In The News

Employee Retention Credit (ERC) Webinar

This Wednesday, July 20th at 2:00 p.m. the Home Care and Hospice Association of Colorado is partnering with RoundPeg to provide a 30 minute informational webinar discussing the Employee Retention Credit (ERC).

Google Meet joining info.

Video call link: https://meet.google.com/yie-qmja-yxa

Or dial: ‪(US) +1 435-893-6102 PIN: ‪840 649 482#

 

Paradigm Senior Services

Did you know:

  • VA reimbursements rates for Homemaker/HHA and Respite are $29.76 in Utah
  • VA invoices are now paid by TriWest in less than 3 weeks
  • The VA usually authorizes between 6 and 16 hours of care per week, but they could go up to 168 hours per week. 
  • The standard VA referral is valid for 1 year and can be renewed indefinitely. 
  • The VA Community Care Network, while once overlooked, has become a vital part of providing care to veterans throughout our communities

There has been a lot of talk about one of HHAC's newest Allied Partners, Paradigm, in the home care industry. Thousands of providers already using Paradigm have seen terrific results in streamlining and growing their businesses. 

But who and what is Paradigm?

Paradigm provides an all-encompassing support platform for providers who work with the VA, Medicaid, and other 3rd party payers. By streamlining your operations, automating your billing, diversifying your payer lines, and collecting your outstanding AR, Paradigm helps you grow your business.

  • · Are you struggling to submit error-free billing?
  • · Are you spending too much time on denied claims and resubmissions?
  • · Are you struggling to stay on top of regulatory changes?
  • · Are you getting nowhere trying to get into the VA’s Community Care Network?
  • · Are you struggling to recover any outstanding VA accounts receivables?
  • · Are you confused about shifting EVV requirements?

Paradigm can help! 

If you’d like to learn more, click here to set up a time with one of Paradigm’s experts or contact Matt Hecht, Director of Provider Network, directly at email ([email protected]) or phone (786) 579-1900. 

 

Senate Democrats Encounter Obstacles in Final Sprint

The Hill | BY ALEXANDER BOLTON - 07/12/22
 
Senate Democrats in a sprint to accomplish as much as they can before the August recess and the start of the fall midterm campaigns are already getting tripped up by a series of unexpected problems. 
 
Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) announced progress over the July 4 recess in negotiations with centrist Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) on a long-delayed budget reconciliation package, but an aide to Manchin last week cautioned a deal is still not close.  
 
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is holding up a vote on a China competitiveness bill, while legislation to cap insulin prices is coming under fire from Republicans.  
 
Health absences in the caucus are also tripping up the party, complicating votes in the 50-50 Senate.
 
It all sets up a chaotic and challenging homestretch sprint before lawmakers turn to full campaign mode. 
 
Senate Republican Whip John Thune (S.D.) on Monday predicted that the Democratic absences would limit the chamber’s agenda this week.  
 
Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) on Monday announced he had tested positive for COVID-19 and will work remotely this week, missing an expected vote on President Biden’s nominee to head the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Steve Dettelbach.  
 
The announcement came less than 24 hours after Schumer announced that he too has tested positive for COVID-19 and will miss votes this week.  
 
“They’re not going to have votes to do anything but bipartisan noms [nominees],” Thune said.
 
“It’s going to be tough for the Democrats to manage any kind of agenda that doesn’t entail moving executive branch noms that have broad bipartisan support, so to me it should be a week where we wind up early,” he added.  
 
The absences put Dettelbach’s nomination on a razor’s edge, as only two Republicans, Sens. Susan Collins (Maine) and Rob Portman (Ohio), voted to discharge Dettelbach out of the Senate Judiciary Committee.  
 
A third Democratic senator, 82-year-old Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), is recovering from surgery after falling and breaking his hip last month. A spokesman for Leahy, however, said his boss will be available to vote on Dettelbach or any other issue if needed. 
 
“Senator Leahy’s recovery and physical therapy are proceeding well and he expects to be available for votes this week if necessary,” said Leahy spokesman David Carle.   
 
If Collins and Portman both vote to confirm Dettelbach, there would need to be five Democratic absences for Republicans to defeat him, but it remains to be seen whether their votes on a procedural discharge petition mean they’re willing to help speed him through the Senate while Schumer is still trying to negotiate a partisan reconciliation bill.  
 
McConnell warned over the recess that he would hold up the final version of the China legislation, known as the U.S. Innovation and Competition Act (USICA), unless Democrats stopped trying to move a reconciliation measure through the chamber with just Democratic votes. 
 
The GOP leader doubled down on his threat Monday, warning that “party-line scheming” on the budget reconciliation bill that would include hundreds of billions of dollars in tax increases would bring Senate business to a halt. 

