2021 Home Care Stars Winners

Join us to honor excellence in home care, as we present the Star Awards at the 2021 “Our Time to Shine.” The event will be held at Granite Links in Quincy, MA on Tuesday, November

The Annual Star Awards has returned for 2021 to honor the best and brightest in our industry! Join us and your colleagues on Tuesday, November 9 at Granite Links in Quincy for a celebration of hard work, resilience, innovation, and dedication in the home care, hospice, and home health care communities.

Together, we can celebrate our people and our pioneers by recognizing how they make life better for thousands of patients and their families. In celebrating individual achievement, we shine a light on our collective accomplishments.

2021 Home Care Star Award Winners

Congratulations to this year’s winner’s and our thanks to those who nominated them.

After the Hospital: A Guide to Post-Acute Care

The Massachusetts Hospital Association—in collaboration with several organizations, including the Alliance—has created After the Hospital: A Guide to Post-Acute Care to inform patients and their caregivers of their options for care after a major change in a patient’s health.

The Massachusetts Hospital Association—in collaboration with several organizations, including the Alliance—has created After the Hospital: A Guide to Post-Acute Care to inform patients and their caregivers of their options for care after a major change in a patient’s health. The 64-page After the Hospital: A Guide to Post-Acute Care fulfills a long-standing need to educate the public and members of the healthcare community about the care options available to patients following a medical event or hospitalization.

The guide is intended to cut through the confusion to provide patients, their families, or the person entrusted with their care a roadmap that will assist them in:

  • Understanding their care needs;
  • Learning about services that meet their needs;
  • Talking to their health insurance company;
  • Finding out more about their providers; and
  • Making the choice that is right for them.

For providers, After the Hospital: A Guide to Post-Acute Care lays out the elements of a successful post-acute process, the range of available post-acute care services, provider checklists to support care transitions, and a list of key terms and concepts.

The full guide, or individual sections, can be accessed here:

2022 New England Home Care & Hospice Conference Call for Speakers Now Open!

The New England Home Care & Hospice Conference and Trade Show is the region’s premier event for home care and hospice agencies. The conference is hosted by the six New England state home care associations, which collectively represent nearly 400 organizations. This coming year, the conference heads to Newport, RI from May 11-13!

The conference is designed for senior and mid-level administrative and clinical staff. The conference features multiple keynote sessions, workshops, and intensive programs. Topics are designed to meet the needs of all agencies, including Medicare-certified, private duty, and hospices. The trade show is the largest home health and hospice expo in the Northeast.

We are pleased to open the call for speakers up to any and all who are interested. We highly encourage agency staff members to submit innovative programs they have developed within their companies to present to colleagues.

Vendors who submit proposals are highly encouraged to include an agency in their presentation for preferential review.

The deadline to submit proposals is Sunday, November 14th by end of day.

For more information on our conference you can go to www.NEHCC.com!

Introducing Home Health 101

Introducing Home Health 101, our new online orientation for home health clinicians and managers, with a focus on compliance regulation.

Have you hired staff new to home health care? Need a refresher on the basics of home health compliance? Due for a review on the latest regulation changes?

As the Alliance’s director of clinical and regulatory affairs, I’m often asked these questions from members looking to ensure that their clinical staff and managers have the tools they need to successfully navigate the regulatory challenges they’ll face in home health. In the past, I’ve done in-person presentations on this material but now—to ensure that even more people have access to it—I’m pleased to announce that Home Health 101 is available digitally for the first time.

In Home Health 101, I highlight the Conditions of Participation standards (COPs), Medicare regulations related to the survey process, and how the survey process works. 5 CEU credits are available (for a small processing fee) to those who complete the course and pass an evaluation.

Objectives include how to:

  • Review the Home Health’s Conditions of Participation (COPs);
  • Identify three of the five criteria for Medicare certification for home health benefit;
  • Understand Requirements for Physician Orders and Face-to-Face (F2F);
  • Identify Medicare’s definitions of “confined to home”; and
  • Review patient notices.

