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

Dear Members and Friends:
 
Today, the Institute of Medicine released the electronic prepublication of the “The Future of Home Health Care: Workshop Summary,” capturing the important points expressed at the Fall 2014 workshop on the future of home health care. Available online here, the final print version will be available in the coming months.
 
The workshop summary is a tremendous resource as we think about the future of U.S. health care, and home health’s role in it. A key point made in a keynote by Eric Dishman of Intel, and reflected in the summary, is that the U.S. health care system will not be sustainable in the future unless we have developed a model of care that is community-based, with the home as a critical node in the community; and that model will need to be powered by technology and incentives to drive health care toward the Triple Aim. He issued a challenge to workshop participants and the public that bears repeating here: to think about the workforce and business models that will be needed so that home- and community-based health care can become the default and hospital-based care—according to the mainframe model—becomes the exception. To that end, the Summary contains information that attempts to answer this challenge. It highlights alternative models of care and payment approaches that are optimizing home health care, programs, and approaches that improve the use of technology, key workforce considerations, the need for person-centered care, the role of caregivers, and the need to connect to community resources. The Workshop Summary will inform the final phase of the Alliance’s Future of Home Health Project, the development of a research-based strategic framework to be released in late 2015/early 2016. You can continue following along with the Future of Home Health Project on Twitter using the #FutureofHH, or by going to the project page on the Alliance’s website.
 
As we noted last month, it was a busy start to the year as the Alliance submitted five sets of comments to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC), and the National Quality Forum (NQF), on topics ranging from the proposed Home Health Conditions of Participations to the Home Health Compare Star Ratings, proposed rule changes to the Medicare Shared Savings Program, the Federal HIT Strategic Plan, and CMS measures under consideration for implementation of the IMPACT ACT of 2014. All of the Alliance’s submitted comments are available online here.
 
Additionally, the Alliance has a number of new offerings for its members, including free registration for the 2015 Home Care & Hospice LINK Conference, and discounts on the VNAA Clinical Procedure Manual and Avalere Health’s Vantage Care Positioning System. For more information on taking advantage of these opportunities, please contact the Alliance’s Director of Communications Jen Schiller at jschiller@ahhqi.org or (202) 239-3206.




Very Truly Yours,

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

 
  • The Workshop Summary from last fall’s IOM/NRC “The Future of Home Health Care: A Workshop” is now available to download as a prepublication copy. 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.
  • Additionally, “The Future of Home Health Care: A Workshop” materials are also available online through the IOM. Videos from each speaker, as well as PowerPoint presentations, can now be accessed here.
  • This month, CMS released two revised proposed voluntary templates for face-to-face examinations. The proposed paper template is available here, while a copy of the proposed electronic template is here. In order to address comments on the proposed F2F templates, CMS will hold the final two in a series of Special Open Door Forums at 1 pm ET on April 8, and May 6, 2015. More information on the SODFs is available from CMS here.
  • Alliance staff contributed an article to the February 2015 issue of Home Healthcare Now entitled, “The Future of Home Health Project: Developing the Framework for Health Care at Home.” Further building on the topics address in the Future of Home Health White Paper released last May, the article is aimed at further describing the Future of Home Health Project and inviting public comment. The complete article can be found here (subscription required). 
  • On May 27th, the Alliance will host a Learning Collaborative webinar with the National Association of Accountable Care Organizations (NAACOS). Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) are growing models of care in which the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has taken a vested interest. With three types of Medicare ACOs--bringing together providers from across the spectrum of care--learning and forecasting current and future trends, as well as understanding the role home health care may play in ACOs, is critical to achieving a lower cost, higher quality future of care delivery. The Alliance will be joined by Clif Gaus, CEO of the National Association of ACOs (NAACOS), to discuss the future of ACOs and how home health fits into that future. More information can be found here.
  • Next month is the Visiting Nurse Associations of America (VNAA) Annual Meeting. The meeting will take place April 20-22 in New Orleans, La. For more information, or to register, please click here. 
  • The first three Faces of Home Health profiles are now available on the Alliance’s website! Looking at the diversity in home health patient populations, the profiles look at innovative ways home health works with frail elderly, culturally, racially, and ethnically diverse, and pediatric populations. Each profile features interviews, data, and a patient story to demonstrate the value of home health care to numerous unique patient populations. The profiles can be found here.
  • The Alliance (@AHHQI) will host the March edition of the #HomeHealthChat on Twitter, Tuesday, March 24th at 2 pm ET with co-host BAYADA Home Health Care (@BayadaHHC). March’s chat will focus on pediatric home health, building off the Faces profile released last year and available here. Questions for the chat are posted on the Alliance’s website. If you do not have a Twitter account, you may follow along here. 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 Tuesday, February 24th, the Alliance hosted the #homehealthchat on Twitter.
 
The chat focused on home health and a healthy aging brain. The co-host was Dennis Fortier (@BrainToday).
 
Read more here.
Delegating tasks can benefit home care nurse, health aides and patients
NJ Spotlight, 3/16/15
“The state and federal governments are making it easier for New Jerseyans to stay in their homes as they age and their healthcare needs increase.
 
But this shift to home-based care demands more from the nurses who assess and develop plans to meet residents’ needs. It also places increasing reliance on the home health aides who help people in their daily lives.”
To read more, click here.
 
Home health care may be right Rx for those over 65
Cleveland Jewish News, 3/12/15
“When one thinks of health care, one’s mind may drift to the doctor’s office, the hospital bed or the hospice.
 
For America’s elderly, however, the long-term care they need is most likely to occur at home.” To read more, click here.
 
3 Simple Ways Home Health Can Reduce Hospital Readmissions
Home Healthcare News, 3/11/15
“It’s no secret that many home health agencies are turning to the latest technology and software to improve patient outcomes and reduce hospital readmissions, but other strategies require getting back to the basics of connecting with patients.”
To read more, click here.
 
Next Generation ACO Moves Closer to Medicare
Inside Health Policy, 3/10/15
“CMS announced Tuesday (March 10) a third type of accountable care organization that will be allowed to operate more like Medicare Advantage plans. CMS officials say the so-called next-generation ACOs respond to providers' requests for flexibility, but the demonstration is geared toward elite health care systems, and many providers would like CMS to apply many of the same flexibilities to ACOs in models where penalties aren't imposed for failure to reduce Medicare spending.”
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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