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

Dear Members and Friends:
 
September has been a whirlwind month for the Alliance, with two sets of comments submitted to the Centers for Medicare and M
edicaid Services (CMS), the Northeast Regional Future of Home Health Symposium, a webinar, and a Board meeting in Washington, DC.
 
The Northeast Regional Symposium was a huge success drawing over 100 attendees from across the region. Speakers from across the care continuum, including those from the Hartford Foundation, Humana at Home, the Institute of Medicine (IOM), the National Association of Accountable Care Organizations, and more, were on hand to discuss those issues first tackled at the 2014 IOM Future of Home Health Care Workshop. We'd like to thank our partnering organizations: Connecticut Association for Healthcare at Home; Home Care and Hospice Alliance of Maine, Home Care Alliance of Massachusetts; Home Care Association of New Hampshire; Home Care & Hospice Association of New Jersey; Home Care Association of New York State; Pennsylvania Homecare Association; Rhode Island Partnership for Home Care; Vermont Assembly of Home Health Agencies; and Visiting Nurse Associations of America. As well as extend an additional thank you to our meal sponsor Axxess.


This event was the second in a series of regional symposia that we have been planning, and we’ll provide more information on future events as they become available.
 
Earlier in the month, the Alliance submitted comments on both the Home Prospective Payment System Proposed Rule for CY 2016, including comments on the proposed home health value-based purchasing, and the proposed rule on Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement Model.
 
These comments draw from analysis in the Home Health Chartbook. An excerpt of the 2015 Chartbook is available now on the Alliance’s website here. The full version, along with a webinar with Avalere Health, LLC, will be available later this fall.
 
Finally, be sure to check out additional Alliance programming, including our September Learning Collaborative webinar with Brent Feorene of Health Dimensions. “Positioning for Partnership: Home Health Agencies Building Key Relationships for Success” discussed the impact of the current environment on home health care and ways to plan for future success. A replay of the webinar, as well as webinar slides, are now available on the Alliance’s website here
 
All of this would not be possible without the tremendous support of our members and partners. If you’re interested in getting involved with the Alliance or the Future of Home Health Project, or have any ideas for future webinars, profiles, or Twitter chats, please reach out to myself at tlee@ahhqi.org or (202) 239-3671, or to Jen Schiller at jschiller@ahhqi.org or (202) 239-3206.




Very Truly Yours,

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

 
  • In September, the Alliance submitted two sets of comments to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (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. The comments centered on “transition flexibility” not being extended to home health as it is to physicians, and questions surrounding the 7th character for initial encounters. You can read the full comments 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. 
  • In late June, Senators Robert Menendez (D-NJ) and Pat Roberts (R-KS) introduced the “Home Health Documentation and Program Improvement Act of 2015” that seeks to clarify the face-to-face requirement for home health reimbursement. The legislation, drafted with help from the Visiting Nurse Associations of America (VNAA), will require the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to develop a standardized form to collect evidence of beneficiary eligibility with limits to the amount of information collected, and drafted in conjunction with key stakeholders. A fact sheet on the legislation is available from VNAA here.
  • 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. He spoke 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 and the webinar slides are available at the Alliance’s website here. 
  • Join the Alliance for a member reception at the 2015 NAHC Conference, October 28th in Nashville! If you’re an Alliance member and not currently receiving member emails, please email the Alliance’s Director of Communications and Events, Jen Schiller, at jschiller@ahhqi.org.
  • The Alliance (@AHHQI) hosted the August edition of the #HomeHealthChat on Twitter, Tuesday, September 22nd at 2 pm ET with co-host Amy Goyer Institute (@amygoyer). The August chat focused on home health and long-distance caregiving. If you are interested in co-hosting an upcoming Twitter chat with the Alliance, please contact Jen Schiller at jschiller@ahhqi.org or (202) 239-3206. 
The August #HomeHealthChat was co-hosted by the AARP Public Policy Institute.

The #HomeHealthChat focused on home health and easing caregiver burden.
 
Read more here.
How Brookdale Home Health earned, and keeps, its 5-star rating
Healthcare Finance News, 9/18/15
“Home health agencies are a segment of the medical industry that you may not know about if you or a loved one has never needed one. The companies send therapists and nurses into the homes of Medicare patients to help them recover from an illness or surgery.”
To read more, click here.
 
Bringing specialty care home: A team approach to wound healing
The Union, 9/8/15
“’ An important relationship exists between home health care providers, patients, and the physicians overseeing a patient’s care.”
To read more, click here.
 
Daughter’s progress is the result of special care
Burlington County Times, 8/24/15
“When my daughter Kasey was born at 26 weeks, it was hard to imagine the child I see today — growing, thriving and happy. But thanks to the wonderful care from BAYADA Home Health Care, she is exactly that, though her medical journey is far from over.”
To read more, click here. (Subscription Required)
For the latest home health research, fact sheets, and value materials, visit www.ahhqi.org.
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