The program is broken into five sections:

  • Part 1: Orientation to Home Health
  • Part 2: Conditions of Participation (CoPs)
  • Part 3: Patient Notices
  • Part 4: Conditions of Participation, Contin.
  • Part 5: Skilled Professional Services and HHA Services

Talking Home Care: Serving Clients & Protecting Staff During the Pandemic

Cheryl Rumley—founder and president of Apex Homecare—offers a powerful, first-person account of her experience running an agency during the COVID-19 Pandemic.

For the 16th episode of Talking Home Care, Pat talks with Cheryl Rumley, founder and president of Apex Homecare in Springfield, Massachusetts. Cheryl offers a powerful, first-person account of her experience running an agency during the pandemic. Like many owners, Cheryl had to figure out how to care for her clients while also looking out for her employees’ safety and need to care for their own families.

They also discuss Cheryl’s connection to the 1918 Spanish Flu Pandemic and Governor Charlie Baker’s leadership during the last 18 months.

You may listen to the podcast by clicking any of the platform images above, clicking “play,” or downloading it directly (Length: 21 minutes; Size: 15 MB).

Cheryl Rumley and Pat Kelleher
Cheryl Rumley and Pat Kelleher

If you enjoy the podcast, please subscribe and give us a five-star review so others can find it.

Return to www.thinkhomecare.org.

Alliance Comments to CMS on CY2022 Home Health Rule

To ensure that home health agencies in Massachusetts can provide high-quality care to older adults, the Home Care Alliance of Massachusetts has submitted comments to the federal government regarding the proposed rule for next year’s Medicare home health rates. Our comments to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) address several sections of the proposed rule, including:

  • CMS’s flawed reasoning behind the -4.36% “behavioral adjustment” to the rates;
  • Concerns about a budget neutrality adjustment based on 2020 data skewed by COVID;
  • A market basket adjustment that does not account for ongoing costs related to COVID;
  • Protections for counties with large wage index reductions;
  • Modifications to the Value Based Purchasing model before it is implemented nationwide;
  • Greater flexibility around the five-day deadline to submit the new Notice of Admission;
  • Greater flexibility to allow therapist to conduct initial assessments; and
  • Expanded allowances for virtual aide supervisions.

Alliance Partners with RBC Ltd on OSHA Manual

Barbara Citarella
RBC’s Barbara Citarella

In response to the new OSHA Emergency Temporary Standard issued in June, the Alliance has teamed up with Barbara Citarella of RBC Limited to produce an e-book on Workplace Safety for Occupational Exposure to COVID-19. The document includes model policies and multiple forms in the addendum section that will be helpful as guidance for compliance with the OSHA Standard. The manual can also serve as a template for any other infectious communicable diseases. All documents may be used as is or may be personalized by using PDF editing software.

We will be working with RBC to market this new manual nationwide. Alliance members can be the first to purchase your copies here!

Modernizing the Medicare Home Health Benefit—at Last

Please help us advocate for The Choose Home Care Act, which would provide eligible recipients with SNF-like levels of care at home for 30 days post hospital discharge.

Last week, legislation was introduced in the US Senate that would provide the most significant update to the Medicare home health benefit since its inception. A strong bipartisan group of senators filed the Choose Home Care Act, which would provide eligible recipients with SNF-like levels of care at home for 30 days post hospital discharge. Services would include not only traditional nursing and therapy, but also meals, personal care, remote patient monitoring, and non-emergent transportation, if needed.

A study commissioned by NAHC and the Partnership for Quality Home Health care estimates that the Choose Home Care program could generate Medicare annual savings of $144-247 million with $1.6-2.8 billion in savings over 10 years. NAHC President Bill Dombi called this “must pass” legislation. So, we have a bipartisan bill that could save Medicare dollars, with support from AARP and others in the aging advocacy networks. Sounds like a slam dunk. But this is DC, so there are no such things.

While the advocacy focus is currently on the Senate bill, I hope that when the House acts, Massachusetts can lead the way and get our full delegation on board. Please help Choose Home and send a message to our two senators.

