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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.

How to Increase Your Hospice CAHPS Survey Response Rate

Focusing on techniques to improve your Hospice CAHPS survey response rate is important to ensuring that your survey data is accurate so you can compare your results with other providers in your area and target efforts on continuous improvement. How many responses do you need? CMS requires at least 30 complete surveys during an eight

June 29, 2018|Tags: , |

Performance Improvement Project Implementation: Ensuring Home Health QAPI Compliance

Having a Quality Assurance and Performance Improvement (QAPI) program is mandated by the new Home Health Conditions of Participation (CoPs). While home health agencies should already have their QAPI programs up and running, you have until July 13, 2018 to implement and document at least one performance improvement project (PIP) to ensure compliance with the

June 15, 2018|Tags: , |

How Hospice Management Solutions Can Make Your Job Easier

Managing a successful hospice agency is no simple task. It involves many processes aimed at streamlining workflow, effectively managing employees, accurately and securely completing paperwork, all while providing patients and their loved ones with the highest quality of care. With so many elements involved, it can be easy to become overwhelmed. However, when you partner

June 7, 2018|Tags: , , , , , |

3 Tips for Hospice Quality Performance Improvement

With increased transparency to the public eye, agencies have an even greater incentive for hospice quality performance improvement, as well as an opportunity to shine in a competitive market. Here are three essential tips that you can use for hospice quality performance improvement. 1. Utilize Any & All Available Hospice Quality Performance Improvement Reporting Data It

Pre-Claim Review: What Home Health Agencies Need to Know

In this blog post, we will discuss what the pre-claim review demonstration is, the history of pre-claim review, and the latest updates. In June 2016, CMS announced implementation of a three year Home Health Pre-Claim Review Demonstration. The demonstration was designed to test whether a Pre-Claim Review (PCR) process would improve the identification, investigation, and

May 31, 2018|Tags: , |

Improve Your HHCAHPS Survey Response Rate

While many home health agencies work hard to improve HHCAHPS survey scores, they should also focus on techniques to improve their HHCAHPS survey response rate. As a HHCAHPS survey provider, we are often asked, “How many responses do I need?” CMS requires at least 20 completed surveys per reporting period for public reporting on Home

May 25, 2018|Tags: , |

Medicare Fraud: Home Health & Hospice Agencies Beware

Over the years, our industry has seen reports of crimes related to Medicare fraud including conspiracy to commit health care fraud, violations of the anti-kickback statutes, and money laundering. Recently, the OIG released its Health Care Fraud and Abuse Control Program Report for FY2017. In its report, the OIG discusses several significant criminal and civil investigations

May 18, 2018|Tags: , |

FY2019 Hospice Proposed Rule: What You Need to Know

On April 27, 2018 CMS released the FY2019 Hospice Proposed Rule. The rule includes a proposed increase in hospice reimbursements as well as changes to the Hospital Quality Reporting Program (HQRP), although no new measures are proposed. Highlights of the FY2019 Hospice Proposed Rule include: Payment Update CMS is proposing a 1.8% increase in reimbursements to

May 11, 2018|Tags: , , |

Importance of Multi Channel Customer Service and Support

What good is powerful software without multi channel customer service and support available when you need it? Web-based home health and hospice software has many advantages including minimal upfront costs, rapid development cycles with immediate updates, no downtime for server maintenance, and the ability to use a variety of devices from anywhere, at any time.

May 4, 2018|Tags: , |

Hospital Readmission Reduction: Four Tips for Home Health Agencies

Hospital readmission reduction is a hot topic in healthcare these days. Studies show that nearly 20% of Medicare recipients discharged from a hospital were readmitted within 30 days, with 34% readmitted within 90 days. MedPAC has estimated that 12% of readmissions are avoidable, and preventing even a small portion of these readmissions could save Medicare

April 27, 2018|Tags: , |

Medicare Beneficiary Identifier (MBI): What Home Health & Hospice Agencies Need to Know

Designed to help protect the privacy of Medicare recipients, a new Medicare Beneficiary Identifier (MBI) will replace the social security number-based Health Insurance Claim Number (HICN) for Medicare transactions such as billing, eligibility status, and claim FISS/DDE submissions starting April 1, 2018. Beginning in April, CMS will mail new Medicare cards to all people with

March 29, 2018|Tags: , |

Key Components of a Successful Hospice Interdisciplinary Team Meeting

The hospice interdisciplinary team (IDT) serves a very important function in hospice care. It includes physicians, nurses, home health aides, social workers, counselors, chaplains, therapists and trained volunteers who work together to address a hospice patient’s physical, emotional, and spiritual needs. The holistic approach for the hospice interdisciplinary team enables members of different disciplines to

March 23, 2018|Tags: , , |

Value of Clinical Decision Support Systems in Home Health & Hospice

Clinical decision support systems provide clinicians with logically filtered, evidence-based data combined with patient-specific data to enhance clinical decision-making at the point of care. Found in leading EHR software systems, clinical decisions support systems include: Alerts Warnings Documentation templates Clinical guidelines Contextually relevant information Condition-specific order sets How do clinical decision support systems work? The

March 16, 2018|Tags: , , |

Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018: What it Means for Home Health and Hospice

On February 9, 2018, President Trump signed into law H.R. 1892, the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018. The 640-page legislation is a two-year budget plan that contains several provisions that will affect home health and hospice agencies, including the creation of a new payment model and loosened rules regarding review of documentation for face to

February 23, 2018|Tags: , , |

What Are Clinical Decision Support Tools?

Clinical decision support tools are found in EHR software that when applied effectively, can enhance patient care quality and outcomes, improve efficiency, and help to ensure regulatory compliance. Through clinical decision support tools, patient specific data and evidence-based guidance are presented to clinicians at appropriate times throughout the care planning process, guiding and reinforcing decisions

February 16, 2018|Tags: , , |

Hospice Documentation: Cloning and Checkboxes Just Won’t Cut It

Hospice documentation makes up the clinical record of a patient receiving hospice services. CMS is looking for documentation that is complete, thorough, and patient-specific. As a result, hospices that have long relied on cloning and “checkbox charting” methods are facing the reality of adopting new documentation methods that satisfy regulatory requirements and enhance patient care

February 9, 2018|Tags: , , |

RAISE Family Caregivers Act Signed Into Law

On January 23, 2018, President Trump signed into law the Recognize, Assist, Include, Support and Engage Family Caregivers Act, also known as the RAISE Family Caregivers Act. This law directs the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to develop and maintain a national strategy to recognize and support the more than

February 2, 2018|Tags: , |

Five Tips for a Successful Home Health or Hospice EHR Implementation

Does the thought of a home health or hospice EHR implementation sound daunting? If you said yes, you’re not alone. Sometimes, home health and hospice agencies identify imperfections in their systems and processes that lead them to explore the idea of making an EHR software change. Sometimes agencies are stuck in a sub-optimized infrastructure, not

January 23, 2018|Tags: , , , , , |

Home Health Interpretive Guidelines for the CoPs: What You Need to Know

On November 1, 2017, CMS released the draft Home Health Interpretive Guidelines for the final Home Health Conditions of Participation (CoPs), which took effect on January 13, 2018. The draft was released for review and comment to select industry groups. The Home Health Interpretive Guidelines are intended to clarify the CoPs for both providers and

January 19, 2018|Tags: , , |
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