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

Dear Members and Friends:

We are nearing the end of 2015, and plans for 2016 are in full gear as the holiday season gets rolling.
 
Yesterday, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued its final rule on the comprehensive care for joint replacement (CJR) model, which CMS will begin on April 1, 2016 in 67 metropolitan statistical areas. You can read the press release with further information about the program here. CMS also recently released the final rule for the CY 2016 Home Health Prospective Payment System Rate Update, available here. The rule finalized the home health value based purchasing model for the nine states required to participate in 2016, which are Arizona, Iowa, Florida, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nebraska, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Washington. If you have an agency in one of these states, make sure you sign up for the CMS HHVBP model overview webinar on December 2 at 2 pm ET (click here). CMS also recommends that you register your agency’s HHVBP point of contact and obtain a CMS secure portal account. Click here for more information.
 
If you missed the Alliance’s webinar with Avalere Health on the 2015 Home Health Chartbook, you can find a replay, along with the Chartbook and the supplement on post-discharge destinations by state, on the Alliance’s website here: http://ahhqi.org/research/home-health-chartbook. The Chartbook, commissioned by the Alliance and containing data from government sources, is compiled by Avalere Health LLC and 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 and relevant to the CJR model, the Chartbook now includes information on readmission rates following major joint replacement surgery (MS-DRG 470 and 469) from select post-acute care settings.
 
Finally, Alliance members are invited to join an Alliance all-member webinar on Monday, December 7th at 3:30 pm ET.  For more information, please visit the Members Content section of the Alliance’s website: http://ahhqi.org/members/. For those interested in becoming a member of the Alliance, 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.
 
We wish you all a wonderful and safe Thanksgiving!


Very Truly Yours,

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

 
  • The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) just issued its final rule on the comprehensive care for joint replacement (CJR) model, which will begin on April 1, 2016 in 67 metropolitan statistical areas. More information can be found here.
  • On November 5th, CMS introduced the final rule for the CY 2016 Home Health Prospective Payment System Update, including the home health value-based purchasing model and quality reporting requirements. The final rule can be found here, while the Alliance’s comments are available online here. The rule finalized the home health value based purchasing model for the nine states required to participate in 2016: Arizona, Iowa, Florida, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nebraska, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Washington. If you have an agency in one of these states, make sure you register here for the CMS HHVBP model overview webinar on December 2nd at 2 pm ET. 
  • CMS is requesting public comments on measure specifications on discharge to community from post-acute acute care settings until November 23rd. In addition, the Alliance submitted comments to CMS’s contractor RTI on a potentially preventable readmission measure for home health care. These cross-cutting measures for post-acute care are part of CMS’s implementation of the Improving Post-Acute Care Transformation Act of 2014 (IMPACT Act) mandate. More information on the measure specifications is available 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
  • Alliance members, please join the Alliance staff for a member webinar and update on Monday, December 7th at 3:30 pm ET. All information for the call is available on the Alliance’s member site here. If you do not have access to the Alliance’s member section, please contact Jen Schiller at jschiller@ahhqi.org as soon as possible. 
  • Today at noon ET, the Visiting Nurse Associations of America (VNAA) will host a seminar on the Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement initiative. The seminar will address the specifics of the final rule. Quality metrics, training, and tools. More information and registration for the CCJR seminar is available one the VNAA’s website here. 
  • Additionally, the Post-Acute Center for Reform will hold a webinar today, November 17th at noon ET on Independence at Home (IAH) with Dr. Peter Boling of Virginia Commonwealth University. The free webinar will provide an overview of IAH, which earlier this year reported $25 million in saving from just over 5,500 patients in the first year. Registration for the webinar is available here. 
  • A replay of the Alliance’s October webinar with Avalere Health on the 2015 Home Health Chartbook can be found on the Alliance’s website here, along with the final 2015 Chartbook and supplement on post-discharge destinations by state. The Home Health Chartbook, commissioned by the Alliance and compiled and analyzed by Avalere, provides key statistics on home health from various government sources, and it updated annually. 
  • The Alliance (@AHHQI) will host the November edition of the #HomeHealthChat on Twitter, today, November 17th at 2 pm ET with co-host AdvaMed (@AdvaMedUpdate). The November chat will focus on home health and teleheath. 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 October 8th, leading home health and hospice associations, including the Alliance, joined with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) ICD-10 Ombudsman Dr. William Rogers to form the Home Health and Hospice ICD-10 Transition Workgroup.
 
Read more here.

 
Tech's Role in Moving Towards Home-based Healthcare
Forbes, 11/16/15
“New technology entering the market has the potential to overhaul the healthcare system via increases in home-based patient monitoring.”
To read more, click here.
 
Ohio saves as more seniors move home
Toledo Blade, 11/15/15
“With Ohio’s aging population increasing demand for long-term care, state officials have stretched Medicaid dollars by boosting the number of elderly, disabled and mentally ill cared for at home.”
To read more, click here.
 
House Calls For The Homebound Make A Comeback
NPR, 11/11/15
“Dr. Roberta Miller hits the road at 8 a.m. to see her patients.
 
Many are too old or sick to go to the doctor. So the doctor comes to them.”
To read more, click here.
For the latest home health research, fact sheets, and value materials, visit www.ahhqi.org.
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