthcare at Home Colleague,

We have so many major announcements this week, we will push our usual summary of our news articles (all 8 of them!) to the bottom. You can also scroll all the way down to our "Upcoming Events" section for details on these briefings.

First in importance: we published an analysis of the 2021 proposed rule for home health last week, with a plea to submit comments by the deadline. They changed the deadline. Try to get your comments submitted by August 24, not 31. More detail in this week's CMS News column.

Private Duty Home Care Provider Honor will hold its 2nd Annual "SAGE" conference next month, though it will be online rather than in person. We gave the first iteration rave reviews last year, saying we thought it would be a day-long sales pitch to join the San Francisco company as a partner, but it wasn't. It was profoundly educational. (See: "Top National Healthcare Experts Appear at First Annual 'Sage' Conference") The lineup of celebrity experts speaking this year at least matches, if not surpasses, last year's all-keynote all stars. Leading the parade this year will be Pulitzer Prize finalist and geriatrician Louise Aronson, author of Elderhood: Redefining Aging, Transforming Medicine, and Reimagining Life.

There will be no charge for this event, which will take place over two consecutive half days, leaving you time to get other work done while attending. Scroll down to see the entire lineup of expert speakers or click here to register. This free conference is set for September 1-2. Speakers will cover topics around innovation, technology, the evolving art of caregiving, and the future of senior living.


Any public, private, or non-profit organization may submit a product, service, or technology entry for the 9th Annual New Product & Technology Awards® awards. Sponsored by "The Mature Market Resource Center, headquartered in Libertyville, IL, a 30-year-old, national clearinghouse for professionals who work in senior markets, the awards recognize innovative products, services, and technologies for older adults and their families. For more details and information about how to enter your product in the competition, visit AgingAwards.com. Home Care Tech: The Rowan Report is proud to be a co-sponsor of this year's event. We have also posted a Fact Sheet on our Partners Page (bottom of homecaretechreport.com).

Winners receive Gold, Silver, Bronze, and Merit recognition, by entry category and division. Winning entrants receive colorful award certificates, a one-year license to use the official awards logo, listing on the agingawards.com website, a list of all 2020 winners, and other resources to help promote your achievement.


THANK YOU for responding to our survey. We learned a lot from you about your post-pandemic plans for working from home. You'll be surprised by the results. Click below to explore the results in "Will Working from Home Become the New Normal?"

In this week's news: We found two stories about Medicare fraud accusations – one for $192 million, another for $1.4 billion – and put them together so you could compare them. Click below on Darcey Trescone's analysis of a July OIG report.

In our analysis of the CMS proposed rule for 2021, guest author John Reisinger, CPA made a point of bemoaning there is still no home health-specific telehealth provision after the end of the pandemic. So, we asked CMS for an explanation and got one...after a fashion. We went back to Reisinger to get his reaction to their non-answer. If you are hoping to use telehealth with your patients, you need to understand what the proposed rule does and does not do for you. Click below on our CMS News column. It includes information about weekly home health COVID-19 update calls as well.


There is a lot more this week but I'm running out of room. Scan the headlines below to see which of these appeals to you: Elizabeth Hogue, esq. on treating COVID-positive patients; Thornberry's Kristen Klawitter on the right and wrong ways to choose an EMR software system; brand consultant Mary Maloney on "Excavate Your Brand Genius;" our interview with Netsmart execs about their sudden influx of hospice and palliative care clients; and a report for IT professionals that tries to explain why their unemployment rate is so much lower than everyone else's since the pandemic-induced financial crisis began.

Have a great, safe, and healthy week. Keep making a difference!

Editor signature
Tim Rowan

Will Working From Home Become the New Normal?
You answered our survey with surprising comments about making work-from-home permanent. We found an IT security expert who has something to say about that.

CMS News: Can We Use Telehealth or Not?
When Seema Verma makes an announcement about telehealth, we always ask for a specific comment about whether home health will ever be included. Once again, the press office sent a lengthy reply that did not answer our question.

Caring for Seriously Ill COVID-19 Patients at Home
Guest author and home care attorney Elizabeth Hogue has been studying the legal ramifications of caring for patients infected with COVID-19.

How to Find the Best EMR Solution for Your Home Health or Hospice Agency
To coincide with the launch of our Home Care Buyer's Guide, we asked our friends at Thornberry Ltd. to allow us to reprint an article from their blog page.

OIG Report "CMS Could Have Saved $192 Million"
OIG data mining found $41,613 of questionable payments to HHAs by examining 120 claims from 2017. The Office is demanding that CMS recover an extrapolated $192 million from all providers.

Netsmart Advancing in Hospice Sector
Netsmart surprised even itself by signing 16 new hospice and palliative care customers so far this year.

Unemployment Still A Crisis, Except in IT
With unemployment breaking 90-year records, IT turns out to be a relatively safe profession. Job openings skyrocketed in July.

