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Latest News from the Alliance for Home Health Quality and Innovation
August 2016

Dear Members and Friends:

Registration is now open for the “Home-Based Care: Financial Leadership Forum” October 17th and 18th in Chicago. Held at theWit downtown, the Forum is meant to bring together financial leaders to discuss a rapidly shifting home health care payment environment. Focusing on the theme of "Financial Leaders as Drivers of the Future," day one will expose attendees to opportunities for partnership in payment models of the future. During day two, attendees will delve into the current payment structures and its impact on your organization's bottom line. Register by August 31st to secure early bird pricing.
 
Currently, the Alliance is working on comments to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), which early last month released the Calendar Year (CY) 2017 HH PPS proposed rule. The proposed rule highlights revisions to the home health value based purchasing model that is being tested in nine states, new IMPACT Act related measures, and an estimated $180 million in cuts to home health agencies in 2017 and can be found here. Comments are due by 5 pm ET on Friday, August 26th.
 
Additionally, the Alliance will hold it’s annual fall Board of Directors meeting next month at our offices in Arlington, VA. The Board meeting will take place the day before the VNAA’s Public Policy Leadership Conference, September 14th and 15th at the Washington Court Hotel in Washington, D.C. Space is running for this event, which features sessions on home health value-based purchasing, pre-claim review and other regulatory challenges, the MedPAC Unified Payment Model, and more. Find out more information here: http://www.vnaa.org/pplc-2016.


 
If you’re interested in any of the Alliance's past or upcoming work, I encourage you to reach out to me at tlee@ahhqi.org or (571) 527-1530 at any time.


Very Truly Yours,

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

 
  • Earlier this month, CMS requested public comment on the proposed standardized data set for IMPACT Act implementation, "Development and Maintenance of Post-Acute Care Cross-Setting Standardized Assessment Data.” CMS is seeking public comment on whether the items have the potential for improving quality, the utility of the items for describing case mix, the feasibility of the items for use in post-acute care settings, and the validity of the items. The announcement is available here, while the complete proposed data set is available here. Comments are due by September 12th.
  • On July 5th, CMS posted the “Medicare and Medicaid Programs; CY 2017 Home Health Prospective Payment System Rate Update; Home Health Value-Based Purchasing Model; and Home Health Quality Reporting Requirements” proposed rule in the Federal Register. This year’s proposed rule implements the final year of the four-year rebasing cuts, bringing the national, standardized 60-day payment rate rebasing adjustment to -$80.95, and the second of the three-year phase-in of case-mix adjustments, implementing a 0.97 percent reduction to the standardized 60-day rate. Other highlights from the proposed rule include changes to the home health value-based purchasing model, four new measures for CY 2018 to meet IMPACT Act requirements, and new payment and billing approaches for disposable Negative Pressure Wound Therapy. The full proposed rule is available here, and comments are due by 5 pm ET on Friday, August 26th.
  • Recently, CMS released a fact sheet on “Transforming Post-Acute Care Through Standardization and Care Coordination” available here. The CMS fact sheet focuses on CMS’s efforts toward data standardization in assessment instruments, which are required by the IMPACT Act.
  • In early June, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced the “Pre-Claim Review Demonstration for Home Health” in five states: Illinois, Florida, Texas, Michigan, and Massachusetts beginning August 1, 2016 in Illinois and continuing implementation through 2016 and early 2017. The demonstration is more or less the previously proposed Prior Authorization demonstration, requiring home health agencies to submit supporting documentation while beneficiaries are receiving care. You can find the official notice here, along with FAQs and a fact sheet.
  • Last month, the Alliance and VNAA hosted a pair of webinars with Tom Novak of the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) on their new interoperability initiative and with the Office of Medicare Hearings and Appeals’ (OMHA) Senior Attorney, Cherise Neville and her colleagues, on the Settlement Conference Facilitation pilot. The replay and materials from the ONC webinar are available here. OMHA webinar replay and materials, can be found here.
 
