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This Week in Technology News
AOD Software Acquires Stratis Business Systems; Joe Kraus and Entire Team to Stay On(7/16/2014)
After building the leading private duty software company for fifteen years with no outside major investors, Joe Kraus decided it was time to reap the benefits of his efforts and join a larger organization. AOD controls approximately 60% of the CCRC, long-term care and assisted living software market. With the acquisition of Stratis it is positioned to become a major player across senior care business lines. Kraus remains as president and will retain his entire team of software developers and support personnel.
Insights Into CMS's Next F2F Proposal: An Interview with Elizabeth Hogue(7/16/2014)
"I strongly suggest they make comments before September 2 and express their concerns." Home care attorney Elizabeth Hogue issued a strong warning through HCTR staff writer Liz Seegert. The 'fix' to the F2F rule could be worse than the problem it is fixing. Remain silent and your payment denial pain will get worse.
Seniors' Demand Will Trump Both Telehealth Availability and Payer Reluctance(7/16/2014)
A July 9 report published in iHealthBeat has generated reaction from a wide spectrum of telehealth advocates. Interviews with industry leaders and advocates, analyzed here by staff writer Audrey Kinsella, reveal hope, optimism, and frustration.
Medicare Advantage Plans Accused of Padding Profits(7/16/2014)
Congress created private Medicare Advantage health plans 11 years ago to help control health care spending on the elderly. But a Center for Public Integrity investigation found that billions of tax dollars are wasted every year through manipulation of a Medicare payment tool called a "risk score." The formula is supposed to pay health plans more for sicker patients and less for healthy people, but often it pays too much. The government has for years missed opportunities to corral tens of billions of dollars in overcharges and other billing errors tied to abuse of risk scores. Meanwhile, the growing power of the Medicare Advantage industry has muzzled many critics in Congress, and turned others into cheerleaders for the program.
Vendor Watch(7/16/2014)
— Kinnser releases advanced billing and revenue management tools module.
Former Software Company Executive Creates App of the Future(7/9/2014)
Coordinated patient care can be accomplished by hiring more and more FTE clinicians, or by implementing the right patient-centered software. Until now, that software had not been invented. You have not seen anything like this before.
Is It Time to Develop Palliative Care Services?(7/9/2014)
Staff writer Audrey Kinsella sat in on a very informative webinar about palliative care. What she learned, and shares here, is that there are reimbursement plans in place now and more coming soon.
Vendor Watch(7/9/2014)
— Briggs and Healthcarefirst to partner
— ContinuLink introduces three new sales VPs
Hospice Data Tells the Real Story in Rebuttal to Recent Horror Stories (6/25/2014)

Recent sensationalist articles appearing in the Washington Post and online in the Huffington Post told the anecdotes of a few individuals' negative experiences with two or three hospices. These attempts to smear an entire category of caregivers with a couple of anecdotes grabbed the attention of every hospice provider, as well as of one Barbara Rosenblum, Founder and CEO of Strategic Healthcare Programs. As the owner of a massive database of organized home care and hospice data, she is uniquely qualified to answer anecdotes with statistics.

And answer she did this week in her personal blog: e.g. "SHP's data and other studies show that hospice care reduces costs and, as evaluated by consumers, consistently provides high quality care." Grateful for her permission, we reprint Barbara's entire response here. If there is a chance that anyone will ever quote the two Posts' "exposés" to you, you need to be able to quote back this eloquent dissertation on the facts.

CMS Yields to Pressure, Backs Off on Major Physician F2F Documentation Requirement(6/25/2014)
Under pressure from a lawsuit filed last month by the National Association of Home Care and Hospice, CMS is proposing to eliminate the physician narrative portion from its face-to-face rule.
Software Vendors Meet Hospice July 1 Regulatory Obligation(6/25/2014)
Most hospice software vendors had no trouble updating their systems for the Hospice Quality Reporting Program changes that took effect on July 1. We spoke with two of them to see how they approached the task and what advantages their customers might have.
Vendor Watch(6/25/2014)
— HealthcareFirst partners with Pinnacle Quality Insight for CAHPS surveys
— Briggs Healthcare® partners with Blackbean Software
— Carewell Alliance of HIT vendors welcomes Brightree as first post-acute member

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