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

Dear Members and Friends:

Spring is here and the pace of change in home health care continues to be brisk.
 
As you know, the Medicare home health value based purchasing (HHVBP) model began on January 1 in nine states, and the Alliance is focused both on offering education on the model and on working with CMS on its implementation. The Alliance and VNAA are co-sponsoring a HHVBP webinar series that is focusing on fundamentals for success in the model. Members of the Alliance and VNAA organizations are able to access the webinars for free. Archived webinars and materials are $55 for non-members. For members of state associations in the nine states participating in the model (Arizona, Florida, Iowa, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nebraska, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Washington) who are not currently members of the Alliance or VNAA, please contact the Alliance’s Director of Communications and Events, Jen Schiller, at jschiller@ahhqi.org as you may quality for a discounted rate. In addition, the Alliance and other key stakeholders from the home health community met with CMS earlier this month to discuss implementation challenges in the HHVBP model.
 
Additionally, did you know that the VNAA's Annual Meeting in Miami is open to everyone and will feature rich content and discussions to help you navigate the quickly changing home health landscape? Tracks focus on payment models, leadership strategies, navigating health systems, and operations and financial issues. The Annual Meeting will take place April 6th – 8th. Contact Alliance Director of Communications and Events, Jen Schiller, at jschiller@ahhqi.org for information on potential discounts, and be sure to find us at the VNAA booth in Miami!
 
The Alliance is continuing to work with our partners and the Alliance’s Quality and Innovation Working Group on a response to CMS regarding the notice in the Federal Register on prior authorization for home health services. The full notice is available here, and comments are due by April 5, 2016.
 
If you’d like to learn more about the Alliance’s upcoming projects or events, I encourage everyone to reach out to me at tlee@ahhqi.org or (202) 239-3671 at any time.

Very Truly Yours,

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

 
  • The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a Paperwork Reduction Act notice on a prior authorization for home health pilot that would target select states. The notice is available here.
  • MedPAC just released its March report on home health care services. In the report, MedPAC recommends eliminating a payment update for 2017, and implementing a two-year rebasing cut beginning in 2018. Additionally, the Commission reiterated their March 2011 recommendations on the home health care benefit. The full report is available here.
  • CMS recently released the OASIS Data Submission Specifications V2.20.0 for the OASIS-C2 item set scheduled for implementation on January 1, 2017. The item set includes IMPACT Act mandated measures, and is available for download here.  
  • Last month, Acumen released draft specifications for the Medicare Spending Per Beneficiary—Post-Acute Care (MSPB-PAC) resource use measures. The Alliance’s comments can be found here, and center on concerns about tracking cost in a vacuum.
  • The National Quality Forum just released their 2016 Final Recommendations to HHS and CMS. The first deliverable, available here, looked at 131 measures for 16 federal health programs. Measures included those relating to dyspnea in patients with heart failure, falls risk, drug regimen review, Medicare Spending Per Beneficiary, potentially avoidable 30-day readmissions, and discharge to community – the final three of which are required by the IMPACT Act of 2014. Only one did not receive a recommendation of encourage continued development, that relating to dyspnea. A version of the comments 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.
 
  • Check out the Alliance’s updated 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.  
  • If you missed any of the Alliance and VNAA’s Home Health Value-Based Purchasing Webinar series, visit education.vnaa.org to purchase any or all of the webinars. Webinars are free for VNAA and Alliance members, $55 for non-members, and a discount is available for members of a VNAA member state association. You will need to create a login for the site before purchasing. For questions, and any discount codes, please contact the Alliance’s Director of Communications and Events, Jen Schiller, at jschiller@ahhqi.org.
  • Alliance members are eligible to purchase the VNAA Clinical Procedure Manual (CPM) at the VNAA member price. The CPM is a comprehensive evidence-based manual offering step-by-step explanations and instructions for common procedures for nurses in home health and hospice care. Now in its 19th edition, the CPM features 300 procedures common to home health, hospice and palliative care providers, compiled with the expertise of top RNs, intravenous certified nurses, wound and ostomy specialists, certified diabetes educators, physical and occupational therapists, physicians, and dietitians. For more information, visit the Alliance’s members site here, or contact Jen Schiller.
  • The VNAA Annual Meeting is April 6th – 8th in Miami! Top home-based care executives and clinicians meet to share their successes and gain valuable insights from nationally known experts in the field. Keynote panels will feature healthcare’s most innovative thought leaders with 24 breakout sessions in six topic tracks. Additionally, more then 70 vendors will be on hand offering a chance to connect on a range of home-based care products and services. Alliance members can register at the VNAA member using a discount code. Please contact the Alliance’s Director of Communications and Events, Jen Schiller, at jschiller@ahhqi.org.
  • The Alliance (@AHHQI) will host the March edition of the #HomeHealthChat on Twitter, today, March 22nd at 2 pm ET with co-host the ElderCare Workforce Alliance (@ElderCareTeam). The March chat will focus on the interdisciplinary team. If you are interested in co-hosting an upcoming Twitter chat with the Alliance, please contact Jen Schiller.
Happy International Women’s Day!
 
Women are vital to home health care, both as employees and patients, and today we celebrate the contributions of women in the industry and the patients who benefit from their care.
 
Read more here.
Vermont VA saves $63,000 a patient through telehealth use, study says
Healthcare Finance, 3/17/16
“The U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs' use of telemedicine to treat patients at its Vermont hospital at White River Junction resulted in an average travel payment savings of $18,555 per year between 2005 and 2013, according to a study published in the journal Telemedicine and e-Health.”
To read more, click here.
 
Bridging the gap between hospital and home
KING 5, 3/17/16
“Today's healthcare model includes mandates to improve the patient experience while reducing costs. They seem to be opposing forces, but there's a national movement to help accomplish both by providing transitional medical care, bridging the gap between a hospital stay and recovery.”
To read more, click here.
 
Interdisciplinary Teams Connect the Dots in Home Health Care
Home Health Care News, 3/15/16
“Between physical therapy, medication administration, assistance with activities of daily life and more, a home health patient’s care needs can be quite complex and at times prove difficult to manage.”
To read more, click here.
 
Insurers Push Hard to Keep Seniors at Home
Home Health Care News, 3/14/16
“Private insurance companies continue to concentrate on in-home services as a way to prevent hospitalizations and reduce overall costs of care, growing these efforts despite pushback from the federal government.”
To read more, click here.
For the latest home health research, fact sheets, and value materials, visit www.ahhqi.org.
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