Staying on top of OASIS coding is never easy, and PDGM will bring additional challenges in 2020. Join us November 4-5, 2019 in Devens for an intensive, two-day, workshop & exam from OASIS Answers. Though open to all, Alliance members can attend at a significant discount.
Staying on top of OASIS coding is never easy but – with the new PDGM standards arriving in a few months – 2020 is going to be a real challenge.
That’s why we’re pleased to offer Blueprint for OASIS Accuracy, a two-day, data-collection workshop in Devens, Massachusetts on November 4-5, 2019.
This workshop — designed by OASIS Answers — provides a comprehensive look at the OASIS items including the OASIS-D1 revisions and OASIS-related PDGM information effective January 1, 2020. The course awards 13 CEUs. Attendees can also take an optional exam at the same location the following day (registration and payment for the exam is entirely separate from the workshop).
Though the program is available to all, members may attend for just $429.00 per registrant, a discount of $150 off the non-member rate. If you’ve been thinking about having the Alliance join, this will give you immediate return on your investment.
National Government Service (NGS) announces two new rounds of Targeted Probe and Educate (TPE) for home health agencies
Last month, the National Government Service (NGS) notified the Home Care Alliance of Massachusetts about two new rounds of Targeted Probe and Educate (TPE):
High therapy utilization. NGS will be reviewing documentation to ensure all CMS requirements have been met on therapy assessments and 30-day reassessments, as well as, medical necessity.
Documentation supporting homebound criteria. The second edit is specific to four diagnoses: Heart Failure, COPD, Dementia, and Diabetes and if the documentation confirms homebound status.
Many HHAs have contacted me over the past few weeks with questions about the TPE, so I thought I would review the rules because I am sure others have the same questions.
How Will the HHA be Notified: You will receive a letter from NGS stating the focus of the targeted probe: high therapy or homebound for one of the four diagnoses listed above. Expect to receive between 20–40 ADRs, although every agency targeted so far has received a request for the 40 records.
Additional Documentation Request: The Medicare system will generate ADRs and you have a total of 45 days to respond with the requested medical records. Note: It is best to send in at least 30 -35 days, as NGS considers their time to acknowledge receipt of the documentation into their system as part of the 45-day timeframe. If your ADR is one day late it is considered “no response” and counts as an error.
Calculation: NGS calculates the Percent Error Rate (PER) by taking the dollars Medicare would have paid the HHA versus the dollars denied obtaining a percentage. The PER must be 15 percent or below for the HHA to be released from the next round of TPE.
Results Letter: At the conclusion of a round of review, you will receive a letter outlining the TPE process, the reason for denials including the Medicare regulations, denial rates (PER), release or retention from medical review and offer for one-on-one education information.
Education: One-on-one education between NGS medical reviewers and the provider. It is very important to accept the education from NGS at the end of the audit; accepting the education demonstrates that you are trying to improve documentation and will help with the second round of TPE.
If you have any questions or concerns about TPE, it would be great to hear from you. Good Luck!
The Alliance’s redesigned Advocacy Action Center makes it easier for members to communicate with their elected officials on the pressing issues facing their agencies.
For the first time in many years, the Alliance has redesigned its Advocacy Action Center website, offering members an enhanced advocacy experience so they can easily communicate with their elected officials on the pressing issues facing their agencies. This post will highlight some of the key changes so that you are prepared to take action and make a difference!
Main-Page Scrolling Advocacy Feature
The main Advocacy Action Center page now features a scrolling banner of key advocacy initiatives that the Alliance and its members are working on. The banner has a functioning link which you can click on to bring you directly to the action center to quickly send an email to your elected official.
Under the scrolling banner, you will see three buttons linking to sub-pages. This organizes the Advocacy Action Center into three easily accessible topics: Legislative Priorities, Testimony/Comments, and Facts & Figures. Note: The Facts & Figures sub-page is currently being updated.
Legislative Priorities Sub-Page
Among the biggest of changes, is our newly designed Legislative Priorities page. For the first time, members now have a centralized landing page which organizes all of the Alliance’s legislative priorities in one place. You’ll see the page is split in half, organized by State and Federal priorities.
You’ll also see that each legislative issue has a brief overview of the issue and the solution that HCA supports. Underneath each blurb are links to download the fact sheets for, or take action on, the issue!
We hope that you will find our new advocacy center easier to use so that you can engage with your elected officials, while focusing on running your agency!
At the most recent HCA of MA Board of Directors meeting, Scott Cluett, Director of the DPH Office of Emergency Medical Services provided an update on the role out of Mobile Integrated Health and Community EMS in MA. Both programs were created by a 2015 act of the MA legislature, following a trend in many states to use EMS personnel to deliver care outside of the emergency transport role. Applications for MIH programs were released in December 2018, with a few coming online mid 2019. MIH programs must, in their applications: “identify and validate one or more gaps in service delivery using data and a corresponding community health needs assessment. Each application must also describe how the proposed MIH program will address identified gaps in service delivery and provide improvements in quality, access, and cost effectiveness, an increase in patient satisfaction, improvement in patients’ quality of life, and an increase in interventions that promote health equity, including cultural and linguistic competencies…”Coordination of care is explicitly required with MIH applicants either having named health care partners or a plan for primary care coordination.
Community EMS programs must be founded in partnership with a local municipality and focus on prevention if illness or injury. So far 11 cities and towns have launched programs with the most common services offered being fire burn prevention and education, home safety evaluations, sharps awareness (and at least in one community sharps disposal) and naloxone training.
The change in state law that allows EMS personnel to treat in lieu of transfer is just beginning to be understood. How it may be incorporated into home care and hospice patient care management remains to be seen. Cluett’s short presentation, along with the pertinent regulations, can be found here.
