Health Care Cost Trends Hearings and Panels This Week

The state’s Division of Health Care Finance & Policy (DHCFP) is holding a series of presentations, speeches and panel discussions this week in regards to health care cost trends reports and cost containment efforts currently underway.

The full agenda for the week features a range of health care experts and stakeholders, including government officials, and there will also be limited room for public comment. This is another opportunity for those interested to hear the state’s work in highlighting cost disparities as well as an attempted move for the state towards global payments and health care cost control.

The hearings are being held from Monday, June 27, 2011 through Thursday, June 30, 2011 at Bunker Hill Community College, 250 New Rutherford Avenue, Boston, MA 02129.

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Monday, June 27, 2011 through Thursday, June 30, 2011

Bunker Hill Community College, 250 New Rutherford Avenue, Boston, MA 02129

Geriatric Medication Management Course

Many older home care patients have one or more chronic illnesses and take numerous medications complicating the task of medication management. If you’re a frontline nurse manager, clinical director, QI/QA officer or certified clinical case manager, this online course can help you find practical ways to monitor a patient’s medication regimen.

This 4 unit, self-paced course:

  • Incorporates real-time data to assess your team’s performance and measure improvement; You can also compare your progress with others taking the course.
  • Describes the impact of medication-related problems in older adults
  • Simplifies the 3-step medication reconciliation process with practical tools
  • Walks you through the SBAR technique so you can effectively communicate with physicians
  • Enables you to apply each lesson with your team members; 81% of previous participants said their staff’s geriatric medication management clinical skills improved as a result


About the Course

  •     CHAMP launches new site Designed for frontline nurse managers, clinical directors, QI/QA officers, and clinical case managers
  •     10 CE hours for registered nurses and certified clinical case managers


Early Bird Special (20% discount now through 6/30/11):

$149 $119 per participant
$109 $87 per participant for members of one of the following state associations:

• California Association for Health Services at Home

• Georgia Association for Home Health Agencies

• Home Care Alliance of Massachusetts

• HomeCare Association of Arkansas

• Home Care Association of Florida

• Home Care Association of New Hampshire

• Home Care Association of New York State

• Home Care Association of Washington

• MHA: An Association of Montana Health Care Providers

• New Mexico Association for Home and Hospice Care

• Pennsylvania Home Care Association

• Rhode Island Partnership for Home Care, Inc.


Click this link, Geriatric Medication Management Course, for more information and to register.

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MA Congressional Delegation Weighs in on Physician Face-to-Face Requirement

The Massachusetts Congressional Delegation has stepped up again, this time sending a letter to CMS Administrator Dr. Donald Berwick with concern over the physician face-to-face requirement.

Every member of the delegation – Senators Kerry and Brown, as well as US Reps Markey, Frank, Neal, Olver, McGovern, Tierney, Capuano, Lynch,  Tsongas and Keating – signed onto the letter noting that the Massachusetts health care community has made considerable efforts to comply with the rule, but the paperwork burden and duplicative nature of the requirement are proving problematic and that CMS should consider changes.

The letter itself is available here and the Home Care Alliance greatly appreciates the work and support from the Congressional Delegation.

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Secretary Bigby Addresses Alliance Annual Meeting

Massachusetts Secretary Judy Ann Bigby reviewed the Patrick Administration’s plans for reform of the health care delivery system in Massachusetts.  In her remarks, Secretary Bigby was clear that just as was the case with universal access, Massachusetts may well move before most other states or the federal government on issues such as global payment and integrated care organizations.  Secretary Bigby was clear that the building blocks for the ICOs – as she called then – would be primary care advanced medical home practices.  “I see a strong role for home based care in areas such as complex care management,” she said.  “Working out your role directly with doctors will be key.”

The state currently has out a Request for Information on the formation of ICOs/ACOs  – comments are due by July 13th.   At the meeting Secretary Bigby indicated an interest in ideas as to how the state policy makers  could support a role for high quality,  cost effective home care in redesigned systems. Among the ideas put forth at the meeting:  test episodic – rather than fee for service –  payment  for MassHealth home health care and do some modeling of what a home -based chronic care bundled payment would like.

Do you have ideas for Secretary Bigby – related to home care under health care reform?  Send them along for inclusion in either the Alliance’s ACO comments or in Annual Meeting follow-up with the Secretary.

Please Circulate Physician Survey on Face to Face Requirement

The National Association for Home Care and Hospice is seeking help from home health agencies in getting physicians to complete a very important short survey that will help inform federal government policymakers about important issues related to CMS’ face-to-face encounter requirement. NAHC is meeting with CMS leadership in the coming weeks to discuss the impact of the face-to-face requirement, and in order to effectively stress the home care industry’s position on this issue, they need substantive data from physicians. P

The 10-question survey is only for physicians and will take less than 5 minutes of a physician’s time to complete. The deadline to submit the survey is Friday, June 24 at the close of business!  To ensure the accuracy and confidentiality of this survey, NAHC has partnered with an independent research company which will collect all responses and keep them completely anonymous. It is very important for the credibility of this survey that physicians be informed that the benefit to them for participating in this survey is to make sure their opinion is heard, whatever that opinion may be.

Click here to download the survey information for physicians.

Click here to down load a page explaining the survey in more detail.

State Seeks Comments on Accountable Care Organizations Through New RFI

The state’s Executive Office of Health and Human Services has released a Request for Information regarding the formation of Accountable Care Organizations (ACO’s) and are seeking comments from “all interested partComm-PASS logoies.”

The RFI includes an introductory letter from Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. JudyAnn Bigby and a thorough explanation of the state’s intentions for the transition to a new payment system. A response template is included in “Attachment A” of the document and comments should be submitted electronically through the Commonwealth Procurement Access and Solicitation System (Comm-PASS). Instructions are available in the RFI and the Home Care Alliance encourages home care agencies to submit comments as they see fit.

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Introducing the New Alliance Career Center

We’re very excited to announce the launch of the new Alliance Career Center, catered specifically to employers and job seekers in Massachusetts’s home care community.

The Career Center replaces our old Job Board. The new module includes a vastly-improved interface for employers with the ability to “feature” your most important listings and to search resumes of job seekers. Job seekers also have the ability to post their resumes online and receive notification of new openings.

In short, it’s a full-function, pro-actively marketed Career Center that gives a much better value to employers and job seekers alike. Features include:

For Employers

  • Create a FREE Employer Profile
  • Reach a targeted audience of local home care professionals
  • Find the most qualified candidates
  • Take advantage of affordable pricing less than half the cost of other job websites
  • Manage applications through your website or the Alliance Career Center
For Job Seekers

  • Create a FREE Job Seeker Profile
  • Access exclusive job opportunities from top employers
  • Find local and regional home care jobs
  • Get notified immediately of new openings
  • Quickly apply for open positions online
  • Post your resume anonymously

Job listings are competitively priced and begin at just $175 for a 30 day job.  Employers may further reduce their costs by purchasing packages of five or ten jobs, or by becoming members of the Alliance.  Posting your resume is completely free of charge.

To get started…

Create a FREE Employer or Job Seeker profile and start posting your resume and open positions today!

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