More Research Needed on Care Transition Impact

Posted On: April 15th, 2014

By Karen Utterback
Vice President, Strategy and Marketing, McKesson

A recent study illuminates the need for coordinating patient care transitions from skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) to their homes in order to reduce the incidence of acute care. The intensity or duration of home health use and its link to … Continue Reading

Value-based Reimbursement Bringing Down Hospital Admissions

Posted On: April 10th, 2014

By Karen Utterback
Vice President, Strategy and Marketing, McKesson

The transformation of healthcare ­– including the formation of ACOS, other value-based reimbursement models and use of post-acute care services in community settings – is having a noticeable effect on hospital admissions, a new study reveals. Published on the Health … Continue Reading

OIG Work Plan Spotlights Home Care Issues

Posted On: April 8th, 2014

By Karen Utterback
Vice President, Strategy and Marketing, McKesson

Earlier this year, the HHS Office of Inspector General (OIG) released its 2014 work plan, which includes several items of note for home health and hospice agencies. Specifically, the plan includes a review of how well agencies are complying with … Continue Reading

Ideal Home Health Agency? No Template Exists for That

Posted On: April 3rd, 2014

By Karen Utterback
Vice President, Strategy and Marketing, McKesson

No one formula exists for successfully running a home health agency — reinforcing the idiom that all healthcare is local. A recent study in the Medicare & Medicaid Research Review underscored the important role that home health plays in helping … Continue Reading

CMS Announces Program Changes in RAC Oversight

Posted On: April 1st, 2014

By Karen Utterback
Vice President, Strategy and Marketing, McKesson

Home health and hospice executives struggling with high Medicare denial rates will be pleased with changes to the Recovery Audit Contractors (RAC) program CMS announced in late February. Earlier in the month, a letter signed by 111 members of Congress … Continue Reading

MedPAC Targets Home Health Readmissions, Recommends Penalties

Posted On: March 27th, 2014

By Karen Utterback
Vice President, Strategy and Marketing, McKesson

The movement toward increased regulation of home health agencies continues. In mid-January, Medicaid issued a rule requiring all home- and community-based providers to take a person-centered approach to qualify for reimbursement. A few days later, the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission … Continue Reading

Bi-Partisan Bill Would Expand Telehealth Coverage, Includes New Incentives

Posted On: March 25th, 2014

By Karen Utterback
Vice President, Strategy and Marketing, McKesson

This fall, a bi-partisan group of US Representatives introduced the Telehealth Enhancement Act of 2013, and it was immediately supported by the American Telemedicine Association (ATA). The bill has several provisions of interest to home health agencies, including coverage of … Continue Reading

Improving One HHCAHPS Question at a Time

Posted On: March 20th, 2014

By Karen Utterback
Vice President, Strategy and Marketing, McKesson

Carroll Home Care in Maryland has taken deliberate steps to improve its score on the Home Health Care CAHPS Survey, and the results can be clearly seen. The agency ranks two percentage points above the national average (83%) on the … Continue Reading

Eyes on the prize: Agency Improves HHCAHPS scores

Posted On: March 18th, 2014

By Karen Utterback
Vice President, Product Marketing and Strategy, McKesson

As an agency leader, you should recognize the importance of your agency’s score on the Home Health Care CAHPS Survey. But do you know how to move the needle on these measures? Carroll Home Care in Maryland knows how because … Continue Reading

Report Hospice Quality Data to Avoid Payment Penalty

Posted On: March 13th, 2014

By Terry Miller, RN, COS-C
Regulatory Advisor, McKesson

Your hospice agency has only until April 1, 2014, to submit required data for the Hospice Quality Reporting Program that’s mandated by the Affordable Care Act. All Medicare-certified hospices that have a valid CMS Certification Number (also known as a … Continue Reading