Blue Cross Blue Shield of MA Takes Positive Step Forward

Blue Cross Blue Shield of MA announced this week that in 2016 they will be expanding their end of life benefits to cover hospice for a longer period and to support end of life counseling both with physicians and other health care professionals. An expanded home care program is also in the planning stages.

The changes announced by BCBS come just as Medicare will begin covering end of life discussions.

The BCBS effort to expand benefits were in part driven by the experience of their Chief Executive Officer Andrew Dreyfus in assisting his own parents and brother at the ends of their lives.

The Home Care Alliance of MA applauds these actions as very much in keeping with the important Institute of Medicine Report “Dying in America,” which reinforced – with strong recommendations – that health care professionals must be empowered to ensure that end-of-life care is compassionate, affordable, sustainable, and of the best quality possible.

We look forward to working with BCBS of MA to support these efforts in the interest of all of our patients and families.

Member Benefit: Free Wound Care Webinars

The Home Care Alliance has a continued partnership with the Wound Care Educational Institute. Wound Care Education Institute® provides comprehensive online and nationwide onsite courses in the fields of Skin, Wound, Diabetic and Ostomy Management. Health care professionals who meet the eligibility requirements may sit for the prestigious:

(WCC®) Wound Care Certification
(DWC®) Diabetic Wound Care
(OMS™) Ostomy Management Specialist

These national board certification examinations are offered through the National Alliance of Wound Care and Ostomy ® (NAWCO®), the largest multidisciplinary group of certified wound care professionals in the United States.

Not only do our members receive discounts on training’s offered by WCEI but you also receive FREE access to numerous webinars such as the ones listed below:

•Diabetic Ulcers Identification and Treatment
•HOW TO: Bariatrics and Skin Fold Management
•HOW TO: Creating the Seal by Making the Right Choices
•HOW TO: Debridement Options: BEAMS Made Easy
•HOW TO: Diabetic Foot Exam Made Easy
•HOW TO: Fistula Management Made Easy
•HOW TO: Medical Device and Moisture Associated Skin Breakdown
•HOW TO: Skin of Color•HOW TO: Skin Tears
•HOW TO: Surgical Incision: Keep your eye on the line
•HOW TO: Tube Basics. Going with the flow
•HOW TO: Writing Policies and Procedures for Wound Care
• Improved Wound Care Outcomes
• Insider Secrets to Wound Care
• Is It Pressure
• Is It Really Infected? How Do I Really Know?
• It’s Not Just a RASH! So What Is It? What Do I Do?
• Ostomy Buzz
• Palliative Wound Care
• PHI, PMRI,EHR, EMR…WHAT? Alphabet Soup or Medical Records?
• Pressure Ulcers- Choosing the Right Treatment
• Skin and Nail Changes in the Diabetic Foot
• Teaching the Teacher
• What stage is it? Pressure Ulcer Staging and Tissue Types
• Wound Assessment

Want more information on these free webinars? Click Here

Interested in attending the next Skin & Wound Care Management Course offered in MA? Click Here

HPC Releases Proposed ACO Standards for Comment

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts is in the midst of a massive initiative to transform MassHealth payment and care delivery through the creation of Accountable Care Organizations (ACO). MassHealth has convened eight separate work groups to provide input and recommendations on various aspects of this transformation. The Home Care Alliance is represented on six of those eight work groups.

In support of that initiative, the state’s Health Policy Commission (HPC) this week released a set of draft ACO certification standards.

According to the HPC, the purpose of the certification program is to “complement existing local and national care transformation and payment reform efforts, validate value-based care, and promote investments by all payers in efficient, high-quality, and cost-effective care across the continuum.”

The HPC’s proposed standards include criteria, documentation requirements and questions for public comment. HCA intends to comment, so any members with thoughts, suggestions or answers on any of the proposed criteria or questions should contact James Fuccione at the Alliance.

For those looking to submit comments independent of the HCA, a public hearing will be hosted by the HPC on January 6 and the overall submission deadline for written feedback is January 29. That may seem like a far-off deadline, but with the holidays and the state’s budget process kicking up, any comments submitted to HCA well before that date would be appreciated.

Return to

Don’t Miss the Early Bird Special for the 2016 Leadership Summit

Your mission, should you choose to accept, is to register for the 2016 Northeast Home Health Leadership Summit before December 18th to receive the early bird special!

The Northeast Home Health Leadership Summit, now in its 14th year, is the premier gathering of home health agency leaders throughout the northeast. This cutting-edge conference is attended by home care executives seeking to take their operation to the next level by gaining insights on the latest trends in home care and leadership. Join your peers in Boston, January 19-21, 2016 for this not to be missed event!

This year’s theme is Mission:POSSIBLE and includes a superb lineup of speakers. To see the brochure click here.

This program is sponsored by: Connecticut Association for Healthcare at Home; Home Care & Hospice Alliance of Maine; Home Care Alliance of Massachusetts; Home Care Association of New Hampshire; Home Care and Hospice Association of New Jersey; Home Care Association of New York State; New York State Association of Health Care Providers; Rhode Island Partnership for Home Care; and VNA’s of Vermont.

To register NOW and receive the early bird rate click here or download the brochure for the hard copy registration form.