Volume 9, Number 46 — 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 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 38,632,000 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


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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