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Why the Omicron Offshoot BA.5 is a Big Deal

CNN | By Brenda Goodman

Once again, Covid-19 seems to be everywhere. If you feel caught off-guard, you aren't alone.

After the Omicron tidal wave washed over the United States in January and the smaller rise in cases in the spring caused by the BA.2 subvariant, it might have seemed like the coronavirus could be ignored for a while. After all, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated in December that nearly all Americans had been vaccinated or have antibodies from a past infection. Surely all that immunity bought some breathing room.

But suddenly, many people who had recovered from Covid-19 as recently as March or April found themselves exhausted, coughing and staring at two red lines on a rapid test. How could this be happening again -- and so soon?

The culprit this time is yet another Omicron offshoot, BA.5. It has three key mutations in its spike protein that make it both better at infecting our cells and more adept at slipping past our immune defenses.

 

In just over two months, BA.5 outcompeted its predecessors to become the dominant cause of Covid-19 in the United States. Last week, this subvariant caused almost 2 out of every 3 new Covid-19 infections in this country, according to the latest data from the CDC.

Lab studies of antibodies from the blood of people who've been vaccinated or recovered from recent Covid-19 infections have looked at how well they stand up to BA.5, and this subvariant can outmaneuver them. So people who've had Covid as recently as winter or even spring may again be vulnerable to the virus.

 

"We do not know about the clinical severity of BA.4 and BA.5 in comparison to our other Omicron subvariants," CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said at a White House Covid-19 Response Team briefing Tuesday. "But we do know it to be more transmissible and more immune-evading. People with prior infection, even with BA.1 and BA.2, are likely still at risk for BA.4 or BA.5."

A 'full-on' wave

The result is that we're getting sick in droves. As Americans have switched to more rapid at-home tests, official case counts -- currently hovering around 110,000 new infections a day -- reflect just a fraction of the true disease burden

"We estimate that for every reported case there are 7 unreported," Ali Mokdad, professor of health metrics sciences at the University of Washington's Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, wrote in an email.

Other experts think the wave could be as much as 10 times higher than what's being reported now.

"We're looking at probably close to a million new cases a day," Dr. Peter Hotez said Monday on CNN. "This is a full-on BA.5 wave that we're experiencing this summer. It's actually looking worse in the Southern states, just like 2020, just like 2021," said Hotez, dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston.

That puts us in the range of cases reported during the first Omicron wave, in January. Remember when it seemed like everyone everywhere got sick at the same time? That's the situation in the United States again.

It may not seem like a very big deal, because vaccines and better treatments have dramatically cut the risk of death from Covid-19. Still, about 300 to 350 people are dying on average each day from Covid-19, enough to fill a large passenger jet…

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Our Mental Health Crisis is Getting Worse. New 988 Suicide Hotline Can be our Fresh Start.

USA Today | Dr. Jerome Adams

This column contains discussion of suicide. If you or someone you know might be struggling with suicidal thoughts, call theNational Suicide Prevention Lifelineat 1-800-273-8255.

Before COVID-19, nearly 40 million people in the United States were identified in 2019 as having mental illness. Worse, fewer than half (45%) received treatment. The stress of the pandemic has exacerbated this crisis, with isolation, stress and worsening access to treatment. 

Across the country, mental illness and suicide rates are high and rising. Approximately 20% of adults reported in 2020 that they suffered from mental illness, and the share of adults reporting anxiety or depression disorders spiked to over 41% last year.

Deaths attributed to suicide

About 47,500 deaths were attributed to suicide in 2019, compared with more than 38,000 in 2010, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Mental illness and suicide are particularly pronounced among young people and those in rural areas. In rural America, higher suicide rates are further compounded by even greater challenges in accessing care.

Let's go nationwide: Our clinics meet mental health needs and lighten the load on law enforcement

July's launch of 988, a new mental health crisis response number, marks a historic opportunity to ensure that the growing number of people in crisis can get appropriate and more equitable access to mental health services – and that our broader emergency response infrastructure (which includes 911, emergency medical services and law enforcement) can guide people to the right places, at the right times.

By July 16, all telecommunications carriers must provide access to 988, which will direct calls to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, a switchboard that provides free crisis counseling and emotional support to more than 2 million callers a year and connects them to one of more than 180 crisis centers nationwide.

The new, easy-to-remember 988 will provide an alternate access point into care and help keep people in crisis from needlessly cycling through hospital emergency rooms and the criminal justice system. It will also provide minority communities that are often fearful of calling 911 for a loved one in mental health crisis, an option less biased toward a response based solely in law enforcement…

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