Volume 8, Number 43 February  20, 2019



Dear Friends and Colleagues,

This special edition marks two anniversaries. I hope you might indulge me while I look back on my 20 years as editor of Home Care Technology Report. Even if you have been around as long as I have, there may be some history you did not know.

Anniversary #1: 20 years of home health, home care and hospice news

HCTR was originally a print publication called Home Care Automation Report. Founded in 1995 by United Communications Group, today known as Decision Health, HCAR was a companion to their primary publication, ...home health line. When UCG discontinued HCAR in December, 1998, one of their occasional authors, nationally-known home care technology expert Tom Williams, acquired it. Tom had come to national prominence in the early 90's as the VP of a Medicare Regional Home Health Intermediary in Milwaukee.

I met Tom in June of 1998 when we were both speaking at a UCG seminar. One month later, when my IT Director position at a Colorado agency fell victim to the IPS disaster, UCG invited me to try my hand as a reporter. By December, Tom had become familiar with my writing. As soon as he took over as publisher, he took a big risk and asked me to be his editor and primary writer. After some strategy meetings in Port Washington, Wisconsin in January, we released our first issue together. It was dated February, 1999.

Under Tom's ownership, HCAR evolved from a mailed, monthly print publication to a PDF in magazine format delivered by email to what it is today, a fully electronic weekly newsletter with full-length articles posted on a web site accompanied by headlines with summaries emailed to subscribers. When we went electronic in 2005, Tom also converted HCAR from subscriber-supported to today's free, advertiser-supported format.

For 10 years, I was essentially Tom Williams' apprentice. A renowned story-teller, he tutored me with tales of his first-hand experiences of the history of our industry, his battles against fraudulent providers as the head of an RHHI, and some eye-opening, insider secrets about its tech vendors and trade associations. We began to be frequent speakers at national and state association conferences; we organized tech vendors into a professional trade association; and, with help from software developer Tom Theimer, we expanded into online training services as the "Home Care Information Network."

Two events helped me understand who Tom Williams was. One day, as we walked out of the Milwaukee airport, he encountered an old friend, a single mother he had hired at Blue Cross when no one else would, giving her a chance to move from welfare to work and on to a college degree. After a big hug and brief chat, he introduced me to his former employee, "Tim, this is Congresswoman Gwen Moore, the representative for Wisconsin's 4th congressional district."

The other happened at my first NAHC meeting in October, 1999. Frustrated with the small turnout that final year of IPS, three leading software company owners approached our booth, shook a finger at Tom, and proclaimed, "We've had it. We want a meeting of all the vendors and we want you to call the meeting because if you call it, they will all come." The following month, 12 CEOs showed up in Chicago, vented their grievances, formulated a plan, and the Homecare Information Technology Council was born. HITC published magazines and educational CDs, represented the vendor community with a common voice, and created the "CEO School," a longtime fixture on the morning before the NAHC Annual Meeting. It was HITC that inspired NAHC founding president Val Halamandaris to create the Home Care Technology Association of America.

Anniversary #2:

Tom WilliamsOn January 9, 2009, Tom was taken from us, without any previous diagnosis or symptoms, by an apparent heart attack. He was 59 years old. Exactly ten years after our initial strategy meetings, and ten years ago last month, I again found myself flying to Milwaukee.

For 10 years we've been on our own

Devastated, Tom's widow and I, assisted by the rest of the team — Michael Siegel, Tom Theimer, Randy Weisheit, and my son, Jeremy, the HCIN videographer — tried to keep things going but Tom's wife was an elementary school teacher and deeply grieving. When we realized she did not have the desire or the time to run Tom's company, Theimer and Weisheit took over HCIN and I purchased the rights to HCAR. Siegel found a home at Simione Consulting until he retired. Jeremy took his video skills to Relias Learning, stayed a few years, and then took a hard right turn into the outdoors as owner of Outlaw Jeep Adventures in Moab, Utah.

Now we are in June, 2009. As owner, editor, publisher, and principle writer, I set out to keep HCAR going by myself. I was humbled and gratified to see the sponsors sticking with me, assuring me I could step into Tom's shoes and that HCAR was worth the effort. By July, to make it more my own, I made a slight change to the newsletter's name and updated its look and feel. That summer, Home Care Technology Report debuted with my name on it in thousands of inboxes. Over the years, most people began to refer to it as The Rowan Report. We gave in and are starting to use that name more often.

That brings us to today, the 20th anniversary of my tenure at Home Care Technology Report and the 10th anniversary of the passing of my friend and mentor, and the one responsible for launching this second career of mine. I still relish the responsibility of finding valuable news for you every week and, though I cannot promise you another ten years, I do promise that, when the time comes, I will hand the keyboard over to someone with the expertise and integrity to carry on, perhaps improve on, the tradition Tom and I began 20 years ago today.