2021 Annual Report

Our 2021 Annual Report highlights the Alliance and Foundation’s achievements over the past 12 months, and looks forward to our post-COVID future.

Our 2021 Annual Report highlights the Alliance and Foundation’s achievements over the past 12 months.

Responding to COVID

Since the onset of the pandemic and the declarations of federal and state emergencies, the Home Care Alliance of Massachusetts shifted much of its attention and resources to COVID-19-related membership support. To that end,
the Alliance:

  • Distributed donated PPE valued at over $150,000 through multiple distributions of free hand-sanitizer, gloves, gowns, face shields, and other PPE through a partnership with the Massachusetts Health & Hospitals Association and offered PPE at a competitive group discount price through our partnership with American Advertising Specialties.
  • Published 50 special member newsletters devoted exclusively to COVID topics – issued daily during the height of the public health emergency.
  • Worked with the Betsey Lehman Center on a PPE video series specific to home care and prepared an accompanying CEU PowerPoint and test for agencies to use alongside the video, including: Don/Doff PPE, Infection Control in the Home, and Video Pre/Post Test with Answers.
  • Developed two educational flyers on COVID for members to leave in the homes of clients/patients. The “Safe Holiday” flyer encouraged safe social distancing during holiday celebrations, and the “Wear Your Mask” brochure reinforced safety with patient families when a home care worker was in the house. The “Wear Your Mask” brochure was also translated into Spanish.
  • Advocated on social media when home care was excluded from the first round of health care worker vaccines. This generated more than 150 tweets (from over 40 accounts) and resulted in Governor Baker recognizing home care at a press event and moving up vaccine access date.
  • Worked with the MHA Post-Acute Care Transitions workgroup on a universal pre-discharge COVID testing protocol.
  • Offered regular calls for CEOs of certified and private care agencies to share and learn from each other, as well as calls for clinical directors, HR mangers, and hospice directors.
  • Secured the continuation (post-COVID) State of Emergency of Medicaid coverage of telehealth visits.
  • Answered hundreds of member regulatory questions related to the pandemic.
  • Hosted a COVID-19 Resource page that includes Allied member COVID resource services and that generated more than 6,500 unique page views.

Other 2020-2021 Work

Among the member supportive services over the past twelve months, the Alliance and Foundation have:

  • Succeeding in passing a FY 21 budget request for $17 million in money for home health aides and homemakers.
  • Helped to establish, and was appointed to, a commission to create a framework for licensure of private home care for the state Legislature to consider.
  • Completely revamped both our Find-an-Agency and our Allied member online directories with more information per company, and in a more readily accessible, clearer format.
  • Hosted dozens of member webinars , such as: Paid Family Medical Leave Benefit, the Medicare Home Infusion Benefit, Payroll Protection Loans, ICD-10 Comprehensive Coding
  • Worked with Mass EOEA on a plan for EVV roll out
  • Worked with MassHealth on rewriting home health program regulations.
  • Featured video interviews with agency leaders of color for Black History Month.

Read the full report below.

2021 Private Care Guides Connect Families & Home Care Agencies

The 2021 Private Care Directories will connect thousands of Massachusetts residents with the home care agencies they need.

For 15 years, the Guides to Private Home Care Services have connected tens of thousands of families with the home care agencies that best meet their needs. While our Resource Directory is intended for professionals who make regular referrals, the Private Care Guides are designed for consumers and are always available at no charge, with free shipping on most orders. Choose from among three regional editions:

2021 Private Care Guide - Boston North
2021 Private Care Guide - Central/West
2021 Private Care Guide - South of Boston

(Click one of the thumbnails to place your free order).

Each Guide contains a county-by-county cross-reference, as well as short essays about:

  • What home care is;
  • How to pay for it;
  • How to choose an agency, and;
  • The advantages of working with a home care agency.

This year, the Guides feature Francisca Depina & Maritza DelRosario of Upham’s Corner Health Center/Upham’s Home Health Care, who are among
the #HomeCareHeroes who have given so much to serve their clients
during the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Return to www.thinkhomecare.org.

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