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Latest News from the Alliance for Home Health Quality and Innovation
April 2015

Dear Members and Friends:
 
The Alliance is excited to announce a briefing on Capitol Hill with Rep. David McKinley (R-WV) on the themes from the Institute of Medicine (IOM) “The Future of Home Health Care: Workshop Summary,” and post-acute care bundling entitled, “Achieving Patient-Centered Coordinated Care: Bundling and the Future of Home and Community Based Care.” The briefing will take place on Tuesday, May 19th from 2 – 3 pm ET in Room 2218 of the Rayburn House Office Building in Washington, DC. The briefing will also be webcast, so stay tuned for more information!
 
Based on critical discussion points from the Fall 2014 workshop on the future of home health care, the workshop summary is available online here. The final print version will be available in the next few months.
 
The workshop and summary will serve as a critical jumping off points for future discussions, and specifically the research-based strategic framework the Alliance is embarking upon this year, due to be released in the first quarter of 2016.
 
The Alliance remains focused on the future of home health care and we hope you continue to You can continue following along with the Future of Home Health Project on Twitter using the #FutureofHH, or by going to the project page on the Alliance’s website.
 
Additionally, the Alliance continues to submit comments for consideration to key stakeholders regarding critical issues in the home health space. In late March, the Alliance submitted comments to CMS on IMPACT Act implementation (comments here), and earlier this month the Alliance provided input to ONC on their draft roadmap for interoperability (comments here). ONC is also currently requesting comments on the draft 2015 Interoperability Standards Advisory. Comments are due by Friday, May 1, 2015 at 5 pm ET.
 
We’re excited to continue moving forward in the pursuit of a better future for health care in America and looking at the critical role home health will play in that future. If you’re interested in getting involved with the Alliance as a member, or have ideas on ways to collaborate, please reach out to myself at tlee@ahhqi.org or (202) 239-3671, or to the Alliance’s Director of Communications Jen Schiller at jschiller@ahhqi.org or (202) 239-3206.


Very Truly Yours,

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

 
  • The Workshop Summary from last fall’s IOM/NRC “The Future of Home Health Care: A Workshop” is now available to download as a prepublication copy. The Workshop Summary contains a comprehensive write-up of the opinions expressed by speakers at the Fall 2014 workshop. Key themes raised in the summary include: need for better care transitions, increased and appropriate use of technology, new payment arrangements, a focus on bringing together community resources, workforce improvements, and more. The Summary can be downloaded on the IOM website here.
  • Additionally, “The Future of Home Health Care: A Workshop” materials are also available online through the IOM. Video from each speaker, as well as most PowerPoint presentations, can now be accessed here.
  • Last month, CMS released two revised 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 the final Special Open Door Forums at 1 pm ET on May 6, 2015. More information on the SODFs is available from CMS here.
  • ONC is currently seeking comments on the draft 2015 Interoperability Standards Advisory, due Friday, May 1st at 5 pm ET. The advisory is a list of standards and implementations specifications for certain and specific clinical health information interoperability cases. A factsheet on the advisory is available here, and comment can be submitted to ONC electronically here
  • On May 19th, the Alliance will co-host “Achieving Patient-Centered Coordinated Care: Bundling and the Future of Home and Community Based Care,” a briefing with Rep. David McKinley (R-WV) in Washington, DC. Focusing on the IOM/NRC Future of a Home Health Workshop Summary and post-acute care bundles, the event will feature Re. McKinley and Doug Holtz-Eakin on bundled payments, while Tracy Lustig, Program Director at the IOM, will review the themes of the workshop. The briefing will take place from 2 – 3 pm ET in Washington, DC, Rayburn House Office Building Room 2218. More information will be available in the coming weeks. 
  • On May 27th, the Alliance will host a Learning Collaborative webinar with the National Association of Accountable Care Organizations (NAACOS). Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) are growing models of care in which the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has taken a vested interest. With three types of Medicare ACOs--bringing together providers from across the spectrum of care--learning and forecasting current and future trends, as well as understanding the role home health care may play in ACOs, is critical to achieving a lower cost, higher quality future of care delivery. The Alliance will be joined by Clif Gaus, CEO of the National Association of ACOs (NAACOS), to discuss the future of ACOs and how home health fits into that future. More information can be found here.
  • Last month, the Home Health Quality Improvement Campaign (HHQI) released three new cardiovascular-related Best Practice Intervention Packages (BPIP). The packages contain educational videos, evidence-based tool, ad and some activities to promote lifestyle modifications to prevent hypertension. The BPIPs are available through the HHQ’s website here.
  • The complete Faces of Home Health series is 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 April edition of the #HomeHealthChat on Twitter, Tuesday, April 28th at 2 pm ET with co-host Care at Hand (@CareatHand). April’s chat will focus on leveraging mobile technology and home care to reduce readmissions. 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 jschiller@ahhqi.org or (202) 239-3206. 
On Tuesday, March 24th, the Alliance hosted the #homehealthchat on Twitter.
 
The chat was co-hosted by BAYADA Home Health Care (@BayadaHHC). The #HomeHealthChat focused on caring for pediatric patients in the home.
 
Read more here.
Implementing Value-Based Payment Reform: Learning From The Field Of Practice
Health Affairs, 4/14/15
“For the last four years, our team at the University of Washington (UW) has been evaluating seven value-based payment reform programs in six states for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF). We found that although the foundational work of value-based payment is proceeding apace for the most part, what’s missing is the sense of urgency required to move payers and providers toward patient-centered global payment based on value. Clusters of innovation are emerging across the country, and these experiments are generating valuable insights into the design and implementation of value-based payment—both what works and what doesn’t.”
 
To read more, click here.
 
Experts say home medicine is ripe for expansion
Healthcare Finance, 4/13/15
“When results of the Medicare Independence at Home Demonstration are released this spring, advocates are hopeful that the data will go a long way to expanding the field and reimburse for it.”
To read more, click here.
 
The Tangle of Coordinated Health Care
The New York Times, 4/13/15
“Who coordinates the coordinators?
 
More specifically, who coordinates the proliferating number of health care helpers variously known as case managers, care managers, care coordinators, patient navigators or facilitators, health coaches or even — here’s a new one — ‘pathfinders’?”
To read more, click here.
 
Interview: Dr. Barbara Gage of Brookings Institution on Reforming Post-Acute Care
Georgetown Public Policy Review, 4/13/15
“Under the current Medicare payment system, Medicare pays different rates to treat similar patients at post-acute care (PAC) settings such as nursing facilities, home health agencies, inpatient rehabilitation hospitals, or long-term care hospitals. The Senate Finance and House Ways & Means committees recently passed bipartisan legislation, the Improving Medicare Post-Acute Care Transformation Act (IMPACT), signed into law by President Obama on October 6, 2014, in an effort to standardize patient assessments and pave the way for effective payment reforms. National health policy expert Dr. Barbara Gage of the Brookings Institution spoke with the Georgetown Public Policy Review about the results of her congressionally mandated Medicare Post-Acute Care Payment Reform Demonstration (PAC-PRD) and the development of the standardized Continuity Assessment Record and Evaluation (CARE) Item Set, which is expected to be used for standardizing data collection following the passage of the IMPACT.”
To read more, click here.



 
For the latest home health research, fact sheets, and value materials, visit www.ahhqi.org.
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