2020 Annual Report

Our 2020 Annual Report highlights the Alliance and Foundation’s achievements over the past 12 months, including our response to the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Our 2020 Annual Report highlights the Alliance and Foundation’s achievements over the past 12 months.

2020 Annual Report of the Home Care Alliance and Foundation for Home Health

Responding to COVID

Since the onset of the pandemic and the declarations of federal and state emergencies, the Home Care Alliance of Massachusetts shifted much of its attention and resources to COVID-19-related membership support. To that end,
the Alliance:

  • Was the first state to create guidelines for members—both medical and non-medical—admitting COVID-positive patients. This guidance was adopted by many other states and shared by the National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC)
  • Offered regular calls for CEOs of certified and private care agencies to share and learn from each other, as well as calls for clinical directors, HR mangers, and hospice directors
  • Published more than 50 COVID Updates, a new publication exclusively for our members
  • Advocated for, and secured, multiple Medicaid waivers, including full payment for remote visits, waiver of certain in-home assessment requirements, and allowance of a remote audio-visual face-to-face (F2F)
  • Successfully advocated for non-medical home care services to be deemed “essential” to continue operations in the early days of the pandemic as the Baker Administration was issuing business closures
  • Worked with MassHealth on guidance to keep telehealth waivers permanent
  • Hosted more than a dozen webinars on topics such as: accessing the PPP program, documenting telehealth visits for payment, unemployment and COVID, the CARES ACT, and Medicare stimulus funding
  • Advocated with the state for COVID support funding, resulting in Massachusetts being among the most generous states in passing federal Medicaid money to agencies in the form of 10% rate increases for home health, 20% rate increases for continuous skilled nursing, and 10% provider payment relief for providers in the State Home Care Program
  • Answered hundreds of member regulatory questions related to the pandemic
  • Developed and hosted a COVID-19 Resource page that includes Allied member COVID resource services, generating more than 1,500 page views between March and August
  • Secured Board of Registration in Nursing clarification, assuring that the federal change related to NPs and home health services will remain operative in Massachusetts after the State of Emergency
  • Worked with MassHealth on the new agency-directed PCA model program
  • Coordinated strategy with the Home Care Aide Council on expanded services and increased funding in the EOEA home care program
  • Worked with the Massachusetts Medical Society to educate physicians about audio-visual F2F assessment requirements
  • Worked with assisted living facilities and other acute and post-acute providers to educate them on the federal temporary changes to the Medicare homebound requirement
  • Worked with the Betsy Lehman Center on an infection control training and toolbox for use in homemaker and aide training

Other 2019-2020 Work

Among the member supportive services over the past twelve months, the Alliance and Foundation have:

  • Moved the entire Spring Conference and Trade Show to a virtual platform available to members on demand
  • Offered members a one-time 15% dues discount
  • Worked with state legislators and other stakeholders to advance an effective non-medical home care licensure bill; Legislation is unlikely to be signed into
  • law prior to the end of the 2020 Legislative Session
  • Produced a series of videos for our website and for members’ use on working with Private Care home care agencies
  • Provided Get Out the Home Care Vote materials for members to use with their employees
  • Hosted an EVV vendor webinar series
  • Hosted multiple sessions on operating under the PDGM payment system
  • Hosted a virtual Home Care Aide Recognition Day, engaging more than 1,000 people on Facebook and Twitter, honoring 120 aides from member agencies

2020 Private Care Guides Connect Families & Home Care Agencies

For more than a decade, the Guides to Private Home Care Services have connected tens of thousands of families with the home care agencies that best meet their needs. While our Resource Directory is intended for professionals who make regular referrals, the Private Care Guides are designed for consumers and are always available at no charge, with free shipping on most orders. Choose from among three regional editions:

Guide to Private Care Services - South of Boston Edition
Guide to Private Care Services - Boston North Edition
Guide to Private Care Services - Central West Edition

(Click one of the thumbnails to place your free order).

The Guides contain county-by-county cross-references, as well as short essays about:

  • What home care is;
  • How to pay for it;
  • How to choose an agency, and;
  • The advantages of working with a home care agency.

This year, the Guides also honor three of our Home Care Star Awards winners: Me McBride of South Shore VNA, Vinette Tyme of HouseWorks, and Nicole Geddes of Aberdeen Home Care. Congratulations to these amazing care givers!

Return to www.thinkhomecare.org.

Guidance for Home Health and Hospice Agencies on Admissions from Hospitals Related to COVID-19

The Alliance has unveiled detailed guidance for agencies regarding admissions from, and discharges to, hospitals related to COVID-19.

Today, the Home Care Alliance of Massachusetts unveiled detailed guidance for home health agencies regarding admissions from hospitals related to COVID-19. The guide is available as a Word document and providers are encouraged to create policies and procedures that reflect their own agencies’ operations, capabilities, and community/patient needs.

The guide was co-authored with Kimberly Skehan of Simione Healthcare Consultants. Because of the nature of the crisis, we are making this available to all agencies, regardless of current membership status.

