HCA Member Publishes Article in Caring Magazine on Employee Engagement

In the January issue of Caring Magazine, Executive Vice President for MetroWest Home Care & Hospice Jane Pike Benton published an article on engaging employees to foster a successful culture within home health agencies.

Benton writes that recognizing employees and showing appreciation is critical. She shares some of the strategies that MetroWest Home Care & Hospice has implemented and some of the processes and planning the agency went through such as creating a Great Expectations (GE) Team, which was assembled with highly motivated and engaged employees who were already setting an example. This team the established a set of standards and values by which all employees on the agency were held accountable and that appears at the top of each performance evaluation.

The article beings on page 20 of the January edition of Caring Magazine.

Return to www.thinkhomecare.org.

CMS adds Guidance on Independence at Home Demonstration

CMS has offered guidance in the form of additional FAQ’s on the Independence at Home Demonstration, which aims to test a service delivery model that utilizes physician and nurse practitioner-directed primary care teams to provide services to certain Medicare beneficiaries with multiple chronic illnesses in their homes.

Based on the opportunity for home care agencies to partner with physician practices on this project, the Home Care Alliance held a conference call on the program and made a presentation and other resources available on a previous newsfeed post.

Return to www.thinkhomecare.org.

Governor Releases FY13 Budget Blueprint

Governor Deval Patrick released his proposal for the state’s fiscal year 2013 budget, which sets the stage for the legislature to work out their own versions and come to an eventual agreement over the next six months.

The Governor’s budget does not include any projected increases or cuts for home health, as is the case with most programs (MassHealth Nursing Home Supplemental Rates are reduced from FY12 spending by more than $300 million in the Governor’s proposal).  The MassHealth line items are almost all increased to “meet projected need,” which just translates to level funding. Here is a list of the line-items of note, including the MassHealth accounts.

  • MassHealth Managed Care (line item 4000-0500) increased $183,988,029 over FY12 spending to $4,164,475,376
  • MassHealth Senior Care (line item 4000-0600) increased $196,976,192 over FY12 spending to $2,763,630,662 .
  • MassHealth Fee-for-Service Payments (4000-0700) increased $129,850,745 over FY12 spending to $1,939,680,126.
  • Home Care Purchased Services (9110-1630) had a short increase just over $2,000 to $97,783,061.
  • Elder Enhanced Home Care Services (9110-1500) increased $672,147 to $46,461,487 .

The Governor’s office provides more details on health care costs and reasoning for those decisions here. The Home Care Alliance will continue to provide more information as further analysis is completed. The Alliance will once again be advocating for line items of concern as the budget process moves forward, including on issues like payment rates and telehealth reimbursement from Medicaid.

For more general information, several articles from sources like Boston.com and MassLive.com are available that explain some of the Governor’s budget as well.

Return to www.thinkhomecare.org.


Career Center Expands to Include All of New England

Last June, the Alliance launched its new Career Center to connect Massachusetts home care agencies with the professionals they need to expand and enhance their businesses.  This month, we’re pleased to announce that the Career Center is expanding into the rest of the region, and will include new partner associations from across New England.

As a successful career center requires traffic as much as quality, this expansion will benefit old users as much as new ones by increasing the Career Center’s profile and attracting new applicants.  The Alliance will be marketing the Career Center steadily over the next few months, as will the Home Care & Hospice Alliance of MaineHome Care Association of New HampshireRhode Island Partnership for Home Care, and Vermont Assembly of Home Health Agencies, who will be promoting the Career Center in their states.

The Alliance was also able extend the introductory $100 price for 30-day listings (a savings of 43%) for members who enter a coupon code through the beginning of April.  Members may also use a separate coupon to receive a 20% discount  on any Career Center purchase — including bulk packages — both during and after the introductory period.  For a full explanation of the changes and access to the members-only coupon codes visit the Career Center FAQ (log-in required).

If you haven’t already get started by creating a FREE Employer or Job Seeker profile and start posting your open positions or resumes (existing profiles on the Career Center will operate as before).  Packages of 5 and 10 jobs are available, as are 60 and 90-day listings, as well as a variety of extras to ensure maximum exposure for your listings.

Contact the HCA’s Tom Meyer at (617) 482-8830 or Annissa Couch at (866) 376-0949 x 6047 with questions, or just visit the Career Center.

Return to www.thinkhomecare.org.

Check out the New Facebook Page on Nurse Delegation

The Home Care Alliance invites members, advocates, and anyone interested to “like” a new Facebook page focused on passing Senate Bill 1138, An Act Relative to Home Health Aides, which is also known as the Nurse Delegation bill.

The page will provide updates on the bill and the nurse delegation issue in general. Other important links can be followed to reports, news articles and pre-written advocacy messages that makes it easier to contact legislators for those concerned about the issue.

Return to www.thinkhomecare.org.

Home Health Line: TPL Demonstration Reinstatement Under Consideration?

Today’s (January 23, 2012) issue of Home Health Line reports that “pressure from government auditors may lead to the revival” of the TPL demonstration that ran for seven years in Massachusetts, Connecticut and New York and that handled resolution of home health payments through a sampling rather than a case by case medical review.    The source of this information is an unnamed  “industry official. ”

At this point in time, the Home Care Alliance has not heard of any specific intent to reinstate the demonstration – although we have asked that it be done in meetings at CMS in Washington and locally, and in comments to the new federal office examining care for dual eligibles.   The Alliance has been invited to present issues with the current TPL process at meeting at CMS Boston office in mid-February.

Prior to the February meeting at CMS, the Alliance has meetings scheduled with NHIC and MassHealth to discuss process and recoupment issues.  In previous direct emails, we have asked that members who have cases in which recoupments were made in error, HHABNs were lost or mishandled,  or records were lost or mishandled to please provide this information in as much detail as possible to either Tim Burgers or Pat Kelleher,  as soon as possible.

Return to www.thinkhomecare.org.

New Congressional District Maps Available

Late last year, the state’s Special Joint Committee on Redistricting approved new congressional districts for Massachusetts’s federal delegation.  Due to loss of one seat following the 2010 census, the new lines are significantly altered; this November, members will likely find themselves and their agencies in different districts and/or with different incumbent* representatives.

In order to help sort through the confusion, the Alliance created the following series of interactive, zoomable maps for its members.  Simply browse and zoom through the maps — just as you would on any other Google Map — then click on your district to bring up information about its incumbent.

Again, these maps reflect districts going into this November’s election and do not reflect current Congressional districts or representatives.  The Alliance will post a new series of maps after the election to reflect the state’s actual delegation to the 113th U.S. Congress, as elected by its citizens.

Western & Central Massachusetts (1st & 2nd Districts)

(Rep. John Olver — who currently represents NW Massachusetts — will retire in 2013 and is not shown on this map; his district is being absorbed into its neighbors).

Northeastern Massachusetts (3rd, 5th, & 6th Districts)

(Despite the familiar incumbents, the new district lines are substantially changed).

Downtown Boston & Southeastern Massachusetts (4th, 7th, 8th, & 9th Districts)

(Rep. Barney Frank is retiring from Congress, so the 4th District will have no incumbent running in November; Rep. William Keating — whose district currently includes Quincy and the South Shore — is relocating to his home on Cape Cod, where he will run in the new 9th District).

Return www.thinkhomecare.org.

* Technically, none of the districts will have incumbents as they will all be “new.”  Regardless, all districts save the 4th are expected to have a current congressman on the ballot.