  • Register now for the “Home-Based Care: Financial Leadership Forum” October 17th and 18th at theWit in Chicago! The two-day event will empower financial leaders to navigate the critical shift in the payment landscape of home-based healthcare, where only innovative organizations will survive. More information is available here, and you can register here.
  • Registration is now available for the VNAA Public Policy Leadership Conference September 14 – 15, 2016 in Washington, DC featuring a keynote from Dr. Patrick Conway, Deputy Chief Administrator for Innovation and Quality and Chief Medical Officer at CMS. Topics will include implementation of home health value-based purchasing, unified payment models, and more. Register here!
  • C-TAC will be hositng its National Summit on Advanced Illness Care, at the National Academy of Sciences in Washington DC on September 20-21, 2016. This event should be of great interest to home health providers, for C-TAC’s clinical model depends heavily on care in the home. The program features legislators, regulators, CEOs, payers, caregivers, community leaders, patient advocates and clinicians who are focused on practical approaches for “action now”, and the schedule provides ample opportunities for networking among attendees, in order to achieve maximal impact.  For more information, go to http://www.ctacsummit.org/.
  • On June 30th, the Alliance hosted “Framing the Future of Health Care in America,” which included the release of case studies and appendices that will inform the upcoming independent publication of the Future of Home Health paper. Kathleen Gilmartin, CEO of Interim HealthCare, Sally Rodriguez, Director, Avalere, and Dr. Steven Landers, President and CEO of VNA Health Group. Materials are available here, while a replay can be watched here.
  • Check out the Alliance’s new state one-pagers on home health’s role in post-acute care! You can also check out the updated patient and workforce state one-pagers and packets with information from the 2015 Home Health Chartbook and supplements. Updated one pagers are available on our website: http://ahhqi.org/home-health/state-data
  • The Alliance (@AHHQI) will host the August edition of the #HomeHealthChat on Twitter today, August 23rd at 2 pm ET with co-host the Long-Term Quality Alliance (@LTQA). The August chat will focus on home health’s role in integrating medical services and LTSS. If you are interested in co-hosting an upcoming Twitter chat with the Alliance, please contact Jen Schiller at jschiller@ahhqi.org.
On a heartbreaking note, last week the Alliance lost one of its founding fathers, and an incredible friend and leader. Bill Borne, founder and former CEO of Amedisys, passed away near his home in Baton Rouge, a victim of the area’s tragic flooding. The Alliance wishes to extend our deepest sympathies to the family and friends of Mr. Borne.

Mr. Borne was a visionary in the home health community, and without his tireless efforts there would be no Alliance. Our work is his legacy and he will be greatly missed.
New Study Finds Homebound, Elderly Patients Missing Out On In-Home Care
UVA Today, 8/16/16
“The saying goes that ‘what is old is new again.’ Many elderly Americans are hoping that proves true.”
To read more, click here.
 
Saving green by going green: paperless post-acute care
DOTmed HealthCare Business News, 8/15/16
“With the ever growing demands of servicing post-acute care patients, including dealing with Medicare and Medicaid as well as regulations set in place by the Affordable Care Act, today’s health care service providers are under constant pressure to become more efficient, improve patient care and maintain regulatory compliance. In addition to keeping up with guidelines that regulate the industry, providers must effectively manage inventory levels, control assets as well as route and schedule deliveries as efficiently as possible, all while dealing with fluctuating fuel costs, technician shortages and vehicle maintenance issues. Unfortunately, most organizations often depend heavily on paper and manual processes to manage virtually all aspects of their business.”
To read more, click here.
 
Most Sick, Aging Americans Live Far From In-Home Care
Tucson.com, 8/9/16
“Most older Americans struggling with chronic illnesses live too far from "in-home" medical care providers to get the help they need to stay in their homes, a new study finds.”
To read more, click here.
The July #HomeHealthChat was co-hosted by the Partnership for Quality Home Healthcare (@PQHH). The Partnership is a coalition working with government officials to ensure access to quality home healthcare services for all Americans.
 
Read more here.

 

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