Unique, Grant-Funded Training Opportunity for Central Mass. Home Care Workers

Registration is OPEN NOW for the first Community Health Worker (CHW) Registered Apprenticeship Program established in Massachusetts and one of only a few in the nation.

The Center for Health Impact TM (formerly known as Central MA AHEC) in Worcester, Massachusetts is delighted to report that the Fairlawn Foundation Fund of the Greater Worcester Community Foundation has awarded funds to establish the creation of a Community Health Worker (CHW) Registered Apprenticeship Program in Central Massachusetts.

Apprenticeship is a flexible training system that benefits both employers and workers through its structured on-the-job learning and job-related classroom instruction. (Learn more about Apprenticeship USA at: https://www.doleta.gov/OA/apprenticeship.cfm.)

The 150-hour course, anticipated to start on April 5th, 2016 (pending enrollment/subject to change) will be offered free of charge to qualified applicants in Central Massachusetts by the Center for Health Impact TM Outreach Worker Training Institute (OWTI) in Worcester. Participants will earn a certificate of course completion aligned with the requirements established by the Massachusetts Board of Certification of CHWs.

To qualify, an individual must be employed or about to be employed with an employer who will:

  • Provide them 2200 hours of on-the-job paid apprenticeship learning and supervision in one calendar year
  • Reward the apprentice for skills gained by an increase in pay within one calendar year
  • Authorize the apprentice to attend the 150-Hour course (120 hours of class time; 30 hours of homework).

Benefits for employers:

  • Access to free CHW core competency training for employees
  • Access to incentives as an employer working with the CHW Registered Apprenticeship Program
  • Well trained and job proficient employees who meet employers’ specific needs
  • Enhanced employee retention
  • Improved service delivery

For questions, or to request the registration package for the Community Health Worker (CHW) Registered Apprenticeship 150-Hour Certificate Course, please contact: Tatyana Gorodetsky,  at tatyana@centerforhealthimpact.org or by phone at: 508-556-1332.

MassHealth Hosting One Care Outreach Events

This Spring, MassHealth is hosting several One Care outreach events to let individuals who may be eligible for One Care know about the benefits of the program.

One Care Presentations as well as Drop-In Events will be held throughout Suffolk and Worcester County between the dates of March 25th and April 13th. This is a great opportunity to learn more about One Care, particularly for clients who may have received notices indicating that they are being automatically assigned to a One Care plan. More information about One Care can also be found at: www.mass.gov/masshealth/onecare.

Please share this with individuals you serve who may be eligible for One Care and feel free to forward to colleagues and other providers.

Return to www.thinkhomecare.org.

Another Successful Blueprint for OASIS Training & Exam


The Home Care Alliance of MA would like to thank the over 85 participants who took to the 2-day intensive Blueprint for OASIS training as well as a special congratulations to the 54 participants that took the OASIS COS-C certification exam last week on Wednesday, March 16th in Milford, MA.

Although OASIS is a high demand training, especially with the benefits to Value Based Purchasing, there is still a large cost associated with putting the training on. HCA would like to hold another training in the fall for members, around roughly November, however, we need to know if members would be interested in attending. With that, whether you are interested or not, the association would greatly appreciate it if you could take this very quick survey with your thoughts.


Your feedback is very valuable to us!

For any questions please feel free to contact Megan Fournier at mfournier@thinkhomecare.org or 617-482-8830.

MassHealth Releases Prior Authorization Presentation

The first in a series of education sessions administered by MassHealth on their newly implemented prior authorization process occurred on March 16th and the slides have been made available.

After a basic overview of home health regulations, the prior authorization portion begins on slide 20 with helpful information and links as well as the contact information for the MassHealth Prior Authorization Unit (PAU). With a limited number of spots for this webinar, the Home Care Alliance is continuing to work with MassHealth on offering additional sessions.

The Alliance continues to take questions from agencies and is actively and constantly in contact with MassHealth to address ongoing issues.

Next week, MassHealth will be offering separate one-hour sessions on utilizing the Provider Online Service Center, or POSC.

During this training, MassHealth will provide step-by-step instruction on how to submit a prior authorization via the POSC, including how to inquire on and view prior authorization decisions, as well as other POSC techniques.

As space is limited, agencies are encouraged to register soon, if they have not already.

The sessions will be held at UMass Medical School (333 South St, Shrewsbury, MA 01545) on the following dates.

  • Wednesday, March 23, 2016  1:00 PM – 2:00 PM
  • Friday, March 25, 2016 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM
  • Friday, March 25, 2016 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM

Register here for POSC Training

The official Public Notice of the regulatory change requiring prior authorization was published last Friday. The notice include an invitation for public comment, with all comments due by April 1, 2016. Agencies are encouraged to submit constructive comments.

Return to www.thinkhomecare.org

Health Care Innovation Grant Opportunity Released by HPC

After months of planning, the state’s Health Policy Commission has released the RFP for their Health Care Innovation Investment Program (HCII).

An initial round of $5 million will be distributed to applicants that partner with other organizations to propose innovative, multi-stakeholder payment and care delivery models with an emerging evidence base of cost savings. Among the focus areas are post-acute care, end-of-life care, behavioral health integration and social determinants of health.

Since this is being administered by the HPC, aside from the benefit of getting a grant any successful applicants will have the added benefit of having their project be high-profile and also a higher likelihood of influencing policy for others.

The HPC has posted the following schedule for due dates and information sessions:

  • Information Sessions:  

    March 16, 2016 – 10:45 AM, HPC Offices

    March 25, 2016 – 10:45 AM – Webinar (Register Here)

  • Letter Of Intent Due Date: April 8, 2016 by 3:00 PM EDT
  • Proposal Due Date: May 13, 2016 by 3:00 PM EDT
  • Anticipated Awardee Announcements: July 2016
  • Anticipated Period of Performance: October 2016 to September 2018

The Home Care Alliance strongly encourages both home health care and private pay home care agencies to apply. More information is available on the HPC’s HCII webpage and any questions or guidance on the program can be directed to James Fuccione at the Alliance.

Return to www.thinkhomecare.org.

New MassHealth Rules on New Prior Authorization Process

In response to concerns about growth in home health utilization over the past two years, MassHealth has used their emergency regulation authority to introduce a home health prior authorization requirement as of March 1. According to MassHealth staff, the visit count for determining the need for prior authorization will start on March 1. Prior authorization is required for services in excess of the following thresholds:

  • Intermittent skilled nursing visits after 30 visits in a 90-day period;
  • Home health aide services after 240 units (60 hours) in a 90-day period;
  • Physical therapy after 20 visits in a 12-month period (this is unchanged from previous requirement;
  • Occupational therapy after 20 visits in a 12-month period;
  • Speech-language therapy after 35 visits in a 12-month period;
  • Home Health Aide services supportive of physical, occupational, or speech-language therapy after 20 physical, 20 occupational, or 35 speech-language therapy visits.

MassHealth has published numerous instructional documents, the links of which can be found below .  Links to the PA request forms and guidelines are also within the bulletin.



Transmittal Letter


Home Health Medical Necessity Guideline:


HHA-2 and PA-HHA-SN forms (will be under Home Health Agency):


It is expected that PAs will be processed through the MassHealth Provider Online Service Center (POSC).  All of the job aides and training links related to this can be found here:


HCA of MA continues to work with MassHealth to clarify agency questions and concerns around documentation and PA processing.  A list of Q & As should be available shortly.