Excavate Your Brand Genius
Guest author Mary Maloney outlines how messaging “What You Stand for” correlates to more quality Referrals and clients.

During the 3rd Quarter of 2021, web sites of the above advertisers were visited by home care and hospice executives and staff 6532 times.

To inquire about placing your message here, contact:


As of this date, approximately 38,632,000 Baby Boomers have become Medicare eligible.


Last Week's Most-Read Stories:

Vendor Watch
— eSolutions announces integration with Homecare Homebase
— Netsmart suddenly signs up 16 sixteen new hospice and palliative care organizations
— Aloe Care announces Aloe Care Essentials to help remote caregivers during pandemic

Google Analytics: Grab a Geek and Get on Board
Don't be afraid of Google Analytics. Get some help and take advantage of it.

Upcoming Events

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


FREE WEBINAR: Cybersecurity in Healthcare: Assess Threats & Reduce Your Risk

Presented by: Netsmart

Featuring: Randy Pargman, Binary Defense senior director of threat hunting and counterintelligence; Sharon Hicks, MBA, MSW, OPEN MINDS senior associate; and Mike Murray, Netsmart director of Plexus Technologies,

Date: December 9

Time: 1:00 EST

Information and Registration

Healthcare organizations are often at risk of cyberattacks due to a lack of dedicated IT and reliance on traditional reactive approaches. To learn how to protect your data, register now to join Randy Pargman, as they map the risk landscape and provide guidance for safeguarding your organization.

Key takeaways:

• Cyber threats in healthcare
• Impacts of a data breach
• Best practices for securing your data


FREE WEBINAR: Can you collect Cash faster?

Sponsored by: Savii

Date: Tuesday, January 12

Time: 2:00 pm EST

Information and Registration

With small margins in home care it has prompted the question, “Can we collect cash faster?” And what would this do for an agency? One thing we know is margins are small and have become more challenging than ever to for agencies to profit. This doesn’t mean it impossible for agencies to survive; it means a focus on collecting cash faster will be ever so important.

Agency leaders will first need to develop a timeline cadence of when to address claims based on when they were submitted for payment. In addition it will be pertinent to understand their own agency metrics such as DSO (Daily Sales Outstanding) and how they compare to industry standards.

On this webinar you will walk away with how to develop a timeline and your own DSO dashboard for benchmarking. All of these topics will weave into  strategic steps to take toward collecting cash flow faster.

FREE WEBINAR: The Rise of Hospital at Home: A Roundtable Discussion

Sponsored by: AlayaCare

Featuring: Dr. Bruce Leff, Hospital at Home Pioneer & Professor, John Hopkins School of Medicine; Adrian Schauer, Founder and CEO
AlayaCare; Joel Theisen, Founder and CEO, Lifesprk; Brady Murphy, VP Sales & Marketing, AlayaCare

Date: Wednesday, January 27
1:00 EST

Information and Registration

Across the U.S., the Acute Hospital Care at Home initiative from CMS is taking off amid the pandemic with at least 80 approved participants to date. As hospital-at-home models become more popular and more beneficial to both patients and health care organizations, those that have recognized the perks of home-based care prior to the COVID-19 crisis may have the upper hand.

Join us on Wednesday, Jan 27th at 1:00 pm EST for a roundtable discussion with industry experts such as Dr. Bruce Leff, Hospital at Home Pioneer and Professor at John Hopkins School of Medicine who deserves his reputation as a founding father of this virtual hospital concept, to learn about the hospital-at-home model and its impact on the home care industry.

FREE Webinar: Practical Application of Information Blocking and Interoperability Rules for Post-Acute Care Providers

Sponsored by: Complia Health and Kno2

Date: February 18
Time: 1:00 EST

Information and Registration

Join healthcare technology experts Alan Swenson, VP of Interoperability at Kno2, and Melissa Turner, Director of Integration at Complia Health, on Thursday, February 18th at 1pm Eastern to learn about information blocking and what it means for your post-acute care organization today and looking ahead to the future. 

FREE WEBINAR: Tech Titans Join Forces to Tackle Post Acute Care Challenges

Sponsored by: KanTime

Featuring: Terra Vicario (Moderator) CMO, Viventium; Malka Trump, Director of Compliance, Viventium; Kristen Duell, EVP, KanTime; Kim Spence, RN, Customer Success Division Leader, KanTime; James Cohen, CEO & Co-Founder, Nevvon

Date: Thursday, April 22

Time: 11:00 am PDT, 2:00 pm EDT


2021, in many ways, is a continuation of challenges from 2020 and more! During this webinar, experts from companies with solutions for talent/retention and compliance issues, along with the continued challenges that COVID-19 has presented to our industry, will cover rules, regulations, and programs you need to stay on top of so your company can thrive amidst the pandemic.

