Alliance Quoted in Article on Worker Training, Background Checks

James Fuccione, former Director of Legislative and Public Affairs for the Home Care Alliance, was extensively quoted in an article in the Springfield Republican today.  The article, “Personal care attendants have less training, checks than other home care workers,” by Shira Schoenberg, Statehouse reporter for the Republican, compares background checks and training requirements for workers in the state Personal Care Attendant program with workers employed by home care agencies that provide services under the Executive Office of Elder Affairs home care program.

Home Health Quality Date Updated on PatientCareLink Website

The latest available quality performance measures from Medicare’s Home Health Compare database for all Alliance member agencies was posted this week to the PatientCareLink website. The website is hosted by the MA Hospital Association, and the home health data is posted through a joint agreement between the Home Care Alliance and MHA.

To view the updated reports, visit www.patientcarelink.org and click on the “Healthcare Provider Data” tab and then “Home Health Agency Data” and then “Select an Agency.” The reports now incorporate data for the period July, 2013 – June, 2014, for all measures except measure #30, which is for the period of April, 2013 – March, 2014. In addition to each home care agency’s individual performance, the PCL pages also provide a comparison to the U.S. agency average scores.

“Providing high quality, safe patient care is a top priority for Massachusetts home healthcare agencies,” said Patricia Kelleher, Executive Director of the Home Care Alliance MA. “The home health data on the PCL site can be very useful to patients and their families. In addition, the partnership between hospitals and home health agencies on PCL furthers positive working relationships along the entire continuum of care, which can only improve patient safety and quality overall.”

Register for the New England Home Care Conference May 28 – 30!

Join colleagues from throughout the region for the best home health event of the year! Come to the Park Plaza Hotel in Boston for the 4th annual New England Home Care Conference & Trade Show on May 28, 29 and 30. It will feature fabulous keynoters, dozens of informative workshops and 2-hour intensives that will give you new ideas and insight to take back to your agency.

To register, you may either download the conference brochure or register online.

Return to www.thinkhomecare.org.

Seventy Agencies Accredited!

accreditation-logo-no-year

The Alliance hit a milestone this week, with a new total of 70 agencies currently Accredited!  To earn accreditation from the Alliance, each of those agencies submitted documentation demonstrating their compliance with fifteen separate measures covering client rights and protections, caregiver qualifications and skills, insurance coverage, and employment practices.  Details about the Accreditation standards are available on the Accreditation Page of the Alliance’s website.

The Alliance developed the Accreditation program because Massachusetts does not have a licensing program specific to home care agencies.  By their adherence to the fifteen Accreditation standards, private care home care agencies demonstrate their commitment to quality.

A complete list of Accredited agencies is available here.

Return to www.thinkhomecare.org.

Nominations Extended for Innovations Showcase & Star Awards

Blog-Banner

The Home Care Alliance of MA is planning a special afternoon to honor and showcase the best people and programs in our industry today at a gala celebration of innovation and excellence on Tuesday, April 29, at the historic John F. Kennedy Library.  

This event offers member agencies two opportunities to shine:

  1. Nominate a program, product, or operational change that has either a) enhanced the well-being of patients, clients, or the community, b) driven efficiency in operations or the health care system, or c) enhanced the productivity or satisfaction of agency staff.
  2. Nominate an employee or homecare supporter for a STAR Award. These awards celebrate the exceptional accomplishments of the everyday heroes in our midst who make incredible differences in the lives of their patients/clients and their families. Though there are too few opportunities to recognize all who deserve one, a STAR award brings with it some well-deserved recognition for both the agency and the individual.

Nominations may be made by Alliance agencies, their patients, or their partner organizations.  Download & complete the nomination form to let the world know about your best & brightest. The deadline to submit your nominations has been extended to March 14, 2014.

Return to www.thinkhomecare.org.

Best of Care Acquires Independence Home Care

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.

Alliance Submits Comments on PPS Rule

The Home Care Alliance of MA today submitted comments to CMS on the proposed rule setting Medicare home health rates for 2014. CMS has proposed cutting rates by 3.5% for each of the next four years.

Citing data concerns, inadequate allowances for increasing regulatory costs and operating margins, inequities in the proposed wage index, and an incomplete analysis of the impact on both agencies and Medicare patients of CMS’s proposal to cut rates for each of the next four years, the Alliance urges CMS to go back to the drawing board on 2014 rates.

The Alliance’s comments are available here.

Comments to CMS on the proposed rule are due TODAY at 5:00 p.m., and can be submitted online at www.regulations.gov.  Enter “RIN 0938-AR52” in the search box to find the proposed rule.