I'll close with a hearty thanks to all 13,000 subscribers who read our words every week and to the sponsors that make it all possible. Here are some of my favorite stories from the last 20 years:

December 7 Tribute: From War Hero to Father to Home Health Patient (12/7/2011)

It Is Time for CMS to Figure Out the Difference Between Typos and Crimes (3/18/2015)

Reflections on A Sad Visit to Wisconsin (1/21/2009)

Friends and Colleagues Offer Their Memories of Tom Williams (1/14/2009)

Editor's Comments on the Occasion of the Passing of NAHC President Val Halamandaris (8/2/2017)

Private Duty Home Care Suffers From Extreme Competition (11/15/2017)

Editor signature
Tim Rowan



Editor's Reflections on 20 Years of Home Care Tech Report
Editor Tim Rowan recounts the origin story of Home Care Technology: The Rowan Report



During the 2nd Quarter of 2021, web sites of the above advertisers were visited by home care and hospice executives and staff 5944 times.

To inquire about placing your message here, contact:

Kristin@rowanresources.com

As of this date, approximately 32,703,000 Baby Boomers have become Medicare eligible.

 

Last Week's Most-Read Stories:

Experts Offer PDGM Advice at Home Care 100
At last month's Home Care 100 conference, CEOs from our largest home health organizations delivered stark, severe warnings to their peers about the folly of waiting too long to start PDGM preparations.

Early Adopters Thrive with Artificial Intelligence in Home Care
Artificial Intelligence is the buzzword at this year's HIMSS meeting...and every other healthcare IT meeting in the country. What does it mean for post-acute care? Guest author James Cohen has some ideas that may change the way you think about AI.




Upcoming Events

National Healthcare CNO/CMO/Informatics Summit

Presented by Marcus Evans Events

Date: March 18-19, 2019
Location: The Langham Huntington, Pasadena, Los Angeles, CA

The Healthcare Summits are the premium forums bringing senior level medical executives and solution providers together. The one-on-one business meetings provide access to senior medical executives within the largest healthcare organizations across the United States. A thorough selection process ensures a qualified audience, which grants unparalleled business and networking opportunities in a luxurious and stimulating environment.
Information and registration

 


2019 Omaha System International Conference: A Key to Practice, Documentation, and Information Management

Date: April 3-5, 2019
Location: Eagan, Minnesota
Fees: Pre-Conference (1 day): $165
Conference (2 days): $335
Pre-conference and Conference (all 3 days): $500

Registration and Information
The Omaha System International Conference is held every two years as a venue for those in practice, education, research, and software development to exchange experiences. There is something for everyone involved with the Omaha System, from beginners to experts to everyone in between. Joyce Sensmeier, HIMSS is the keynote speaker, and The University of Texas at Austin School of Nursing is the school host. The 2019 PDF flier includes location and registration information, speaker/planner list, agenda, exhibitors, and more.

National Healthcare CXO Summit

Presented by Marcus Evans Events


Date: May 19-21
Location: Eau Palm Beach Resort

Keynote Presenters: Susan Blumenthal, past US Assistant Surgeon General; Nicholas Webb, Healthcare Futurist

Registration Information

The National Healthcare CXO Summit is the premium forum bringing senior level healthcare executives and solution providers together. As an invitation-only event, taking place behind closed doors, the Summit offers an intimate environment for a focused discussion of key new drivers shaping the healthcare industry.


Webinar: Post-Acute Care Quality Reporting Programs

Presented by: CMS

Date: Thursday, November 14

Time: 2:00 - 3:00 pm EST

Fee: Free

Description: The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will be hosting a webinar for Medicare-certified hospice providers to provide an overview on Hospital Quality Reporting Program (HQRP) requirements.

During this webinar, CMS subject matter experts will provide information on the following topics:

  • Hospice Item Set (HIS) reporting requirements;
  • HQRP compliance cycle;
  • How to achieve hospice compliance;
  • CAHPs survey requirements; and
  • How to switch CAHPS survey research vendors.

CMS will answer questions at the end of the webinar as time permits.

Register

WEBINAR: Documentation: How to Fight Auditors

A 90-minute Lunch & Learn Audio Conference by Elizabeth E. Hogue, Esq. Health Care Attorney

Date: May 5
Time:
1:00 - 2:30 EDT

Encore date:
May 12; On-demand recording available 24/7

Information and Registration

Home health agencies and hospices are plagued by audits! The United Program Integrity Contractors (UPICs) are hard at work. RAC auditors are now back on the job, too. Plus, there are ADRs, scrutiny from the OIG, and more! What should providers do to avoid being in the crosshairs or to get out of the line of fire?