Homecare 100 *

Presented by: Lincoln Healthcare Leadership

Date: June 27-30, 2021
Venue: JW Marriott Marco Island Beach Resort, FL

Registration Information

2021 Home Care and Hospice Conference and Expo *

National Association for Home Care and Hospice

Date: October 3-5
Venue: New Orleans

Sadly, this conference has had to be postponed, due to the hurricane in New Orleans and COVID situation in Louisiana.

FREE WEBINAR: Vaccine Hesitancy: How Training Can Help

Presented by: Nevvon, Flex For Checks, & Dr. Ian Smith

Date: Monday, October 11

Time: 10:00 AM Pacific; 1:00 PM Eastern 

Information and Registration


Who should attend? Caregiver agencies looking for creative ways to alleviate vaccine hesitancy and get more workers and patients protected from the COVID-19 virus.

Learn how training caregivers on vaccines can ensure better compliance, reduce hesitancy and lead to better outcomes. We will share first-hand experience of how the Flex For Checks program has been leading the way in vaccinating caregivers through an amazing and potentially lucrative incentive program.

FREE WEBINAR: Targeted Probe & Educate: Where Do You Stand?

Presented by: Healthcare Synergy
Michael Tidd, COS-C, HCS-D, HealthCare Synergy Clinical Manager

Date: Wednesday, November 3
Time: 11:00 am PDT / 2:00 pm EDT


Targeted Probe and Educate is a CMS initiative to seek a better understanding of agencies practices in order to protect the Medicare funds. Agencies self-identify themselves and request reviews by their actions and the data they provide to CMS. Are you aware of the signals you might be sending and how to protect yourself?
Michael Tidd has over 19 years of experience in the Home Care Industry and is a frequent speaker at HealthCare Synergy Workshops and Webinars. He is a Software Developer, LVN and Certified in ICD-9/10 Coding and OASIS (COS-C, HCS-D). As the Clinical Manager for HealthCare Synergy, he directs the Outsourced Management Services, assists in directing the development of the Healthcare Assistant Web Edition, oversees the Clinical Documentation Auditing provided to clients and directs the Clinical Form Development for the Healthcare Assistant Web Edition. Michael continues to educate agencies in the ongoing regulations that CMS produces, the proper application of the Medicare Conditions of Participation and completing timely, accurate and defendable clinical documentation to survive in the current Medicare Reimbursement Model.

AHHC 2021 Leadership Conference

Presented by: Association for Home & Hospice Care of North Carolina

Date: November 8-9

Location: Holiday Inn Resort, Wrightsville Beach, NC

Information and Registration

FREE WEBINAR: Admit more Patients & Stop Nursing Burnout!

Presented by: OperaCare

Date: November 10

Time: 1:00 pm EST; 10:00 PST

Information and Registration

The nursing shortage is getting much worse and will most likely impact your business if it has not already.
During this event we will demonstrate how to complete an entire OASIS in approx. 60 minutes or less. This includes ICD-10 coding, entry and revision of medication’s, all the OASIS items, and Quality Assurance while the nurse is with the patient in the home.

The result: Eliminating 100% of after-hours documentation, increasing clinical productivity, and reducing your labor costs.

The Benefit: The ability to significantly increase your recruitment and retention efforts by providing your clinicians with a sane and humane work life balance.

Important Final Rule Discoveries Every Agency Needs to Know: Examining HH PPS for CY2022

Presented by: HealthRevPartners

Featuring: John Reisinger, CPA

DATE: November 18

TIME: 2:00 - 3:00 EST

VENUE: Online


Register Here

One of the major changes in CMS’ final rule for the Home Health Prospective Payment System announced is this — ???2022 will be a "pre-implementation year for the HHVBP, which was originally scheduled to begin in January.

Learn exactly what you need to do in 2022 for HHVBP.

Additionally, we will cover these final rule changes and more:

And, do you know how much your Medicare revenues are projected to change?

There will be a 3.2% increase ($570 million) in home health spending for CY2022.


*The Rowan Report will see you there.

FREE WEBINAR: New, Science-Based Methodology Reduces Cost of Recruitment and Retention

Presented by: The Rowan Report

Featuring: Eric Becker, CEO, MiliMatch

Date: Thursday, March 18

Time: 3:00 pm EST; Noon PST

Recorded version available.



Every time a home care agency hires and trains a new caregiver, it invests about $4,500, which is wasted if that new hire does not work out, often before working a first shift. MiliMatch CEO Eric Becker will explain the company's patented product/service, based on the science of Applied Cognitive Linguistics, which has been proven to help home care agencies avoid those costly bad hires.

FREE WEBINARS: "Best of Home Care Heroes" Series 

Sponsored by: Ankota

Featuring: Steve "The Hurricane" Weiss, Ophelia Cole, Barbara Gaines, Cheryl Hammons, others

Dates: Ongoing


Contact Ankota directly about two special offers: a free trial of a staffed, live-chat solution for your website, and a discount to Steve Weiss' "Mililonaire Bootcamp."


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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