In The News

National Home Health and Hospice Industry Research Study: Agencies Encouraged to Complete Input Study 

The home care and hospice industry is changing at an unprecedented rate. Last year we faced two of our biggest challenges—COVID-19 and PDGM. These challenges combined with staffing shortages are forcing us to redefine ourselves. To do this, we need national industry research that will guide our efforts and help us define what it means to provide healthcare in the home.

For this reason, the Home Care and Hospice Association of Colorado is excited to be partnering on national study designed to help the home care and hospice industry both manage and provide quality outcome-driven care in the new reform environment. Known as the 2021 National Healthcare at Home Best Practices and Future Insights Study, the research project will help identify best practices that agencies can implement to position themselves for future success. The results promise to be the largest and most comprehensive ever released on the delivery of home health and hospice in the United States.

Methodology for the study will include three phases. Phase I, which is now open, includes a web-based input survey allowing anyone in the field to suggest issues and questions they would like to see addressed in the study. HHAC encourages all agencies to complete the input survey at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/BDstudy. Deadline to complete the input survey is Friday, March 12th.

Phase II will involve an in-depth online survey with input from nearly 1,000 agency leaders. The final phase will include distribution of free national data and reports as well as presentations at national and state conferences.

Agencies interested in participating in the national survey can provide their contact details as part of the input survey or contact the research team at BerryDunn who are designing and facilitating the study at [email protected] More information about the survey can also be found on the BerryDunn Study Website.All results of the study will be released for free to the industry. States that get a good representative sample will also have state specific benchmarks available.

 

LHC Group’s Myers: ‘Choose Home’ Initiative Would Reshape Long-Term Care

Home Health Care News - By Robert Holly | February 26, 2021

The United States is on the brink of another major shift that will change how, when and where Medicare beneficiaries access health care services.

The Lafayette, Louisiana-based LHC Group Inc. (Nasdaq: LHCG) is doing everything in its power to position itself for that coming shift, executives detailed during a Friday morning conference call on fourth quarter financial results. Those efforts include ramping up lobbying activity on Capitol Hill, fine-tuning a growing M&A pipeline and navigating ongoing COVID-19 challenges.

“We view 2021 as a year of great opportunity, in part due to the unprecedented flexibility afforded to home health in the wake of COVID,” LHC Group Chairman and CEO Keith Myers said on the call. . . 

Read Full Article

 

NHPOC Podcast Episode 107

In this week's podcast episode, JR sits down with NHPCO's Judi Lund Person and Kim Skehan, Director of Compliance, Regulatory and Quality from Simione Healthcare Consultant to discuss survey readiness. Learn more about the changes Kim and Judi have noticed in surveyors and the survey process in the last year, and take away concrete things your organization can be doing now to be ready for future surveys.

Free Access for Members and Non-Members

https://www.nhpco.org/podcast/episode-107-survey-readiness/?_zs=IrUcO1&_zl=05iB6

 

American Rescue Plan Act Passes House - Senate Action Expected This Week

The House passed the American Rescue Plan Act early Saturday morning, to enact President Biden’s $1.9 trillion set of proposals addressing the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Democrats have used the “budget reconciliation process” to send the bill back to the Senate so that a filibuster can be avoided and the measure passed by a simple majority. Senator Schumer (D-NY) has reported that he plans to try and pass the bill this week, sending it back to the House and then to the President for signature before unemployment benefits for 18 million individuals expire on March 14.

The nearly 800-page bill holds true to most of President Biden’s wishes, and would include another round of stimulus checks for most taxpayers in the amount of $1,400 per eligible adult. Of note, the Senate version of the bill will not increase the federal minimum wage to $15/hour after a ruling by the Senate Parliamentarian that the minimum-wage language in the House-passed bill must be removed due to Senate budget reconciliation rules.  A possible workaround solution to tax larger employers that didn't pay certain wage levels and provide an income tax credit to smaller employers to increase pay had been proposed by Senate Finance Committee Chair Wyder (D-OR) but is also no longer expected to be included.

Also worthy of mention, as it could apply to some of the State’s non-profit agencies, is an expected provision that will expand access to Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Loansto some larger nonprofits that have not been able to apply for loans to date, as long as no more than 500 employees work at any one location. A prior rule making nonprofits ineligible for PPP loans if they are affiliates of national organizations would be removed.

 

Warning Against Complacency as COVID-19 Cases Begin to Plateau

As reported by CBS News (02/28/21), “Dr. Anthony Fauci, warned that Americans shouldn't get complacent about following mitigation measures to combat the spread of the coronavirus, as the number of new cases is leveling off despite more Americans receiving vaccines. While there has been a drop in the number of new coronavirus cases and hospitalizations since early January, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), warned Friday that the declines could be stalling at a high number, which she said was a ‘very concerning shift in the trajectory.’ As of Friday, the seven-day average is just under 73,000 new infections, according to the CDC.”

 
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