The answer, of course, is documentation. For home health agencies, auditors regard whether patients are homebound and whether care provided was reasonable and necessary as “low-hanging fruit.” Hospices are likely to face denials related to whether patients are terminally ill. 

Home health agencies should continuously document regarding homebound status. Hospices must focus documentation on whether patients continued to be eligible for the hospice benefit. Both types of providers should “tell the story” of patients’ conditions so that care is clearly reasonable and necessary. 

If providers are targeted by auditors, they should carefully review and make additions and changes consistent with applicable standards before submitting records.

Attend this presentation to learn exactly how to document to minimize denials.

Webinar Series: Sales Training, Home Health and Hospice

Presented by: Healthcare Strategica, LLC

Featuring: Michael Ferris

1 - 8-week Hospice & Palliative Care Sales Training Course

2 - 8-week Home Health Sales Training

Rowan Report subscribers: Register with this link to receive $100 discount.

We have taken our best of class industry specific sales training bootcamps and are offering them via Webinar to enable you to continue to train your sales team in today's world of limited travel and social distancing.

The Hospice and Palliative Care course will be offered live every Tuesday starting May 19 through July 7, 2020.

The Home Health course will be offered live every Tuesday starting May 21 through July 9, 2020.

Each class will have participation exercises, homework assignments, quizzes and question and answer opportunities.

Each participant will receive their own course materials and individual coaching and feedback. At the conclusion of the course each student will receive a certificate of completion, an invitation to join the exclusive Sales Mastery Group* and opportunity to join the 52-week Sales Training Excellence Course.*

* Only available to Sales Professionals that have successfully completed the 8-week Sales Training Course – additional fees may apply.

Each session will be offered on-demand and if unable to attend the live webinar, you will be able to view the recording and participate in exercises, questions, coaching and quizzes. If you start after the first webinar date, you will be provided with access to those classes missed so that you can get caught up or you may elect to attend via the recorded sessions.


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
Time:
1:00 pm EDT

Register


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
Time:
1:00 EST

Information and Registration

Agenda
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: 6 New COVID-19 ICD-10 Codes to Learn Webinar

Presented by: Healthcare Synergy
Featuring:
Michael Tidd, HealthCare Synergy Clinical Manager

Date: Thursday, February 4
Time: 11:00 - 11:30 PST

Register

COVID-19 has resulted in multiple waivers along with changes to programs and treatments to patients.  April 1 had an unexpected release of a new diagnosis code for the COVID-19 disease.  October 1 had additional diagnosis codes for agencies to learn and use.  January 1, 2021 brings six additional diagnosis codes that CMS released the week of Thanksgiving.  These will not be listed in your existing diagnosis coding manuals until a new manual is released later in August. 
Objectives:
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.

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 WEBINARS: Virtual Seminar Series 

"Building the Bridge to Hospice" and "How to Increase Referrals"

Sponsored by: WellSky

Featuring: Cindy Campbell, Jody Holmes-Dion, Bob Parker, Melanie Stover

Dates: March 2, 16, 30; April 6
Time: 1:00 - 2:30 EST

Register for one or both webinars

Building the bridge to hospice: Leveraging connections between home health, palliative, and hospice care
Presented by consultants Cindy Campbell and Jody Holmes-Dion of WellSky and Bob Parker of Intrepid USA
CE credit offered – approved for up to 1.25 contact hours
Tuesday, March 2 | Tuesday, March 30

Turn up the volume! How to increase referrals in a value-driven market
Presented by Cindy Campbell and sales and marketing expert Melanie Stover of Home Care Sales
Tuesday, March 16 | Tuesday, April 6


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

Register

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.

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 soon.

 

Agenda:

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.


Homecare 100 *

Presented by: Lincoln Healthcare Leadership

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

Registration Information


Brave New World: HomeCareCon 32nd Annual Conference & Trade Show

Presented by: Home Care Association of Florida

Date: July 20-23

Venue: Hilton Orlando Buena Vista Palace

Information and Registration


NAHC Financial Managers 2021 Conference and Expo *

Presented by: National Association of Home Care and Hospice

Date: August 1-3

Venue: Sheraton Grand Chicago

Information and Registration

Annual Leadership Conference *

Presented by: Home Care Association of America

Date: September 26-27

Location: Hilton Orlando Hotel

Information and Registration

This event is your opportunity to learn about current issues, trends, and strategies that will help your organization thrive. ?Throughout the conference, the industry’s leading vendors will be exhibiting their latest efforts to support home care providers across the country. Take this great opportunity to learn the newest competitive strategies, discover cutting-edge technologies and network with key innovators across the home care industry—all in one location.

