Deadline to Register for MAC Satisfaction Survey is September 30th

September 26, 2013

Let your voice be heard!

Time is running out to participate in the MAC Satisfaction Indicator (MIS).  Registration will close on Monday, September 30th. Your opinion counts so please participate by completing the  Registration Form

Medicare Administrative Contractor Satisfaction Indicator

CMS strives to continually refine its processes, systems and services in the pursuit of excellence which is our commitment to continuous improvement. In living this commitment, we are providing a tool, the Medicare Administrative Contractor Satisfaction Indicator (MSI), to measure the level of satisfaction providers and suppliers experience with their Medicare Administrative Contractors (MACs).  The MSI allows providers the opportunity to influence CMS’ understanding of Medicare contractor performance.  The goal of the MSI is to evaluate these experiences and determine the key drivers of customer satisfaction.  In addition, CMS will use the results of the MSI to monitor trends, improve oversight and increase the efficiency of the Medicare program.


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HCA Statement on Indictment of Waltham Home Health Agency Owner

September 25, 2013

Home Care Alliance of Massachusetts Decries Fraud Renews Call for Stricter Oversight or New Agencies, Moratorium

Boston, MA – The arrest on September 16th of the owner/proprietor of a Massachusetts home health agency on charges of defrauding the federal Medicare program should be seen as a wake-up call to federal and state officials that unlimited expansion of home health agencies is threat to the Medicare program and its beneficiaries.  The Home Care Alliance applauds the efforts of the federal Office of the Inspector General in identifying the aberrant behavior of this agency and reiterates its call for the federal government to do more to target abusive agencies.

“Home health agencies in Massachusetts work hard to comply with all federal and state rules and are an integral part of building a more patient centric, cost effective health care system,” said Patricia Kelleher, Executive Director of the Home Care Alliance of Massachusetts, a trade association for more than 190 Medicare certified and private pay home care agencies.  “We have been calling for more directive enforcement efforts aimed at outlier agencies, as opposed to blanket enforcement that burdens the high quality, highly ethical providers.

The Home Care Alliance has met with staff at CMS regularly over the past four years urging that there be: 1) More active enforcement of existing Medicare program rules, and 2) A more rigorous set of rules for entry into the industry in order reduce the growth of unqualified agencies.

The Alliance wrote to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebellius in 2011 and 2012 urging her to immediately place a moratorium on the enrollment of new home health providers into the Medicare program. The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) also made this recommendation in their March 2011 report to Congress, and the Secretary was granted the authority by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act to suspend payments to providers or establish a moratorium on new provider enrollment.

The Alliance has also filed state legislation to require any new agency to file and be granted a state “certificate of need” before applying for federal Medicare certification.

“The home health agencies in Massachusetts have worked hard to gain the trust of patients and families, as well as our physician and hospital partners,” said Beverly Pavasaris, President of the Home Care Alliance and Executive Director of the Brockton VNA. “Agencies such as mine, with more than 100 years of proving home based care, will not sit idly and let our good work and reputation be damaged by individuals intent on committing fraud.” Read the rest of this entry »

In Choosing A Healthcare Provider, It’s “Your Care, Your Choice”

September 24, 2013

Last week, the Alliance published its “Keeping It Legal” brochure to educate health care providers about lawful referral practices.

This week, we’re following up with a companion guide on the subject, designed for patients and families titled “Your Care, Your Choice,” which reminds patients of their right to choose their own providers, and empowers them to report facilities that attempt to violate these rights.

View this document on Scribd

To download the brochure, click the down arrow button immediately above this text.  Please feel free to distribute it to everyone who can benefit from it.

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Revised Publication Available for Reporting Fraudulent Home Care Referral Practices

September 16, 2013

In an effort to help home health agencies educate their partners in the provider community about lawful referral practices, the Home Care Alliance has revised and updated the first in a publication series called “Keeping It Legal.”

The document below is intended for distribution to hospitals, physicians, skilled nursing facilities and other sources that refer patients for Medicare-certified home health services. The Alliance has updated contact information for oversight entities so that providers, patients or the families of patients can accurately report fraudulent activity if they wish to do so. The document also lays out some of the basic examples of wrongful activity that should be reported.

With the help of HCA members and those they work with and work for, the Alliance hopes that this document will be passed along and posted prominently in an effort to promote home health services that are high-quality and ethical.

View this document on Scribd


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Best of Care Acquires Independence Home Care

September 12, 2013

Best of Care, a family owned private care agency located in Quincy has acquired Boston-based Independence Home Care.

Best of Care’s acquisition integrates Independence Home Care’s clients, employees and practices while maintaining a high quality of services and relationships with clients and their families, according to Best of Care Vice President Kevin Smith.

Independence Home Care was founded in 2009 by Joan Farahmand and Patrick O’Connell.

As a result of the acquisition, Best of Care’s service area expands from 80 to 115 towns from North Shore to Greater Boston to South Shore communities.

Presentation: Cost Effective Home Care in Massachusetts

September 4, 2013

As more health care providers are held collaboratively accountable for patient outcomes and costs, it’s important for other parts of the system to understand the capabilities of home care and how these capabilities intersect with  success in containing health care costs while improving quality.

To tell home care’s  story, a subcommittee the Alliance’s Board of Directors developed a PowerPoint slide show of some home care facts and figures.  This slide show is now available to all to use and adapt as needed (3MB download), and may be previewed below:

View this document on Scribd

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