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This Week in Technology News
Mark Battaglia Replaces Michael Wons as CellTrak President and CEO(1/21/2015)
No explanation yet for change at the top of leading cellular EVV company other than "to encourage continued growth." Michael Wons to stay on as board member and advisor.
First Medicaid, Now Insurance Told to Pay for Telehealth Visits in Colorado(1/21/2015)
Home telehealth in Colorado is on the move again. Thanks to the efforts of lobbyist Ellen Caruso, a bill has been introduced and unanimously passed by the state legislature that would make insurance companies pay for in-home monitoring services much in the same way Medicaid in Colorado now pays.
CMS Puts Time Squeeze on Hospices with Unexpected IACS Change; HHAs Have A Little Leeway (1/21/2015)
We asked Tom Boyd of Simione Consultants and John Reisinger, founder of Innovative Financial Solutions for Home Health, to help us understand the meaning of CMS's surprise change to cost reporting procedures.
Vendor Watch(1/21/2015)
Delta releases free eBook on population health management
HHA Exchange no longer exclusively a New York provider: wins approval as EVV vendor in Missouri, partners with CM2000 in Texas
PlayMaker CRM opens its user meeting to non-customers
Healthcare Takes Center Stage at CES(1/7/2015)
Not knowing what we were going to find, outside of a couple of familiar company names among the exhibitor list, we ventured last week into the belly of Sin City, otherwise known as the Las Vegas Convention Center. We were surprised that, among all the cool gadgets such as wrist fitness monitors, Google Glass knockoffs, and remote thermostat controllers, found great numbers of gadgets and tools designed to monitor elderly or ailing people living alone in their homes. They won't all make it to the big time, and they won't all have a place in home care right away, but some might. Here is a briefing on what we found.
BREAKING NEWS FROM NAHC: Proposed Overtime Rule Invalidated by Court(1/7/2015)
Late Wednesday, NAHC announced that a U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia has invalidated the proposed Department of Labor overtime rule that was to have taken effect on January 1.
SingFit Wins CES Innovation Award(1/7/2015)
Startup software company was founded by music therapist Andy Tubman; offers unique mental exercise app for persons with Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia, stroke victims, and autistic children.
VNAA Challenges MedPAC to Prove Pay Rate Cuts Do Not Harm Access to and Quality of Care(12/31/2014)
The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission released a report to Congress that mentions the existence of data that supposedly shows home health payment rebasing will not negatively impact beneficiary access to quality care. In response, VNAA President and CEO Tracey Moorhead said, "prove it!"
Philips Lifeline Partners With "Wish-of-a-Lifetime" to Grant Wishes to Seniors(12/31/2014)
You've heard of Make-A-Wish for children. Telehealth reporter Audrey Kinsella has learned of a similar foundation for seniors, created by a partnership between Philips Lifeline and "Wish-of-a Lifetime."
What Home Health Agencies Need to Know about the CMS 2015 Final Rule(12/31/2014)
Last month, the 2015 Home Health Final Rule, which sets forth details of the second year of payment rebasing under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), was released by CMS. Many have predicted that the number of Medicare certified home health providers will decrease in the next few years due to the cumulative effects of rebasing, regulatory scrutiny, tightened survey protocols and financial sanctions for underperformance and declining operational results. Some agencies will thrive, some will not. Guest author Russel Krengel describes the adaptations that will be taken by the survivors.
Dear Home Care Colleague,(12/18/2014)

The time has finally arrived. Seminar plans are finalized. Expert keynote speakers are confirmed. The registration page is open. The water in the three pools is clean and sunshine is promised.

Healthcare in Transition, the seminar series I created last spring for both Medicare and private duty home care owners and administrators, received rave reviews in its first incarnation and I have promised it will be bigger and better next year. So get your taxes done early and please join me and my team of renowned experts in Scottsdale, April 13-15, to learn how to make sure your home care agency will THRIVE through the coming healthcare reform changes.

Register Early, Receive A Gift: If you happen to be in a position where getting your registration paid before the end of the year would be a tax advantage, I will add to that tax break and cover one night of your 3-night hotel stay at the DoubleTree Paradise Valley. This offer is extended to the first 10 people who register before the ball drops on Times Square. Click here to register, but hurry. More than 5,000 people are seeing this offer at the same time you are.

In this week's news: We are honored to introduce two new guest authors with different areas of expertise this week. Jim Triandiflou is the CEO of Relias Learning. His feature article makes a strong case for the ability of online learning to reduce costs and improve outcomes. Laura Mitchell is the Chief Marketing Officer at grandCARE. She makes another strong case; this time for increasing the role of technology in the effort to reduce avoidable hospital readmissions.

Lastly, don't miss my interview with Michael Link of Hospice and Community Care in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Since its founding, this hospice has expanded into seven Pennsylvania counties and continues to be regarded as the premier caregiving organization in the region. Link cites the hospice's 15-year partnership with its software vendor as one of the major supports behind its success. He talked to us about the difference between a vendor and partner, about increasing competition from for-profit startups, and about the joy of working with hospice clinicians.

Let me take this opportunity to wish all of my subscribers and readers a happy and holy holiday season, surrounded by family and friends, and a prosperous 2015, throughout which you continue to care, continue to make a difference every day.

Your colleague,

Tim Rowan, Editor

Pennsylvania Hospice Thrives with Support of its Software Vendor Partner(12/17/2014)
We do not often hear about a home care agency or hospice staying with the same software vendor for 15 years, especially when that vendor goes through a major C-suite shakeup of its own. When it happens, we want to know what that vendor is doing right. So we recently spoke with Michael Link, a Computer Systems Analyst for Hospice and Community Care. The Lancaster, Pennsylvania-based non-profit has been using version after version of software from Suncoast Solutions since the year 2000.

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