HCA will host an HR Management Half-Day Conference on Tuesday, October 29 at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, MA. This conference is an excellent resource for HR Managers, CEOs, COOs, and Clinical Directors.
HCA will host an HR Management Half-Day Conference on Tuesday, October 29 at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, MA. This conference is an excellent resource for HR Managers, CEOs, COOs, and Clinical Directors. Topics will include the following:
Attracting a Talented Workforce, Sheri Heller, PHR, SHRM-CP, Senior HR Advisor MassPay HR & Services Attracting and keeping talented employees in today’s job market is more difficult than ever. Learn about best practices to ensure successful talent acquisition efforts that will lead to a high-performing workforce. This session will include topics on talent sourcing vs. recruiting; finding the right talent pool; building your employer brand; the candidate experience; and creating the perfect job ad.
Discrimination Law Issues for the Home Care Industry, Layla Taylor, Esq. Partner, Sullivan Hayes & Quinn Employment discrimination laws have been established to prevent discrimination based on race, sex, sexual orientation, religion, national origin, physical disability, and age. Learn from Taylor the important key points relating to patient choice and anti-discrimination case law for your employees. Topics such as employee religious and disabiliaty accommodations to vaccinations will be covered.
The Step-by-Step HR Department Checklist, Julie Brinkman, COO, Hireology Whether you have a staff of 5 or 500, clear HR policies and consistent processes are essential to success on the people side of your business. This presentation will review a comprehensive HR checklist developed by Hireology and BambooHR designed to help home care agencies establish a new HR function or improve the HR systems and initiatives that are already in place in your agency. This checklist includes key elements such as an overview of important HR policies and processes, recruitment best practices to attract quality candidates, and tips for developing and maintaining a successful HR team.
Home Care Alliance Workforce Initiatives, HCA of MA Staff The HCA Board has identified Workforce Development as a critical priority issue under its current Strategic Plan. A Board working group had identified a number of initiatives for the Alliance and Foundation to expand our member support on workforce issues, addressing staff development at all levels: executive, management, supervisory, and all levels of direct care. This session will review results to date on some of the projects already in progress, preview future objectives, and solicit member input on new initiatives to help ensure a skilled and motivated workforce for the future.
Registration is only $50/Person for HCA of MA Members!
Celebrate Home Care Month by nominating your best and brightest staff members for the Innovation and Star Awards!
Join us during Home Care Month for the
Alliance’s annual celebration of innovation and excellence which will return to
the Granite Links Golf Club in Quincy on November 19, 2019.
Nominate your innovative programs and star
employees to be recognized during this celebration of the BEST in home care in
The Innovations Awards recognize programs,
products, or operational changes that enhance the quality or outcomes of
patient care, improve community well-being; drive efficiency in operations
within the agency or the health care system; or enhance staff productivity or
The Star Awards celebrate the exceptional accomplishments of the everyday heroes in our midst who make incredible differences in the lives of their patients/clients and their families. A STAR award brings well-deserved recognition for both the agency and the individual.
2019 Private Care Management Conference Agenda Announced!
Labor Management Relations, Robert Brooks, Labor & Employment Partner, Verrill Dana Learn strategies to develop an effective plan of action when dealing with the current labor laws. This session will review recent and ongoing developments relating to handling your employees; such as, hiring, firing, discipline, and payment of wages. Additionally, hear more on the new Massachusetts Home Care Worker Registry Act and how it impacts your organization.
Recruiting, Onboarding & Educating the Caregiver Workforce of the Future,Helen Adeosun, EdM, Co-Founder & CEO of CareAcademy Educating caregivers is the number one health intervention for today’s home care agency. Learn staffing best practices to help find new caregivers and educate existing caregivers to meet the growing needs of clients in their care. Attendees will learn several actionable steps that agency owners and management can take today to ensure that their caregivers have the knowledge they need that a structured training program can offer, and the positive impact for retention, home care ROI and business.
Preventing Verbal Abuse of Workers: The Safe Home Care Project,Margaret M. Quinn, ScD, CIH, Professor and Director, Safe Home Care Project, Zuckerberg College of Health Sciences, UMass Lowell Previous studies have found that violent behaviors, including verbal abuse as well as physical assault, by patients towards health care workers is common and leads to injuries, illness, burnout and job turnover. The Safe Home Care Project team conducted a survey of nearly 1,000 Massachusetts home care aides and found that about 1 in 4 experienced verbal abuse from clients within the past year. The study identified home care conditions under which verbal abuse was most likely to occur and recommendations for prevention that can improve safety for both aides and their clients.
Key Metrics to Motivate Staff, Improve Retention and Promote Growth, Kunu Kaushal, Senior Solutions Home Care Learn from the Senior Solutions Home Care founder and CEO Kunu Kaushal who grew his Tennessee-based home care business from zero to $18+ million in nine years, with 800+ clients and 10 locations. The first session will share actual usable metrics, and formulas to help operate your agency at peak performance. Areas covered will include financials, operations, staffing, and recruitment. Move beyond revenue metrics to incentivize staff and provide more clarity around roles related to scheduling, recruitment and human resources. This simple, budget-driven model uses national metrics and KPIs that consider salaries and profitability for setting goals, defining responsibilities and motivating your staff.
Building Your Leadership Team, Kunu Kaushal, Senior Solutions Home Care In the second session you will learn his culture “secrets”, what makes a company’s culture great, how employee engagement can impact that culture. Kunu will share how he managed to build an attractive work culture, recognize when it’s time to let someone go, how to manage accountability, and more. Additionally, Learn how a great leadership team is built, including how to identify when it’s time to add to the team, ways to divide roles in order to maximize the team’s efficiency and key skill sets to identify when hiring.