Best Around the Home Care Web V

Healing After the Bombings

Victims of the Boston Marathon Bombing have a lengthy road to recovery:

Cost of amputating a leg? At least $20,000. Cost of an artificial leg? More than $50,000 for the most high-tech models. Cost of an amputee’s rehab? Often tens of thousands of dollars more.

These are just a fraction of the medical expenses victims of the Boston Marathon bombing will face.

The mammoth price tag is probably not what patients are focusing on as they begin the long healing process. But friends and strangers are already setting up fundraisers and online crowd-funding sites, and a huge Boston city fund has already collected more than $23 million in individual and corporate donations. — via Winnipeg Free Press

The piece also discusses how a number of state and local charities have created funds to help pay for the hospital bills, prosthetics, and rehabilitation.  Dozens of home care agencies have also donated their services to the victims.

Still Open: 2013 State of the Home Care Industry Study

The National State of the Home Care Industry survey is conducted through 20 minutes phone interviews with senior managers scheduled at times that are convenient for you. It will address current practices and future strategies in the areas of IS/EHR, telehealth, new health care models and operations.

Participating agencies will be among the first to receive in-depth reports plus strategic recommendations from the findings. The results will also include insights into what practices the top agencies, those with the best financial and quality outcomes, are using and planning.

The Study is sponsored by NAHC, CHAP, The Joint Commission, the Forum of State Associations, Delta Health Technologies, HealthWyse and Fazzi Associates. Results are expected to be released in late May or early June of this year. — via HCAF.

The survey is open to all Medicare Certified agencies with revenue >$500,000, and at least two Home Health Compare scores.

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Caregiver Videos: Introduction to Occupational Therapy

In the seventh video in our series for family caregivers, Geoffrey Abraskin, PT, DPT of Amedisys Home Health & Hospice Care discusses what Occupational Therapy is and how it can be used in a home care setting.

To view the full series, visit our YouTube channel.  To access library of hundreds of care giver resources on a variety of subjects, visit, who produced the videos with us.
Continue reading “Caregiver Videos: Introduction to Occupational Therapy”

PECOS Delay – Official Announcement

CMS has added  an MLN Matters article about the PECOS delay which was announced earlier this week.  It is titled:  SE1305 – Full Implementation of Edits on the Ordering/Referring Providers in Medicare Part B, DME, and Part A Home Health Agency (HHA) Claims (Change Requests 6417, 6421, 6696, and 6856).

NAHC  has posed the following questions to CMS:

  1. Must home health agencies issue a beneficiary notice to patients whose services will be terminated because of failure of their physician to be enrolled in PECOS and, if so, what notice?
  2. May home health agencies hold beneficiaries liable for the cost of care?
  3. Do apostrophes appear in PECOS files and in the edit files that will be used by the MACs (conflicting guidance from CMS to providers about use of apostrophes)
  4. Will claims be edited against the original Phase 2 May 1, 2013 “from” date or will this date be amended?
  5. Would CMS please add the effective date of physician enrollment to the Ordering/Referring File?

The Alliance appreciates NAHC pushing for these answers and will share information as we get it.

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NHIC Ask the Contractor April 25

Your opportunity to ask questions!

NHIC Corp., the regional Medicare Administrative Contractor, will host a Hospice & Home Health Ask the Contractor Teleconference (ACT) on April 25th, at 10:00 a.m.  This ACT Teleconference is an opportunity to speak directly with the contractor and ask questions or ask for clarification to an issue.  NHIC staff representing a variety of functions will be available to answer questions. NHIC usually will provide some updates to the home health and hospice community but the majority of this call is dedicated to providers as a question and answer open forum.

Registration is required on NHIC’s Education Programs webpage

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Home Care Agencies Donate Services to Boston Marathon Bombing Victims

BostonStrongRibbon.jpgHome care agencies are pitching in to help those injured in the Boston Marathon bombing by donating personal care services to victims whenever they are discharged from the city’s hospitals.

The Home Care Alliance is coordinating the volunteer effort that currently includes 55 agencies collectively providing coverage to the entire state. So, no matter where in

Massachusetts one of the affected people may live, an agency stands ready to help their transition back home.

The Home Care Alliance has notified all Boston hospitals and has provided the list of agencies donating services to staff at those facilities. Many have already been discharged from hospitals and the Alliance hopes that those people can also be aware that they have access to these donated services as well.

A special webpage listing the volunteer agencies has been set up and anyone hurt by the Marathon bombing that can benefit from free personal care can contact these agencies, but HCA also encourages hospitals to make the list available to patients as well.

The Home Care Alliance and its member agencies are proud to help those affected through a difficult time and hope they can take advantage of the compassionate care provided by agencies across the state.

Any hospitals or families impacted by the events of this past week can contact the Home Care Alliance for further details.

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HCA Promotes National Health Care Decisions Day

The Home Care Alliance supports National Healthcare Decisions Day (NHDD), which is April 16th, and was created to educate and empower the public about advance care planning – the ongoing process of discussing and clarifying the current state of a person’s goals, values and preferences for future medical care.  It has amassed a national following, with over 1,000 organizations participating each year, including the American Association of Retired Persons, the American Medical Association, and other state and local organizations.

The NHDD website has great information, including how to obtain an advance directive, legal resources that are available, and how to engage your family in these important conversations about one’s care.

In Massachusetts, it can’t be assumed that a spouse or other family member will be authorized to make medical decisions on their loved one’s behalf in all situations or settingsIn Massachusetts, if a person has lost the ability to make medical decisions (e.g. because of unconsciousness, coma, dementia or other mental limitations), it is their “health care agent” who is legally authorized to make medical decisions on their behalf.

To plan for future medical care, all adults ages 18 and older, whether they are healthy or sick, should name their health care agent by filling out and signing a legal form called a health care proxy form.

A health care proxy is the only legally authorized advance directive in Massachusetts. “Advance Directive” is a general term referring to a written document for future medical care in the event that a person loses capacity to make health care decisions.

For more information on Healthcare Decisions Day, visit

Information on other state-specific resources are available on this webpage.

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Help Get Vital Support for Home Care Amendments in FY14 House Budget

boston-statehouseA new advocacy message that home care agencies and advocates can send to their state representatives has been posted on the Home Care Alliance’s “Legislative Action Center.”

The pre-written message urging the House to support the Alliance’s budget priorities will automatically be sent to your state representative based on the contact form that you fill out after clicking the link. You will be able to review the message before sending, if you choose, and it only takes a minute of your time!

Here are HCA’s priority budget amendments:

  • Telehealth Monitoring (Amendment #341), sponsored by Rep. John Mahoney:  – establishes MassHealth reimbursement for home telehealth services provided by a home health agency.
  • Home Health Agencies Certificate of Need (Amendment #552), sponsored by Rep. Kate Hogan – establishes a “certificate of need” process for new home health agencies.
  • Pediatric Home Health Care (Amendment #609), sponsored by Rep. Michael Brady – balances the payment formula for independent practitioners and agencies providing continuous nursing to account for an agency’s overhead, including scheduling and documentation requirements.

You may also call your state representative to urge their support of any of the amendments listed above. Those unsure about who represents them can lookup their legislator and contact info at The above links to each amend includes a fact sheet with talking points you can use on the phone call.

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