In The News

Federal Alert: Urge Senators To Co-Sponsor Telehealth Modernization Act

One provision of this bill deals with hospice care. The provision would extend existing telehealth flexibilities for hospice providers and patients beyond the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency, improving access to care in your state and across the country.   

Since the onset of the pandemic, hospice providers have benefited from telehealth flexibilities authorized under the CARES Act which allowed hospice providers to use telehealth to conduct face-to-face encounters prior to recertification of eligibility for hospice care during the emergency period.   

Given the concerns related to the spread of COVID-19, use of technologies, where possible and appropriate, has helped limit the spread of the virus and addressed concerns around exposure risk that in-home visits may pose to these vulnerable patients and their caregivers. The majority of hospice patients receive care in the place they call home, and this bill will help keep them home and safe. 

Write to your senators to extend telehealth flexibilities for hospice care, protecting your patients during the COVID-19 Pandemic and beyond. 

 

SNF-at-Home Concept Earning ‘Very Positive Feedback’ in Congress, Among Special Interest Groups

Home Health Care News
By Robert Holly
 
An innovative care concept designed to keep patients at home and out of skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) is reportedly gaining ground in Congress and among special interest groups.
 
The concept — known as “Choose Home” — is a type of SNF-at-home model that leverages both medical and non-medical home care services for certain patients.
 
LHC Group Inc. (Nasdaq: LHCG) Chairman and CEO Keith Myers provided an update on Choose Home on Wednesday, after first floating the concept during a Feb. 26 earnings call.

Read Full Article

 

New Moving Health Home Coalition Aims to Expand Home-Based Care Services

A group of healthcare providers, valued-based care organizations, and Amazon’s telehealth business have come together to call for changes to reimbursement models that would support a range of services in the home from primary care to hospital-level interventions. A press release from the new organization, Moving Health Home, states that it is time to, “change reimbursement models and the culture around institutional care to allow for Americans to choose their home as a site of care.”

“We don't need to necessarily totally displace institutional care, but we need to make the home sort of an option for people for all different kinds of health care services,” stated the coalition’s manager, Krista Drobac. Founding members, which include Amazon Care, Landmark Health, Signify Health, Dispatch Health, Elara Caring, Intermountain Healthcare, Home Instead and Ascension, assert that, “care in the home can be at least equivalent to, if not better than, care offered in facilities.”

Moving Health Home’s policy priorities include retaining the hospital-without-walls site of care flexibilities that have been permitted during the COVID-19 public health emergency; eliminating institutional bias that favors institutional-based codes in the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule; creating an extended home-based care benefit as an alternative for skilled nursing facility care; and integrating telehealth.

Although the group sees home-based services as being different – or at least more encompassing- than home health, hospice, or non-medical homecare (personal care), their formation is further evidence of a very real shift that is taking place in the country; which should create plenty opportunity for providers already serving people at home.

 

Legislature Considers Bill Inspired by Hospice Heroes

New license plates would recognize and support mission of hospice and palliative care workers in Colorado

For Immediate Release: March 18, 2021

Denver, CO – Coloradans may soon be drawing attention to the unsung heroes of the COVID-19 pandemic with a new license plate for hospice and palliative care workers. 

House Bill 21-1128 would create a special end-of-life license plate in Colorado to give recognition to hospice and palliative care and the important and difficult work these health care workers provide for thousands of Coloradans and their families. The bill is sponsored by Rep. Dafna Michaelson Jenet, D-Commerce City, and Sen. Chris Hansen, D-Denver. It is scheduled to be heard March 24 in the House Transportation & Local Government Committee.

“The tragic stories of people who have died alone since the COVID-19 pandemic began have demonstrated so clearly why end-of-life care is so important,” said Tim Bowen, CEO of The Denver Hospice and a director of the Home Care and Hospice Association of Colorado. “Hospice and palliative care workers are heroes, bringing comfort, support and presence to individuals and families facing an often difficult journey. These license plates would help generate a shared spirit, a sense of community and belonging, for those who believe in this critical mission of providing end-of-life care.”

Click here to read the full press release. 

 

Effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Home Health Care Agencies in Colorado

Fourth year medical student at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, Nick Bianchina, along with Dr. Kristin Jensen, Dr. Alan Prochazka, and Dr. Christine Jones, are working to conduct a survey examining the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on home health care agencies in Colorado - including yours.

"We recognize alterations in services and policies may have occurred during this pandemic. The goal of this study is to understand the impact of this pandemic on home health care services with an effort to identify processes agencies may use to better plan for such an event in the future. As a representative of your home healthcare agency, we believe you will provide a valuable resource in order to assist in understanding the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on home health care."

For more information and to participate in the survey, click here

 
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