Volume 12, Number 13 April  5, 2023



Dear Healthcare at Home Colleague,

Thirty-seven years ago, my brother was diagnosed with Ataxia, a rare disorder my family and I had never heard of. Last week, I accompanied him to the annual convention of the National Ataxia Foundation. To put it mildly, I was astounded. Not only have most civilians never heard of Ataxia, but the theme of this year's gathering, the 66th annual gathering no less, was what a shame it is that Ataxia patients have to teach their doctors and nurses about their condition!

I have done my best to synthesize the firehose of data I learned in only three days into a digestible article but, even though I have not covered everything I learned, my report is still a bit longer than is our customary word limit. Nevertheless, I urge you to give it a read because you who care for people in their homes, all of you, nurses, therapists, and direct care workers, are in a unique position to observe telltale symptoms before anyone else, often even before the patients themselves.

This is important because Ataxia is so often misdiagnosed, even undiagnosed. I learned that most physicians, even many neurologists, have never heard of it and that my brother's experience was not unique. His employer saw him losing balance and slurring speech and fired him for drinking, in the morning! Many at the conference told the same story. They did not think to seek medical help until long after their symptoms became severe. Please learn about this condition. You are in the best position to help.

 

 

IN OTHER NEWS

Fraud and abuse accusations can land on your doorstep even if you have never had a single criminal intent. Guest author and home care attorney Elizabeth Hogue offers four lessons on how to respond if your honest mistakes are misinterpreted by government-contracted auditors.

Everywhere you turn today, AI is in the news, especially in healthcare. We were introduced to a movement to deploy Artificial Intelligence in mobile health devices. Applications include help with mental health, heart health, and obesity, incorporating gamification technologies into intelligent devices. Take a peek into your future with our reprint of the study by HealthTech Evangelist Merilee Kern, MBA.

Keeping with the theme of innovations, we were also introduced to "TytoCare," a virtual care company working with leading health plans and providers to roll out the Home Smart Clinic, an offering that enables accessible, high-quality primary care from home. The company recently received FDA approval for a device for wheeze detection.

 

WORTH THE TRIP

The above-mentioned Elizabeth Hogue will host a 90-minute "Lunch & Learn" this Thursday, April 6, titled "Audits: What To Do." 

Carolinians, do not forget to register for the very first "Joint Conference of the Carolinas." From North and South, association members and others will gather in Charlotte to learn and share experiences, and to visit what promises to be an exhibit hall of historic proportions.

NAHC is also hosting a series of webinars. The complete list is available at NAHC.ORG, and the first is coming up next Tuesday, April 11, titled "CMS' Proposed Hospice FY2024 Payment Rule: Implications for Agencies and the Hospice Community."

Scroll down for details and links to all these events.

Have a great week. Keep making a difference!

 

Editor signature
Tim Rowan



Home Health, Home Care Must Be Familiar With Rare Diseases
Our eyes were opened at last week's National Ataxia Foundation annual conference. If Ataxia is a new term to you, and if you are a nurse, physical therapist, speech therapist, or personal care attendant, you may find this information will make you a better one.

Fraud Enforcement Actions: Lessons for Providers
Guest author and home care attorney Elizabeth Hogue describes common types of violations of fraud and abuse prohibitions and how to respond.

TytoCare Receives FDA Clearance for Home Use of AI-Powered Device for Wheeze Detection
The clearance adds AI lung sound analysis algorithms to TytoCare's Home Smart Clinic solutions, based on the company's database of lung sounds, to expand acute care and chronic condition management for care of patients in their home.

Artificial Intelligence, Advanced Algorithms Accelerating Consumer mHealth Evolution
Mobile healthtech growing amid escalating use of lifestyle apps, wearables and other innovations that combine data analytics with behavioral science to better manage, and even help rectify, an array of wellness concerns.



During the 1st Quarter of 2023, web sites of the above advertisers were visited by home care and hospice executives and staff 4163 times.

To inquire about placing your message here, contact:

Kristin@rowanresources.com

As of this date, approximately 49,258,000 Baby Boomers have become Medicare eligible.

 

Last Week's Most-Read Stories:

Medicare Advantage Is Neither Medicare Nor an Advantage
Former insurance executive who used to sell Medicare Advantage explains why it is stealing from taxpayers and seniors.

Government Lets Health Plans That Ripped Off Medicare Keep the Money
CMS says it will not extrapolate overpayments for MA plans the way it does for Home Health episodes, but only charge for the samples.


