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

Dear Members and Friends:

The Alliance recently released the 2015 Home Health Chartbook, along with a new supplement on post-discharge destinations by state. The Chartbook, containing data from government sources that is compiled by Avalere Health LLC, summarizes and analyzes statistics on home health and post-acute care ranging from Medicare home health user demographics, to number and types of chronic conditions among home health patients, to data regarding the home health workforce. New this year, the Chartbook now includes new information on readmission rates following major joint replacement surgery (MS-DRG 470 and 469) from select post-acute care settings. The Chartbook is available here, while you can access the supplement here.
 
For more information on the 2015 Home Health Chartbook, please join us on Thursday, October 22nd at 1 pm ET for a webinar with Avalere Health. Click here to find out more.
 
Late in October, the Alliance will head to Nashville for the 2015 National Association for Home Care & Hospice Annual Meeting. Be sure to find Alliance staff at booth #441 in the exhibition hall. You’re also invited to enjoy some drinks and light appetizers at the Alliance’s reception on Wednesday, October 28th at 6:30 pm CT at the Old Hickory Steakhouse Balcony inside the Gaylord Opryland Resort. To RSVP, please contact the Alliance’s Director of Communications and Events, Jen Schiller, at jschiller@ahhqi.org or (202) 239-3206 or at the link provided here. Space is limited so please RSVP as soon as possible.
 
There are a number of exciting things on the horizon, and we look forward to further engaging with the home health care and health care communities writ large. If you’d like to become more involved in the Alliance’s upcoming events and activities, or have ideas or suggestions on ways to collaborate, please reach out to me at tlee@ahhqi.org or (202) 239-3671, or to the Alliance’s Director of Communications and Events Jen Schiller at jschiller@ahhqi.org or (202) 239-3206.



Very Truly Yours,

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

 
  • This summer, Representatives Kevin Brady (R-TX) and Ron Kind (D-WI) introduced H.R. 3298 also known as the “Medicare Post-Acute Care Value-Based Purchasing Act of 2015. The bill seeks to amend part of the Social Security Act, and would establish a system for value-based purchasing across home health care, as well skilled nursing facilities, in-patient rehabilitation facilities, and long-term care hospitals. The full bill is available through Congress here. 
  • On Wednesday, October 21st at 1:30 pm ET, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) will host a National Provider Call on the Improving Medicare Post-Acute Care Transformation (IMPACT) Act of 2014. LTPAC providers and interested stakeholders can join the call using the information provided here. 
  • In early October, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology released the final version of “Connecting Health and Care for the Nation: A Shared Nationwide Interoperability Roadmap.” The roadmap, available here, outlines a path to improve collaboration and efficiency across the health information technology spectrum. The Alliance’s comments on the draft are available here. 
  • In September, the Alliance submitted two sets of comments to (CMS) on the Home Health Prospective Payment System CY2016 proposed rule and the Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement. You can find the final comments on the Alliance’s website. Additionally, the Alliance submitted a letter to CMS on concerns with the transition to ICD-10 diagnosis codes, which can be found here. 
  • The Department of Health and Human Services recently announced a new initiative called the Health Care Payment Learning and Action Network. The Network will serve as a convening body working to increase the adoption of value-based payment models. Stakeholders from across the healthcare spectrum are encouraged to participate. More information is available here.
  • The final version Workshop Summary from last fall’s IOM/NRC “The Future of Home Health Care: A Workshop” is now available to download. 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
  • Join the Alliance for a reception at the 2015 NAHC Conference, October 28th at 6:30 pm CT in Nashville! The reception will take place following the first day’s events on the balcony of the Old Hickory Steakhouse located inside the Gaylord Opryland Resort. Space is limited, so RSVP as soon as possible to the Alliance’s Director of Communications and Events, Jen Schiller, at (202) 239-3206 or jschiller@ahhqi.org. 
  • The second annual Home Healthcare and Hospice Technology Conference will be held on Tuesday, October 27th at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN. The conference will focus on evidence-based research findings, information, and tools used to achieve better, higher quality, and more cost effective health care. More information and registration can be found at h3it.org. 
  • You can find the replay of our Learning Collaborative webinar with Brent Feorene “Positioning for Partnership: Home Health Agencies Building Key Relationships for Success” online now. Brent T. Feorene, MBA, is the Vice President of Health Dimensions Group, and he will be speaking on building the key relationships that ensure a high-value partnership with ACOs, health systems and managed care organizations. Both a replay of the webinar is available at the Alliance’s website here.
  • The Alliance (@AHHQI) will host the October edition of the #HomeHealthChat on Twitter, Tuesday, October 27th at 2 pm ET with co-host Honor (@honor). The October chat will focus on home health and caregiver technology. 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. 
The September #HomeHealthChat was co-hosted by Amy GoyerAARP‘s Family & Caregiving Expert.

The #HomeHealthChat focused on long-distance caregiving.

Read more here.

 
Bring Back House Calls
The New York Times, 10/14/15
“A FEW weeks ago, in the hospital where I work, I was telling a 92-year-old patient about her discharge plan. I wanted her to follow up in my office in a week. Frail and soft-spoken, she asked me if instead I could visit her at home. “I’m afraid not,” I said automatically, but when she asked me why, I didn’t have a good answer.”
To read more, click here.
 
Letters to the Editor: Bring Back House Calls
The New York Times, 10/19/15
“As a geriatrician who makes house calls to frail adults, I agree with Dr. Sandeep Jauhar that providing home-based medical care results in better quality care (“Bring Back House Calls,” Op-Ed, Oct. 15).”
To read more, click here.
 
Bill Giving NPs More Home Health Power Gains Momentum
Home Health Care News, 10/14/15
“A bill that would allow nurse practitioners to certify Medicare home health services is gaining momentum as lawmakers continue to pen their support for the legislation, according to the National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC).”
To read more, click here.
 
Remote Home Monitoring Prevents Hospitalization, Emergency Care
mHealth Intelligence, 10/14/15
“Remote home monitoring and telemedicine services can make a big impact on coordinated care by better tracking the ongoing health conditions, symptoms, and vital signs of each patient. If any minor issues are found, they can be tackled much more quickly than if a symptom was allowed to escalate before the patient went to see the doctor.”
To read more, click here.
For the latest home health research, fact sheets, and value materials, visit www.ahhqi.org.
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