In The News

New CDC COVID-19 Domestic Travel Recommendations

The CDC has released new Domestic Travel recommendations which include the following for those who have not been vaccinated: 

  • Get tested 1-3 days before travel
  • Get tested 3-5 days after travel and self-quarantine for 7 days. Self-quarantine for 10 days if you didn't get tested. 
  • Self-monitor for symptoms
  • Wear a mask and take other precautions during travel
  • Avoid being around people who are at increased risk for severe illness for 14 days, whether you get tested or not. 
For those who have been vaccinated, the following recommendations apply: 
  • Self-monitor for symptoms
  • Wear a mask and take other precautions during travel
Click Link to the CDC Travel Guidance

America’s Home Care Infrastructure Is Crumbling. Here’s How to Fix It.

Home Health Care News
By Robert Holly
As part of his administration’s recently unveiled American Jobs Plan, President Joe Biden wants to set aside $400 billion to better support the nation’s home-based care system.
While specifics still need to be worked out, a large chunk of that funding would be used to improve the wages of home health aides and other caregivers who work in the home.

That, in theory, would allow in-home care providers to more effectively recruit and retain workers, which would then ultimately save the U.S. health care system money by keeping patients in the lowest-cost setting.
“The American Jobs Plan is going to help in big ways,” Biden said during a March 31 speech in Pittsburgh. “It’s going to extend access to quality, affordable home- or community-based care. Think of expanded vital services like programs for seniors. Or think of home care workers going into homes of seniors and people with disabilities, cooking meals, helping them get around their homes and helping them be able to live more independently.”
For a variety of reasons, retention is particularly difficult in both the home health and home care industries. 
For minimum-wage, entry-level positions in home care, for example, potential caregivers often end up poached by $15 an hour jobs in the retail or restaurant business. In home health care, top nurses frequently leave their agencies for higher-paying hospital jobs. . .

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Volunteering and Community Service: Opportunities for Healthcare Professionals

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, many healthcare professionals have expressed an interest in helping. The U.S. Dept. of Health & Human Services are sharing three great options for healthcare professionals who want to join the COVID-19 response – and there are many opportunities for lay people to serve as well. Visit the HHS website to learn more about the Emergency System for Advance Registration of Volunteer Health Professionals, the Medical Reserve Corps, and the National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster. As we move into the Hurricane season in the U.S., these organizations are often sources of support.



Home Health Notice of Admission (NOA)

The home heath notice of admission (NOA) 837I Companion Guide has been posted on the home health Coding and Billing website (first link in the download section). CMS is working on the Change Request and hopes to have it released sometime next month. 



NAHC Analysis of the Home Health Quality Reporting Program Part of the FY2022 Hospice Payment Rule

From the National Association for Home Care & Hospice

There is one section of this hospice proposed rule that addresses home health, related to the public display of home health quality data for the HH QRP.  Specifically, CMS is proposing to modify the public display schedule to display fewer quarters of data than what was previously finalized for certain HH QRP measures for the January 2022 Care Compare refreshes.

Under the current HH QRP public display policy, Home Health Compare uses 4 quarters of data to publicly display OASIS-based measures, and 4 or more quarters of data to publicly display claims-based measures. We use four rolling quarters of data to publicly display Home Health Care Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HHCAHPS) Survey measures on Care Compare.

On March 27, 2020, CMS sent a guidance memorandum implementing changes to the HH QRP public display schedule due to the COVID-19 PHE. CMS will resume publicly displaying HH QRP claims-based measures in January 2022.  To determine which quarters of data to utilize for future public reporting, CMS conducted an analysis comparing the data available and the reliability and validity of this data under two different scenarios – Standard Public Reporting (SPR) and COVID-19 PHE Affected Reporting (CAR). 

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