Latest News from the Alliance for Home Health Quality and Innovation
January/February 2015

Dear Members and Friends:
The Alliance began 2015 on an engaging note, holding the ‘Future of Home Health Symposium: Tackling Critical Issues for the Future of Home Health and Community Based Care’ in Washington, DC on January 13, 2015. A full room of over 100 and over twenty virtual attendees discussed considerations related to payment, policy, workforce, and technology, all seeking to generate solutions for the future. Building upon themes raised at September’s IOM/NRC Future of Home Health Care Workshop, the Symposium further tackled the issues facing home health moving forward. Panelists and speakers included experts from Empire BlueCross BlueShield, Kindred, naviHealth, the United Hospital Fund, and more.
Additionally, the workshop summary from the Fall 2014 Institute of Medicine/National Research Council “The Future of Home Health Care: A Workshop” is expected to be released at the beginning of March. You can also continue following along with the Future of Home Health Project on Twitter using the hashtag
#FutureofHH. The project will continue in the coming year with the research-based strategic framework for planned release by the end of 2015.
The first couple months have also been busy, with four sets of comments submitted to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the Office of the National Coordinator (ONC), and the National Quality Forum (NQF). All of the Alliance’s comments are publically available on the Alliance’s website here.
Finally, the Alliance released the 2014 Home Health Chartbook at the end of last year, an annual resource compiled and charted by Avalere Health LLC, which summarizes and analyzes statistics on home health from a range of government sources. This year, in addition to the Chartbook, the Alliance released three supplements, “Prevalence of Chronic Conditions Among Home Health Users by State,” “Top MS-DRG and ICD-9 Codes for Home Health Episodes, By State,” and “Annual Living Expenses, By State.” The decks, as well as a replay of the webinar on the updated Chartbook with Avalere Health LLC can be found on the Alliance’s website here.

Very Truly Yours,

Teresa L. Lee, J.D., M.P.H.
Executive Director

  • The IOM’s “The Future of Home Health Care: A Workshop” materials are now available. Video from each speaker, as well as most PowerPoint presentations, can now be accessed here.
  • In February, CMS released two proposed voluntary templates for face-to-face examinations. The proposed paper template is available here, while a copy of the proposed electronic template is here. In order to address comments on the proposed F2F templates, CMS will hold a series of Special Open Door Forums at 1 pm ET on March 11, April 8, and May 6, 2015. More information on the SODFs is available from CMS here.
  • An article in the February 2015 issue of Health Affairs looks at the way dollars are spent on Medicare beneficiaries. “Medicare Per Capita Spending By Age And Service: New Data Highlights Oldest Beneficiaries” looks at spending on traditional Medicare beneficiaries over 65 by age, type of service, and decedents. Peak spending for home health was between ages 90 and 94, and overall home health was less costly than skilled nursing facilities for every age range; home health was also the least costly long-term care option studied for those ages 90 and older. The complete article can be found here (subscription required). 
  • ONC is currently seeking nominations for to the Health Information Technology Standards Committee. Established in 2009, the Health IT Standard Committee makes recommendations to the Office of the National Coordinator on standards, implementation, criteria for health information exchange, and more in accordance with the strategic plan and the policies developed by the Health IT Policy Committee, a separate part of the Federal Advisory Committees. Nominations will be accepted until Noon ET on Friday, March 6, 2015, and can be submitted through the Federal Register here
  • CMS held a Home Health Provider Open Door Forum on the face-to-face documentation requirements on December 16th. On the call, CMS officers spoke about a possible delay in the implementation of the newly revised F2F documentation requirements. The Visiting Nurse Associations of America has posted more information, as well as slides from the call, on their website here.
  • On February 11, the Alliance hosted a Learning Collaborative webinar with Dr. Andrey Ostrovsky of Care at Hand. The webinar focused on new models of care delivery that leverage nurse-supervised home care aides and mobile technology to reduce unnecessary hospitalizations. Slides from the presentation are available here. Due to technical difficulties with our provider, we are still awaiting the video replay but will post as soon as possible.
  • The first three Faces of Home Health profiles are now available on the Alliance’s website! Looking at the diversity in home health patient populations, the profiles look at innovative ways home health works with frail elderly, culturally, racially, and ethnically diverse, and pediatric populations. Each profile features interviews, data, and a patient story to demonstrate the value of home health care to numerous unique patient populations. The profiles can be found here.
  • The Alliance (@AHHQI) will host the February edition of the #HomeHealthChat on Twitter, today, Tuesday, February 24th at 2 pm ET with co-host Dennis Fortier (@BrainToday). February’s chat will focus on home health’s role in improving brain health. Questions for the chat are posted on the Alliance’s website. If you do not have a Twitter account, you may follow along here. If you are interested in co-hosting an upcoming Twitter chat with the Alliance, please contact the Alliance’s Special Assistant Jennifer Schiller at or (202) 239-3206. 
On Tuesday, January 27th, the Alliance hosted the first #homehealthchat of 2015 on Twitter.
The chat focused on home health partnerships with home medical equipment (HME).
The co-host was People for Quality Care (@QualityCare14). People For Quality Care is operated and maintained by a group of concerned home care advocates who want to make sure bad health care policies that have a negative effect on seniors and people with disabilities are stopped.
Read more

Home health quality up in several areas, AHHQI data reveal
Long-Term Living, 2/23/15
“The percent of home health users rehospitalized within 30 days of hospital discharge decreased by nearly two percent, from 19.17 percent to 17.39 percent, from 2011 to 2012 for the top 20 most common diagnosis groups of patients discharged from hospitals to post-acute care. That’s according to an updated Home Health Chartbook released by the Alliance for Home Health Quality and Innovation (AHHQI). The resource, compiled by Avalere Health, summarizes and analyzes statistics on home health from a range of government sources.”
 To read more, click here.
Where seniors are receiving services
Long-Term Living, 2/19/15
“Where are concentrations of older adults living in nursing homes and residential care facilities? Where are they receiving home healthcare, hospice care or adult day services? Newly released data (PDF) from the Long-Term Care Statistics Branch of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics answer such questions.”
 To read more, click here.
Home health care big help for Wilde family
Hancock County Journal Pilot, 2/18/15
“There may not always be enough time in a day to do everything, but with the help of nurses and aides from the Hancock County Home Health care the Wilde family is receiving a little more time to spend with one another.”
To read more, click here.
Telemedicine too complicated for LTC? Don't tell this guy
Home Health McKnight’s, 2/13/15
“Isn't it funny how something can't be done until someone comes along and does it?
Consider the elusive challenge of using telemedicine to improve care between post-acute and acute care settings. Many might argue that it's just too complicated and difficult for long-term care providers to get involved. But don't tell that to Lou Grimmel, the CEO at Lorien Health System in Maryland.”
To read more, click here.

For the latest home health research, fact sheets, and value materials, visit
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