In The News

Discovery Redefined with Hospice Demo Day

August 17, 2021

Although the industry is facing many changes daily, operations and patient care must continue. The Hospice Demo Day will showcase the best and latest technology, software, and industry solutions to make your operations run more smoothly and efficiently.

Register for free and access 25 minute demos of software solutions dedicated to efficiency, security, and convenience for your day to day.

 

 

Colorado Care Synergy Collaborative Part of a Growing Trend in Hospice

By Holly Vossel | July 14, 2021

A group of nonprofit hospice, home health, and palliative care providers have formed a collaborative network to support, sustain and grow their services across Colorado. Collaborations such as these have been vital for many smaller hospices to remain competitive with larger players in the space and to maintain eligibility for value-based payment programs such as direct contracting.

Care Synergy is a cooperative enterprise of four affiliate organizations that include The Denver Hospice, Pathways Hospice and Pikes Peak Hospice and Palliative Care, along with home health provider The Colorado Visiting Nurse Association. Within the Care Synergy model, each provider continues to operate as its own distinct and independent entity. Each organization will continue their own quality, licensure and compliance operations while working together to share best practices and generate cost-sharing efficiencies in a strategic collaboration.

Care Synergy provides a shared pool of services such as accounting, payroll, revenue cycle and treasury management, information technology (IT), human resources, compliance, education, and marketing and communications. Through the consolidated operating system, each provider utilizes the same software programs and organizational tools, including electronic medical record and general ledger systems.

The combined collaborative allows the providers to not only pool their operational resources, but also grow and sustain their financial and staffing opportunities, according to Tim Bowen, CEO of Care Synergy.

“By consolidating, combining and integrating all of the back-office functions that were historically done by each individual affiliate, it has dramatically improved the cost efficiencies and economies of scale that these providers cannot achieve on their own,” Bowen told Hospice News. “When you add in the group purchasing and group contracting opportunities that scale offers, it has materially improved financial performance and cost control for each affiliate. It has allowed the affiliates to offer far more competitive salaries for staff and a wider array of benefits, far exceeding what any one affiliate was able to offer and afford on their own.”

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Home Health PEPPER Available for Download

The Home Health Program for Evaluating Payment Patterns Electronic Report (PEPPER) is available for download at the PEPPER Portal. PEPPER summarizes Medicare claims data statistics for a provider in “target areas” that may be at risk for improper Medicare payments, and compares the provider’s Medicare claims data statistics with aggregate Medicare data for the nation, Medicare Administrative Contractor (MAC) jurisdiction, and the state.

While the PEPPER cannot identify improper payments, it does help a provider to identify areas where its performance falls outside the norm and payments may be at risk.

 

President Biden Seeks to Regulate (and Potentially Ban) Non-Competes

By Scott McDonald, Michael Lotito, Melissa McDonagh, Jim Paretti and Jim Witz

On July 9, 2021, President Biden issued his Executive Order on Promoting Competition in the American Economy. Earlier in the day, the White House issued a press release announcing that the anticipated order would, “[m]ake it easier to change jobs and help raise wages by banning or limiting non-compete agreements and unnecessary, cumbersome occupational licensing requirements that impede economic mobility.” Now that the executive order has been issued, employers are wondering: are noncompete agreements with employees now illegal as a result of President Biden’s order?  Short answer – No – but employers should be on alert.

More aspirational in nature, President Biden’s order creates a new White House Competition Council and directs federal regulators to address a long list of different competition-related concerns – only one of which is noncompete agreements.  In essence, President Biden’s executive order directs the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to pursue a rulemaking process that would ban or limit the use of noncompete agreements as a matter of federal law.  At this time, it is unclear whether the FTC will propose very broad limitations that could potentially ban all employee noncompete agreements, or whether the agency will take a more targeted approach, limiting regulation to restrict the use of noncompetes with lower-income employees (as several states have done), or certain employment sectors.

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HQRP Quarterly Update for 2nd Quarter of 2021 is Available

The Hospice Quarterly Update for the second quarter of 2021 is now available. This update includes Hospice Quality Reporting Program highlights from April 2021 to June 2021, events and engagement opportunities for the third quarter of 2021 (July – September 2021), and selected questions and answers from the Hospice Quality Help Desk. Please navigate to the HQRP Requirements and Best Practices page to download this document.

 
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