CMS logo

Approved Hospice CAHPS Vendors Released

The Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS) Hospice Survey was designed to measure and assess the experiences of patients who died while receiving hospice care, as well as the experiences of their informal primary caregivers. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) developed the CAHPS Hospice Survey with input from many stakeholders, […]

Continue Reading
Glenda Jimmo and husband Dennis at their home in Lincoln, VT, photo by Andrew Stein

Disabled Vermont Senior Wins Medicare Coverage After 2nd Lawsuit

by Susan Jaffe Kaiser Health News A disabled senior with serious health problems who successfully challenged Medicare for denying her home health care coverage has racked up another win against the government. In her latest federal lawsuit filed in June, Glenda Jimmo, 78, argued Medicare should have paid for the nursing care and other skilled […]

Continue Reading
Nurse talking with aged man at home

DOL Limits Caregiving Options for the Poor and Elderly

Beginning January 1, 2015, the Department of Labor’s new rule goes into effect which restricts companionship and live-in service exceptions to minimum wage and overtime requirements. These changes could dramatically change live-in services that some home care agencies in New Hampshire provide. This final rule redefines “companionship services”  and requires overtime pay and minimum wage […]

Continue Reading
Ebola virus image

Home Care Prepares for Ebola

As the Ebola outbreak continues to make headlines around the world, much of the focus, guidance and protocol development have been on acute care facilities. But we in home care and hospice need to be prepared also. At this moment in time, chances are slim we will see an acutely ill patient with Ebola, but […]

Continue Reading

Clarification on DOL Minimum Wage Rule

Last year the Department of Labor announced a final rule that extended minimum wage and overtime protections to home care workers – the same protections provided to most U.S. workers, including those who perform the same work in nursing homes. At that time, Secretary Perez said, “Today we are taking an important step toward guaranteeing […]

Continue Reading
Ebola virus image

What Are States Doing to Prepare for an Ebola Outbreak?

Reprinted from The Pew Charitable Trust Article by Christine Vestal © AP As fears of an Ebola outbreak rise, federal agencies are taking steps to protect and inform the public. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta is taking the lead on most aspects of the effort – issuing containment guidelines to hospitals […]

Continue Reading
VNA Meeting_Karen Michel Gina Balkus  Jim Culhane

Senator Ayotte Visits Home Care

On October 7  New Hampshire’s Senator Kelly Ayotte went on a home health visit with a nurse from the VNA of Manchester and Southern New Hampshire.  After the visit she met with HCANH CEO Gina Balkus and board members Karen Michel and Jim Culhane to discuss concerns about Medicare payment denials due to Face to […]

Continue Reading
IMPACT timeline

President Signs IMPACT Act of 2014

Long Term Care Providers to Standardize Assessment Data The Improving Medicare Post- Acute Transformation Act of 2014 (IMPACT) or HR 4994,was signed into law  on Monday, October 6, 2014. The enacted law mandates that hospices be surveyed at least once every three years through FY 2025 and implements a medical review process for hospices who have […]

Continue Reading
alzheimers

Study Results Point to Caregiving Difficulties

On a recent survey of family caregivers Caring.com found caregivers are experiencing high blood pressure/hypertension (37%), arthritis (34%), high cholesterol (26%), obesity (18%), and diabetes (13%) at a pretty alarming rate. That coupled with the newest findings of financial insecurity among family caregivers really shines a light on the difficult and complex world of the […]

Continue Reading

U.S. House & Senate Pass Medicare Post-Acute Care Bill

The bipartisan, bicameral bill to standardize patient assessments among the four post-acute care providers, known as the Improving Medicare Post-Acute Care Transformation (IMPACT) Act of 2014 (H.R. 4994/S. 2553) passed by voice vote in both the U.S. House and Senate last week, and is now awaiting signature from the President.  If it becomes law, IMPACT […]

Continue Reading

NAHC Lawsuit on Face-to-Face Physician Encounter Rule Advances

According to today’s NAHC Reports, the lawsuit challenging the face-to-face rule is advancing in Federal District Court. The Department of Justice has filed a motion to dismiss with the court arguing that the court does not have the power to hear the case. The Medicare Motion to Dismiss argues that NAHC failed to exhaust all […]

Continue Reading
PEPPERWebsiteLogo

Free Hospice PEPPER Training To Be Offered

The Health Quality Institute is offering a free webinar on Thursday, October 1 to review updates in the recent PEPPER release, common questions and answers, and the new method for accessing the hospice PEPPER. The webinar will be presented by TMF Health Quality Institute educator, Kimberly Hrehor. It is not necessary to pre-register for this […]

Continue Reading
iStock_000003107981Small

Health Alert: Enterovirus Affects Children in Multiple States

The CDC has issued a Heath Alert Advisory regarding Enterovirus D68 following several cluster outbreaks of severe respiratory illness.  Although there has not been a confirmed cases in New Hampshire yet, there have been more than 100 cases of Enterovirus D68 confirmed in 12 states.  The CDC believes the real number of severe respiratory illnesses […]

Continue Reading

So You Want to Open a Home Care Agency in New Hampshire?

Despite what many online “resources” may tell you, opening and maintaining a home care agency isn’t easy.  But what our members will tell you is, it is rewarding.  Following are some helpful links that you may need as you begin the process. These are just suggestions.  Always consult your business development lawyer to be sure […]

Continue Reading
Tubing Misconnections Risk Lives

Joint Commission Warns of Tube Misconnection Risk

Recently the Joint Commission issued an alert containing updated recommendations and strategies to prevent tubing misconnections as the health care field transitions to new manufacturing standards for medical tubing connectors. Developed by the International Organization for Standards, the new standards are expected to make tubing misconnections nearly impossible, but old connectors will remain in the […]

Continue Reading
invest in your staff

Home Care Management Course to be Offered

SupervisionPlus, Part 1, 8-week, Online Program beginning September 8th. Creating a culture of accountability has never been more important for home care and hospice agencies.  Agency leaders are challenged to do more with less while guiding their staff to optimal productivity, higher patient and family satisfaction scores, and greater outcomes of care. Leaders, from front […]

Continue Reading
HCC_MAP

New Hampshire Watches Multi-State Health Care Compact

Kansas, Missouri and seven other states have signed on to a movement that would snatch regulatory authority of most of the nation’s health care insurance systems from the federal government. New Hampshire’s House of Representatives voted in 2012 to join the national Health Care Compact, but the introduced legislation has stalled in the Senate. If […]

Continue Reading

GAO Report Calls For Reforms to CMS Post Payment Review System

Re-posted from VNAA The Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report calling for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to “take actions to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of contractors’ post payment review efforts, which include providing additional oversight and guidance regarding data, duplicative reviews and contractor correspondence” with providers. The report had […]

Continue Reading
images

NH Drug Free Workplace Regulation Change

New Hampshire Law Changes Aug. 25 A new State law takes effect this month requiring all licensed health facilities, including Home Care, to have a drug-free work place policy. Home care agencies should review their current policy to assure it meets the new requirements. Need help revising your policy? The US Department of Labor has […]

Continue Reading
Glenda Jimmo and husband Dennis at their home in Lincoln, VT, photo by Andrew Stein

‘Improve or You’re Out’ Medicare Policy Unchanged

Glenda Jimmo has been blind since childhood because of problems related to her diabetes. A few years ago she had her leg amputated below the knee and all but one toe removed from the remaining leg. After the surgery she received rehab services from a local home care agency, paid for by Medicare– but then […]

Continue Reading