In The News

Local Home Health Consulting Company is Recognized by ACHC and CHAP

HHAC Allied Member Advertisement

Amity Healthcare Group is a local home health/home care consulting company with the mission to provide guidance, support, and confidence necessary for home health and home care agencies to thrive and deliver high-quality care and achieve regulatory compliance. The organization provides a variety of services, including consulting, continued education, administrator’s training and clinical competencies, ICD-10 coding, and clinical documentation review. Amity Healthcare Group has been an  allied member of Home Care and Hospice Association of Colorado since 2018 as well as a resource to local home health/home care providers.

Our success comes from the high level of expertise of Amity’s team members as well as previous experiences in the industry. The quality of work and products that we offer to our clients is extremely important to us. As the result, we devoted a lot of effort in 2022 to ensure that we deliver an expert quality of service that is recognized by CMS-approved accrediting organizations.

We are happy to announce that we received recognition from both CHAP and ACHC as follows: 

  1. CHAP verified seal for our Wound Management Program Policy and Procedure Manual

  2. ACHC certification for:
    1. Home Health and Home Care (Private Duty) admission packet
    2. Home Health and Home Care (Private Duty) QAPI program
    3. Home Health Skilled Nursing Competency Program

For more information about our CHAP and ACHC certified products, please call 303-690-2749 or email [email protected]. Please also visit our website at www.amityhealthcaregroup.com

 

The Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) Utilization Review/Utilization Management (UR/UM) Webpage

About the HCBS UR/UM webpage:

The Department is excited to share a new webpage dedicated to HCBS Utilization Review/Utilization Management.

This webpage will be the landing page for resources related to Children's Extensive Supports, Children's Home and Community-Based Services, Health Maintenance Activities, Over Cost Containment, and Supported Living Services reviews conducted by Telligen.

This webpage will be replacing the resources on the Long-Term Services and Supports (LTSS) training webpage. Case Managers can find information regarding upcoming Telligen Office Hours, Telligen Tip Sheets, Procedure Code Modifier list and more.

This page includes information about:

  • Purpose of the HCBS UR/UM program
  • Telligen office hours
  • Training materials
  • Forms and templates
  • Memos and guidance
  • Program contacts

We hope you'll bookmark the HCBS UR/UM webpage and use it as a handy reference.

 

The Potentially Dire Long-Term Impact Of Home Health Agency Closures

Home Health Care News | By Patrick Filbin

Back in October, Hospice and Home Care of Juneau closed after 20 years in business.
 
A month earlier, Trinity Health At Home in Springfield, Illinois, shut its doors and laid off 60 employees.
 
At the start of the new year, Oahu Home Healthcare announced it was shutting down, leaving just eight at-home care agencies on the most populated island in Hawaii.
 
More and more, small- to medium-sized providers are shuttering permanently due to staffing constraints and margin pressures. Home health insiders believe that this trend is troubling not just for providers in jeopardy, but for the industry as a whole.
 
“The industry got a reprieve this year from CMS,” Mike Dordick, the president of McBee Associates, told Home Health Care News. “If that doesn’t happen again, you’re going to start to see not just small agencies close, you’re going to see some of the large players say, ‘There’s no point in serving these rural markets and some of these areas because we’re losing money.’”
 
McBee Associates is a health care services and consulting firm that works with providers in a wide range of states. In 2019, prior to the pandemic, Dordick told HHCN that he believed there would be about a 30% reduction in the number of providers over the next several years.
 
Of course, the public health emergency changed projections. It gave providers financial stability and “masked” some of the financial troubles that were inevitable, Dordick said.
 
In the first quarter of 2019, there were 9,624 home health providers that filed at least one claim with CMS, according to McBee’s data. In the first quarter of 2022, that number was at 8,670, a 10% reduction.
 
That reduction is partly due to mergers, and partly due to closures.

Read Full Article

 

MA Plans Offering In-Home Support Services Increases 32% in 2023

McKnight’s Home Care News
 
The number of Medicare Advantage (MA) plans offering in-home support services as a benefit increased by approximately 32% this year, according to an analysis by ATI Advisory. In 2023, 1,375 MA plans are providing  in-home supports, such as home care, as a supplemental benefit, compared to 1,035 plans last year. 
 
The number of plans offering expanded supplemental benefits grew by more than 40%. Nearly half of them are offering more than one benefit, Tyler Overstreet Cromer, principal and head of ATI Advisory’s Medicare Innovation Practice, told McKnight’s Home Care Daily Pulse.
 
“I think this is a reflection of something we’ve been talking about for awhile, which is really person-centered benefits and having a menu of things that people can choose from,” Cromer said. 
 
Move to supplemental benefits
 
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services began allowing MA plans to begin offering expanded health-related supplemental benefits in 2019. These benefits included home care, transportation, meal delivery and adult day care. In 2020, CMS expanded the benefits to include other services, such as pest control. Fewer than 10% of plans offered any supplemental benefits in 2019. 
 
Cromer said this year there was little growth in the number of plans offering pest control, home modifications and extended meals. However, there was growth in those offering groceries and fresh produce.
 
There is little data to date on the number of people taking advantage of benefits or if those benefits are reaching the people who need them most, according to Cromer. 
 
“Are they available to people in an equitable way? Are they available to people who have high needs,” Cromer continued. “That being said, it’s a balancing act because we want there to be innovation in this space.” 
 
Social needs trend
 
Addressing health through social needs is a growing trend among both payers and providers. Earlier this month, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services released guidance to states on innovative ways to address health-related social needs of Medicaid recipients through the use of “in lieu of services and settings” in Medicaid managed care. Those services and settings include both transportation and housing. 
 
Earlier this week, Envoy America partnered with the Jewish Federation of Southern New Jersey to provide transportation and companion services to its 56,000 members. Aging in place platform healthAlign also announced a recent partnership with Season Health to provide nutritional benefits to Medicare Advantage plans.

 

Debt Ceiling Fight Looms Over Medicare, Medicaid

Axios | Peter Sullivan
 
House Republicans don't have much of a path to get major health care changes passed with a Democratic Senate and president, with one possible exception: the debt ceiling fight. 
 
Why it matters: It's not clear which spending cuts House Republicans will push for in exchange for expanding the government's borrowing authority later this year — but at least some say health care programs like Medicare and Medicaid should be on the table. 

  • Others, mindful of how the mere talk of entitlement cuts has brought political repercussions, are saying they want to steer clear of the programs. 

What they're saying: "We're going to have to look at the whole board," conservative Rep. Barry Loudermilk (R-Ga.) told Axios, including mandatory spending like Medicare and Medicaid. "The easiest to start with is discretionary, but the main driver of the national debt is the mandatory."

  • "Everything's on the table," he added. 
  • Asked about entitlement reform, Speaker Kevin McCarthy told reporters Thursday that "as Republicans we will always protect Medicare and Social Security," but did not get into specifics. (He also did not mention Medicaid).
  • "We will protect that for the next generation going forward, but we are going to scrutinize every single dollar spent," he added. 

What to watch: Rep. Morgan Griffith (R-Va.), a Freedom Caucus member who is also on the Energy and Commerce Committee, said any changes to Medicare would not take place immediately.

  • "Anytime we talk about those cuts people always panic," he told Axios. "Nobody needs to panic. If we're going to do something, it will be out in the future years a long way out and people will understand it and will have time to adjust for it."
  • He cited the possibility of raising the Medicare eligibility age from 65 to 67 as one possible change, while keeping it lower for people who had careers doing manual labor and have trouble continuing to work later in life. 

Read Full Article

 
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