In The News


Christopher Kerr is a hospice doctor. All of his patients die. Yet he has cared for thousands of patients who, in the face of death, speak of love and grace. DEATH IS BUT A DREAM explores the remarkably life-affirming processes that are happening beyond the physical realities of dying. These include dreams that are unlike any regular dream. Described as "more real than real," these end-of-life experiences resurrect past relationships, meaningful events and themes of love and forgiveness; they restore life's meaning and mark the transition from distress to comfort and acceptance. Dr. Kerr leads the audience through intimate interviews with the dying where the viewer can experience the immense power of the dreams and visions first hand. The film paints a compelling and deeply moving portrait of the profoundly healing nature of the dying process and shows the great comfort these experiences can provide to the families they leave behind. A film of comfort, hope, and a genuinely uplifting look at death.


You may use this 20% discount code DIBAD20%OFF for Home Care and Hospice Association of Colorado - feel free to share this discount and email with your colleagues at other institutions who may wish to use the film as part of their curriculum.


Attention HHA Providers: January 14, 2022 HHA Preview Report Announcement Sent in Error

On Friday, January 14, 2022, CMS sent a notice to HHA Providers stating that their Preview Reports and Star Rating Preview Reports for the April 2022 Refresh of Care Compare/Provider Data Catalog, had been updated and were ready for viewing. We would like to note that this announcement was sent in error. Please disregard. CMS will be sending an announcement at a later date, when the HHA reports have been disseminated. Should you have any questions, please feel free to write the HH QRP Public Reporting help desk at [email protected].

Request for Info on Providers that Deliver Palliative Care

The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) is looking for a rough estimate of the service footprint of palliative care providers across the country. Given the lack of a formal and specific Medicare provider type for “palliative care”, they cannot simply use internal enrollment data to ascertain palliative care’s reach.  To that end, they are inquiring with various organizations for any information or data they can share on their members’ palliative care footprint.

NAHC is requesting any information from state associations that have data or even rough estimates on the number of your members providing palliative care and/or the zip codes or counties in which they offer these service. Please send your information directly to HHAC at [email protected]


MedPAC: Majority of Medicare Beneficiaries to be on MA by 2023, but Coding Issues Remain Rampant

Fierce Healthcare | Jan 14, 2022 5:05pm
Most Medicare beneficiaries in Parts A and B are expected to be enrolled in Medicare Advantage plans by next year, but spending on the plans is going to continue to outpace traditional fee-for-service, a congressional advisory panel found.
The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC), a panel that makes recommendations to Congress on Medicare policy, released new findings Friday on the program, which has surged in popularity in recent years. It also continues to raise alarms over practices plans have done such as upcoding that have increased Medicare spending.
MedPAC found 46% of beneficiaries in Parts A and B were enrolled in MA plans, and that figure is expected to stretch past 50% in 2023.
“Despite a decrease in MA rates, the MA enrollment has continued to grow rapidly,” said Luis Serna, a MedPAC staff member, during the panel’s meeting Friday.
The panel also found that for this year, 99% of Medicare beneficiaries have access to at least one plan, and 98% of them can choose a plan with a Part D benefit.
But MedPAC found that the explosion of growth has not also led to more savings for traditional Medicare.
The panel discovered that this year spending in MA will be 4% higher than fee-for-service Medicare after considering coding practices such as upcoding, which leads to higher quality bonuses for plans.
"MA plans have a financial incentive to document more diagnoses than providers in fee-for-service Medicare, leading to larger MA risk scores and greater Medicare spending on the beneficiary that enrolls in MA,” said staff member Andy Johnson, Ph.D.
In 2020, MedPAC found MA risk scores were 9.5% higher than fee-for-service beneficiaries that had a similar health status.

Read Full Article


OASIS-E Update

CMS has released the 1st quarter 2022 OASIS FAQs. The FAQs include several questions and answers regarding OASIS-E. The document states that OASIS-E data collection will begin with OASIS assessments with a M0090 date on  or after January 1, 2023. CMS will release a draft of the updated version of the OASIS instrument, OASIS-E, in early 2022, though we don’t yet have a more specific date.

The updated draft dataset and the final OASIS-E dataset will be posted on the Home Health Quality Reporting Program OASIS Data Sets webpage (when available, date TBD)

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