Upcoming Events

 

Shine Your Light
Illinois HomeCare & Hospice Council Annual Meeting and Exposition

Dates: April 9-10
Venue: NIU Naperville

Information and Registration


FREE WEBINAR: CMS’ Proposed Hospice FY2024 Payment Rule: Implications for Agencies and the Hospice Community

Sponsored by NAHC
Featuring: Theresa Forster, Katie Wehri

Date: April 11
Time: 12:00 - 1:30 EDT

Details and Registration

 

Description: In addition to routine annual payment changes, CMS proposed FY2024 Hospice Payment Rule, issued on March 31, contains valuable updates on the Hospice Quality Reporting Program (HQRP). Perhaps most notable, the rule's deep dive into utilization trends signals an intensified interest in hospice care patterns, potentially inappropriate behavior in the hospice sector, and program integrity concerns.  Join two of NAHC's hospice experts as they detail proposed changes, including a new requirement that hospice certifying physicians be Medicare enrolled (or to have validly opted-out) and CMS' Requests for Information on hospice utilization and health equity, and examine their potential impact on hospice practice going forward.

Faculty: Theresa M. Forster, NAHC VP for Hospice Policy & Programs
Katie Wehri, NAHC Director of Home Health & Hospice Regulatory Affairs


WEBINAR: Audits: What to Do

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

Date: Thursday, April 6
Time: 1:00 - 2:30 EDT

Encore date: April 13
On-demand recording available 24/7
Option to purchase recording and handouts

 

Information and Registration

 

Audio-Conference Description: Home care providers of all types; including home health agencies, private duty agencies, hospices and HME companies; remain targets of audits by various regulators, including but certainly not limited to United Program Integrity Contractors (UPICs). The results of these audits can be devastating because they may threaten the ability of providers to remain in business, especially when overpayments are extrapolated to millions of dollars. Audits of all types must be taken seriously and providers must take action to close audits as quickly as possible! The first thing providers must do is to review records requested by auditors.

The purpose of this teleconference is to give providers detailed steps to follow to avoid adverse consequences of audits. Examples of common issues targeted by auditors will be provided and there will be time for questions and answers.


 

First Joint Conference of the Carolinas

Association for Home & Hospice Care of North Carolina & South Carolina Home Care & Hospice Association

Dates: April 23-26

Venue: Westin

City: Charlotte

Information and Registration 



Rise Above!

Michigan Home Care & Hospice Association Annual Conference

Dates: May 3-5
Venue: Grand Traverse Resort & Spa

Registration and Information

The theme for the Conference is “RISE ABOVE” a fitting recognition of the challenges our industry and each of you overcame in your personal lives and professional careers to navigate the challenges of the past three years.

The MHHA conference presents an opportunity to meet new friends and reacquaint with peers. What better place to rise above, than at the spacious and beautiful Grand Traverse Resort & Spa? This conference has a little bit for every service line and discipline. Wednesday offers a track for Volunteer Managers and Thursday offers a track for Palliative Care as well as many other sessions for Certified Home Health, Hospice, DME and Private Duty Home Care.


2023 Annual Home Health & Hospice Conference
Homecare and Hospice Association of Utah

Date: May 10-11

City: Sandy

Attendee Registration

Exhibitor/Sponsor Registration


2023 Rocky Mountain Home Care, Home Health & Hospice Conference *Presented by: Home Care and Hospice Association of Colorado

Dates: May 18-19
Venue: Beaver Creek


Information and Registration for Attendees and Exhibitors


Home Care Innovation Forum*Presented by: The Influence Group

Dates: June 4-6
Venue: Park Hyatt Aviara 
City: 
Carlsbad, CA


Information and Registration

Featured Speakers:

Partial list of topics:


HI2: Home Care Innovation and Investment Conference *Presented by: Lincoln Healthcare Leadership

Dates: June 12-14
Venue: Swissotel 
City: 
Chicago


Information and Registration

Featured Speakers:


leading ONE vision

Homecare Homebase User Group Meeting

Dates: June 12-14
Venue: Sheraton Dallas Hotel

Information and Registration

Clinical Education Credits
Nationally recognized speakers, eight clinical sessions. Clinicians are encouraged to sign up for the clinical sessions, but are free to jump between clinical and non-clinical topics. Clinical topics include a homecare focus on Wound Care, Value Based Purchasing, Clinical Leadership, conflict resolution, Quality Report, Oasis and more.

Featured Speakers:



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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