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

Dear Members and Friends:

This month marked the culmination of the Alliance’s Future of Home Health Project, with the on-line release of the “The Future of Home Health Care: A Strategic Framework for Optimizing Value” in the November issue of the peer-reviewed journal, Home Health Care Management & Practice. The article, which built off work done over the last couple years, outlines a vision for home-based care and recommends a framework for the Medicare certified home health agency of the future, including key pillars, roles and recommendations to enable patients and the health care system to optimize home health care. These recommendations include reducing regulatory barriers, increasing flexibility through alternative payment models, and addressing fraud and abuse. The full article is available online for free here.

Last week, the Alliance and the Visiting Nurse Associations of America (VNAA) hosted the first Home-Based Care Financial Leadership Forum in Chicago, featuring speakers from across the health care landscape. Over the course of the day and a half conference, attendees heard from business and clinical leaders about preparing for new payment models that are having an impact on home health agencies, the intersection of clinical data and financial management, and more. The Alliance and VNAA would like to thank again our event sponsors BlackTree Heathcare Consulting, Kinnser, and Mutual of America, without whom the event would not have been possible.

Finally, the Alliance submitted comments on two proposed rules and measures earlier this month. First, the Alliance responded to CMS’s call for comments on the proposed episode payment models (EPMs) rule and expansion of the Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement (CJR) model. Comments to CMS on EPMs can be found here. Additionally, the Alliance submitted comments to Abt Associates on the proposed specifications for a falls measure required by the IMPACT Act. The comments are available here.

As we look ahead to 2017, the Alliance and VNAA are now offering joint sponsorship and membership opportunities. A full copy of the 2017 Corporate Partnership Prospectus is available online here.

I look forward to continuing the Alliance's work with each of you to shore up home health as critical infrastructure for the future of the health care system. As always, I can be reached at should you have questions or thoughts on the work we're doing and planning.

Very Truly Yours,

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

  • Last month, CMS announced a delay of the Pre-Claim Review Demonstration in Florida, Texas, Michigan, and Massachusetts for the time being. Illinois, which began the demonstration on August 3rd, will remain in the demonstration, with an increased focus on educational efforts on submission of pre-claim review requests, documentation requirements, and common reasons for non-affirmation. Florida will no longer begin the demonstration in October, and will be given at least 30 days' notice from CMS before initiation, with continued staggered implementation of the states to follow. The full announcement from CMS is available here. There is also currently proposed legislation, the “Pre-Claim Undermines Seniors’ Health (PUSH) Act of 2016” to delay the demonstration, put forth in the House of Representatives, available here.
  • Over the last month, the Alliance submitted comments to CMS and its contractors on the proposed episode payment models rule and a proposed falls measure. You can find a copy of the Alliance’s comments to CMS on episode payment models here. The Alliance’s comments to Abt on the proposed falls measure are available here. In case you missed it, the Alliance’s comments on the HHPPS proposed rule are available here, and our comments on standardized data element specifications required by the IMPACT Act can be found here. 
  • 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.
  • “The Future of Home Health Care: A Strategic Framework for Optimizing Value” was released on-line in the November issue of the peer-reviewed journal Home Health Care Management & Practice this month! The report, a culmination of the Alliance’s Future of Home Health Project, provides a framework for the Medicare-certified home health agency of the future, and includes key roles of, recommendations for, and pillars of a successful home health agency. The full available is available for free on Sage Pub here.
  • Call for speaker presentations is now live for the 2017 National Leadership Conference, jointly sponsored by the Alliance and VNAA, in San Diego, Calif. April 19th – 21st. The conference offers organizations the chance to highlight innovative practices in deliver high-quality cost-effective home-based care. More information on the proposal submission process is available here. Submissions are due here by October 31, 2016!
  • Interested in sponsoring Alliance and VNAA events next year? Check out the 2017 Corporate Partnerships Prospectus, available online here. For more information, reach out the Alliance’s Executive Director Teresa Lee at
  • 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:
  • The Alliance (@AHHQI) will host the November edition of the #HomeHealthChat on Twitter on a special day, November 29th at 2 pm ET with co-host Honor (@honor). The November chat will focus on celebrating National Family Caregivers Month. If you are interested in co-hosting an upcoming Twitter chat with the Alliance, please contact Jen Schiller at

The September #HomeHealthChat was co-hosted by Home Health APTA (@HomeHealthAPTA). Home Health APTA, the Home Health Section of the American Physical Therapy Association, is a professional association serving physical therapists, physical therapist assistants, and students dedicated to promoting physical therapy best practices in home care.

Read more here.

Pre-Claim Tests Home Health, Physician Relationships
Home Health Care News, 10/19/16

“As Illinois home health agencies have grappled with numerous challenges imposed by the Medicare Pre-Claim Review (PCR) demonstration, making sure home health can work hand-in-hand with physicians has emerged as an acutely important issue.”

To read more, click here.


Home Health Agencies Prep for Hurricane Matthew and Its Aftermath
Home Health Care News, 10/10/16

“In the wake of a final rule issuance on emergency preparedness from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), home health care companies were tested Friday as Hurricane Matthew barreled down on the United States.”

To read more, click here.


3 Obstacles to Creating the Home Health Agency of the Future
Home Health Care News, 10/24/16

“In-home care stands to become ever more central to the U.S. health care system in the years ahead, but for providers to reach their full potential, there still are important steps that need to be taken. Specifically, regulatory barriers need to come down, more flexibility needs to be baked into payment models and efforts to root out fraud need to be more targeted.”

To read more, click here.

For the latest home health research, fact sheets, and value materials, visit
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