 


2021 Home Care and Hospice Conference and Expo *

National Association for Home Care and Hospice

Date: October 3-5
Venue: New Orleans

Information and Registration available soon at nahc.org


*The Rowan Report will see you there.

Navigating the Hospice Cost Report

Sponsored by: ElevatingHOME

Date: February 19, 2019
Time: 12:00pm EST
Fee: FREE

Register Now

CMS has stated that 66% of the cost reports previously filed should not have been accepted and will now be subject to more strenuous requirements. The cost reports will be used by CMS to recalibrate and adjust the hospice daily payment rates.

Join Elevating Home for this webinar as Tom Boyd, Vice President of Reimbursable Services with Simione Healthcare Consultants discusses what is new and help participants identify and understand the requirements for the completion of the Medicare Hospice cost report.



Interoperability for Service Providers through CMS’s EMDI Initiative

Presented by: ElevatingHOME and VNAA

Featuring: Pallavi Talekar, Project Manager, Scope Infotech, Inc.; Ray Wilkerson, Sr. Business Analyst, Scope Infotech, Inc.; Nandini Ganguly, Business Analyst, Scope Infotech, Inc.; Kishan Patel Business Analyst, Scope Infotech, Inc.; Briana Barnes, Project Coordinator, Scope Infotech, Inc.

Date: Tuesday, July 30
Time:
12:00 pm EDT
Fee:
Free to ElevatingHome, VNAA, and Alliance for Home Health Quality Improvement members

Registration

Representatives from the EMDI Initiative team will discuss interoperability using health IT standards, including Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR). Participants will learn about pilot opportunities with CMS to enhance provider workflow using three critical use cases. Participants will:


Security Risk Assessment Tool Overview and User Feedback Session

Presented by: CMS

Date: Wednesday July 17

Time: 1:00 pm EDT

Fee: Free

ONC and the HHS Office for Civil Rights are holding a training session and overview of the Security Risk Assessment (SRA) Tool. The tool is designed to assist small to medium providers in conducting an internal security risk assessment. This assessment will aid providers with their security risk analysis as required by the HIPAA Security Rule and the CMS EHR Incentive program. Following the webinar, participants will have the opportunity to ask questions and provide feedback.
 
Register


PDGM’s Behavioral Adjustments - What You Need to Know Now

Sponsored by eSolutions

Featuring: Karri Wright, Sr. Director, Product Management at Homecare Homebase

Date: Thursday, August 29
Time: 2:00 pm CDT
Fee: Free

REGISTER NOW

The webinar covers:

  • CMS assumptions and intended adjustments and their impact on:
    • Upcoding
    • Comorbidities
    • LUPA Avoidance
  • Considerations for HHAs
  • Evaluating your HHA data now to assess tomorrow based on today’s reality


A QUALITY JOB: Clinical Management & Care Coordination Under PDGM

Hosted by VNAA
Sponsored by MatrixCare/Brightree
Presented by Simione Healthcare Consultants

Featuring: Laura Wilson, RN, BSN, Sr. Manager, Simione Healthcare Consultants
Date: Wednesday, September 11
Time: 12:00 pm EDT

Free Registration

PDGM is so much more than a billing change! Home health agencies preparing for payment reform need to look closely at clinical operations to make accommodations that will uphold quality, including care alternatives that add value to the equation. In this webinar, we’ll share insights based on the findings of gap analyses to help your organization make a successful transition under the new requirements. Recommended Attendees: Clinical Managers, Intake Staff, Coders / QA, Finance & Billing personnel Hosted by VNAA, sponsored by MatrixCare/Brightree, presented by Simione Healthcare Consultants



Hospice compliance 2019: confronting a surprising new survey focus
Sponsored by: Wellsky
Featuring: Robert Markette, esq.
Date: March 14
Time: Noon CDT
Fee: None
Hospice providers today are confronting a new and unexpected survey focus. Hospice surveyors are increasingly focused on issues relating to hospice administration. This administrative focus includes topics such as your hospice’s corporate structure, the relationship between your hospice’s parent office and its multiple locations, and the role and job title of your administrator. Hospice providers who have been successfully operating for years are suddenly finding themselves hit with condition level citations. How will your hospice team adapt to the major survey focus of 2019? Join renowned hospice attorney Robert W. Markette of Hall, Render, Killian, Heath & Lyman, P.C. for an exclusive webinar that will prepare you and your team for the major survey focus of 2019.

Information and registration

Attend and learn:
Why a poorly drafted organizational chart can be a significant problem for your hospice
What hospice surveyors are looking for in the relationship between your hospice’s parent office and its multiple locations
Why calling your administrator something other than “administrator” could be a survey issue



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

Conference Title
Sponsoring Association
Date(s)
Hotel or Conference Center, City, State
URL



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