The Medical Home and Home Care

State and federal policy maker support for more patient-centered and enhanced primary care in the form of a “medical home” or “health home” (according to Senate Finance Committee)  makes it highly likely that more Massachusetts practices will move to this model in 2010.

As a member of the state Medical Home Coordinating Council, the Home Care Alliance has crafted a white paper on ways that home care agencies might engage and support physician practices converting to PCMHs.

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EDIT:  The link to the White Paper is now fixed.

HCA to Attend Case Managers Society Meeting

I will be representing the Alliance at the annual Case Managers Society of New England conference in Worcester on Thursday and Friday.  In addition to distributing copies of the 2009 Resource Directory — I ran out of the 100 copies I brought to last year’s conference — I will debut the new 2010 Guide to Private Care Services at this meeting.

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Worcester Telegram-Gazette: Support Home Care Providers

An Opinion-Editorial titled “Support Home Care Providers” focusing on the role of home health care in the nation’s health care reform efforts, as well as the role it should play, was published in today’s (September 30) Worcester Telegram & Gazette. The Op-Ed is printed in a section of the paper called “As I See It” and was submitted by President and CEO of VNA Care Network & Hospice Karen Green.

Below is an excerpt from the article:

These are historic times in our nation and our state. With the attention of Congress and the president focused on health care reform, we as health care providers are poised between impatience and trepidation. We are impatient for action to help the struggling uninsured families we know only too well, but fear that paying for expanding access to insurance out of Medicare “savings” will be a death knell for the most efficient among us.

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Boston Globe: Public Option Rejected by Sen. Finance Committee

The Boston Globe’s website featured an article that brought another chapter in the ongoing story of whether or not a so-called public option should be included in the nation’s health care reform. As the story reports here, the Senate Finance Committee voted down a measure to include the public option in their version of a reform bill.

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, who did not include a public option in his markup of the proposal, had this this to say:

“My job is to put together a bill that gets to 60 votes” in the full Senate, the Montana Democrat said shortly before he joined a majority on the committee in opposing the provision. “No one shows me how to get to 60 votes with a public option,” the term used to describe a new government role in health care. It takes 60 votes in the 100-member Senate to overcome delaying actions that Republicans may attempt.

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Alliance Comments on PPS Rules

The Alliance submitted comments to CMS on September 28 regarding the proposed PPS rate update for 2010.  In the comments, the Alliance recommended that CMS delay OASIS-C implementation and the new HHCAHPS to give agencies additional time to prepare for these changes.  We also recommended that CMS rely on targeted fraud enforcement activities rather than across-the-board cuts to weed out abusive providers.  See our comments here.

Thanks to the members of the Alliance’s Clinical Directors, Reimbursement, and QI Committees for their assistance in developing our comments.

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