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Home Health, Hospice & Regulatory Blog

The HEALTHCAREfirst blog offers insights and updates to help home health and hospice professionals stay informed. From regulatory news to best practices and tips, we are committed to the success of our customers and the industry as a whole.

Medical Billing Outsourcing for Home Health and Hospice: A Growing Trend

In today’s challenging environment, many providers are looking for smart ways to realize cost efficiencies, reduce spending, and address value-based care initiatives. They are also looking for opportunities to work with industry experts who can help them succeed while they focus on patient care. One way agencies can address these issues is through medical billing

April 3, 2019|Tags: , , |

Home Health Care Billing Best Practices

Home health care billing processes are becoming increasingly more complicated. And with the Patient-Driven Groupings Model (PDGM) looming, it's only going to get more intricate. Implementing home health care billing best practices in your office will provide the framework for success so you can be sure you’re getting paid quickly and accurately. An efficient billing

March 20, 2019|Tags: , , , |

Provisional Period of Enhanced Oversight for New Home Health Providers

On February 15, 2019, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that effective immediately, all new home health providers will be placed in a provisional period of enhanced oversight. Provisional Period of Enhanced Oversight The provisional period of enhanced oversight means that new home health providers won’t receive Request for Anticipated Payments (RAP)

March 14, 2019|Tags: , |

5 Benefits of Working With Remote Home Health Coding Companies

Between the growing number of coding changes, the sheer volume of codes to choose from, and unplanned employee absences, your coding can take significant time, often resulting in a backlog. Taking advantage of the expertise offered through remote home health coding companies can help you turn around accurate claims quickly. Here are some benefits of

March 10, 2019|Tags: , |

3 Home Health Care Coding Habits That Can Hurt Your Agency

Your agency relies on accurate, efficient home health care coding for timely, accurate reimbursement. Many agencies suffer from a few common coding issues that can seriously hurt them. And with ICD-10, many coders have found themselves overwhelmed, relying on techniques to ward off productivity problems, often at the expense of accuracy. Here is a list

March 7, 2019|Tags: , |

Improve Bereavement Services Using Survey Feedback

Administering a hospice bereavement program is a requirement by Medicare. However, it’s not a requirement to collect and analyze feedback on your program. But don't think that means you shouldn't do it! The most successful hospices know that it’s something that every agency should do to improve bereavement services and provide the best care possible.

March 1, 2019|Tags: , , |

Bereavement Surveys: A Key to Superior Hospice Care

By providing an exceptional bereavement services program, as a hospice, you have an opportunity to further reinforce your mission and strengthen the likelihood that bereaved clients will become advocates of your work within your community. A first step to understanding the impact of your program is to measure and benchmark client engagement and satisfaction. This

February 21, 2019|Tags: , , |

Hospice Bereavement Services Program: A Data-Driven Approach to Success

While it's a Medicare requirement that hospices make bereavement services available to the family and others identified in the bereavement care plan, the value of a hospice bereavement services program goes well beyond mere compliance. A hospice bereavement services program is both an important responsibility and a great opportunity. That being said, it’s important to

February 8, 2019|Tags: , , |

6 Powerful Strategies to Grow Your Home Health Care Agency

The demand for quality home health care is ever increasing. The competition is tough and home health care agency owners need to work out growth strategies comprising of innovative marketing ideas that give quick and effective results. From chalking out the strengths and weaknesses to getting ahead of your competition, you need to address all

January 22, 2019|Tags: , , , |

How to Achieve Quality Peak Performance in Home Health and Hospice

Striving for quality peak performance should be a key goal for every home health and hospice agency. CMS has been working on new payment models designed to tie payments to quality and rewarding agencies for efficiency and effectiveness. Additionally, as the aging population becomes more web-savvy, they're using the internet to research agencies before making

November 16, 2018|Tags: , , |

Opioids Bill: What it Will Mean for Hospices

On Wednesday, October 24, 2018, President Trump signed the bipartisan bill, SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act, to address the opioid epidemic. The opioids bill will increase access to addiction treatment and other interventions. One part of the opioids bill allows hospice workers to destroy patients’ unneeded, expired, or leftover medications. With more than 72,000

November 2, 2018|

Peak Performance: Four Ways to Work Toward Financial Success

Is your home health or hospice agency achieving peak performance when it comes to your financial operations? While you might be surviving and maybe even thriving, there could be opportunity for you to improve. Here are four things that home health and hospice agencies should do to achieve peak performance. Define Peak Performance How do you

October 26, 2018|Tags: , , , |

Driving Clinical Peak Performance in Home Health & Hospice

Clinical peak performance is vital to home health & hospice success. As Medicare continues to shift from rewarding volume to rewarding value, it's nearly impossible to get ahead without proving value through clinical excellence. Here are three ways to achieve clinical peak performance: Patient-Centered Care First, it's important to practice patient-centered care. The Institute of Medicine

October 19, 2018|Tags: , , , , |

Four Ways to Cut Home Health and Hospice Administrative Costs

Administrative costs account for 1/3 of healthcare expenditures in the United States. While this number takes into account many other types of healthcare, home health and hospice administrative costs were included in this often cited and quite comprehensive study published in the New England Journal of Medicine. In fact, CMS recently introduced regulatory changes to

October 12, 2018|Tags: , , , , |

CMS Proposes to Reform Home Health and Hospice Regulatory Requirements

On September 17th, CMS held a public event to share its proposal to reform several home health and hospice regulatory requirements. The proposal includes changes to current home health and hospice regulatory requirements, Conditions of Participation (CoPs), and Conditions for Coverage. According to CMS, this will “simplify and streamline the current regulations and thereby increase provider

September 27, 2018|Tags: , , , , |

Review Choice Demonstration for Home Health Agencies

Since the pause of the Pre-Claim Review Demonstration in April 2017, CMS has been working to develop an alternative called the Review Choice Demonstration. It states that this new demonstration will, "offer more flexibility and choice for providers, as well as risk-based changes to reward providers who show compliance with Medicare home health policies." Participation is

August 31, 2018|Tags: , , |

FY2019 Hospice Final Rule Published

On August 1, 2018, CMS issued the FY2019 Hospice Final Rule for Medicare hospice agencies. The final rule includes changes to the hospice payment rates as well as updates to the Hospice Quality Reporting Program (HQRP). Burden Reduction CMS will no longer display the seven component measures from which a composite measure is calculated on

August 3, 2018|Tags: , , |
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