Specific Topics Covered

  1. Screening and acceptance of home health or hospice patients who have been diagnosed with COVID19 from a hospital
  2. Denial of admission for a home health or hospice patient with known or suspected COVID-19
  3. Pre-visit COVID 19 Screening/Assessment
  4. In Home Visit Considerations for Known or Suspected COVID-19 Patients
  5. Personal protective equipment during home healthcare visits to patients and households with no signs and symptoms of COVID-19, or with a negative test
  6. PPE for a patient with signs and symptoms of COVID- 19, or with a positive COVID-19 test, or with pending test results:
  7. COVID-19: When to Discontinue Transmission-based Isolation Precautions
  8. Patient Education and Reassurance
  9. Hospice Inpatient Unit Considerations
  10. References (CDC guidelines)

For more on the novel Coronavirus, visit the Alliance’s COVID-19 Resource page. To learn more about how the Alliance serves its members and the home care industry, visit www.thinkhomecare.org/join.

Just Published: 2020 Resource Directories

Considered to be “the bible for home care” in Massachusetts, copies of the the 2020 Resource Directory have been shipped to every case manager, hospital, COA, state legislator, and GCM in Massachusetts. Additional copies are available for purchase.

This is the one, indispensable book that anyone making referrals must have. It’s the bible for home care in Massachusetts. — Gina Martin, RN, CCM

Copies of the the Alliance’s annual referral directory have already been shipped to every case manager, hospital, COA, state legislator, and GCM in Massachusetts. Members will also receive copies in the mail this week.

Need an extra copy? They’re available for purchase on our website, with free shipping (as always).

New this year, it’s now easier than ever to find agencies who provide hospice care, which now has its own checkmark in the Cities & Towns section.

Alternatively, you can also use the Digital Edition of the directory, as well as our online Find an Agency search.

Return to www.thinkhomecare.org.

2019 Private Care Guides to Help Families Find Home Care

Now in its 13th edition, the Guide to Private Home Care Services has connected tens of thousands of families with the home care agencies that best meet their needs. While our Resource Directory is intended for professionals who make regular referrals, the Private Care Guides are designed for consumers and are always available at no charge. Choose from among three regional editions:

(Click one of the thumbnails to place your free order).

The Guides contains county-by-county cross-references, as well as short essays about:

  • What home care is;
  • How to pay for it;
  • How to choose an agency, and;
  • What the advantages are of working with an agency over other options.

Return to www.thinkhomecare.org.

Let Our CoPs Manual Be Your Roadmap to Compliance

The Home Care Alliance of MA put together a COP Task Force consisting of an expert team of home health professionals. This task force developed guidelines to assist Home Health Agencies with the understanding on the new standards in order to stay in compliance.

Though the CoP Guide is available to Alliance members at no cost (log-in required), non-members may purchase an electronic version on our website. Upon purchase, you will receive an email with a link to download the PDF.

Return to www.thinkhomecare.org.

Take the Guess-Work Out of Employee Compensation with Our 2018 Survey

This exhaustive, timely guide gives you all the tools to ensure you make informed decisions about hiring, keeping, and compensating home health staff in Massachusetts.

The 2018 Compensation Survey is an indispensable tool for c-suite staff and HR managers, proving a quick and accurate reference of industry pay standards for your employees.

The survey contains information about prevailing pay and benefits for the full range of positions in home care agencies. It lists pay and benefits figures for dozens of positions, including: executive, administrative, supervisory, care giving, and clerical positions.

The survey is available for purchase on our website for $400 for members, $500 for non-members (members who participated in the survey should have received coupon codes with an additional discount). Make sure you have the tools you need to make the best decisions for you and your staff.

The full survey is over 200 pages. To get a sense of the available information, click the sample pages above.

Return to www.thinkhomecare.org.

This Guide Has All You Need to Find Home Care in Massachusetts

Now in its 12th edition, the Guides to Private Home Care Services have connected tens of thousands of families with the home care agencies that can help them care for their families and loved ones.

Need a primer on what home care can do? Don’t know how to pay for it? Don’t know how to select an agency, whom to trust, or what agencies are available in your are? This free directory answers all of your questions.

Click the images above to order.

 

Screenshots from the directories.

Looking for something more comprehensive? the Resource Directory is intended for professionals and others who make regular referrals to home care, the Private Care Guides are designed for consumers and are always available at no charge.

Return to www.thinkhomecare.org.

Just Published: 2018 Resource Directories!

This is the one, indispensable book that anyone making referrals must have. It’s the bible for home care in Massachusetts. — Gina Martin, RN, CCM

Thousands of copies of the the Alliance’s home care referral directory have already been shipped to every case manager, hospital, COA, state legislator, and GCMs in Massachusetts.

Need an copy? They’re available for purchase on our website, with free shipping (as always).

Alternatively, you can also use the Digital Edition of the directory, as well as our online Find an Agency search.

 

Return to www.thinkhomecare.org.

Alliance Statement on NAHC President Val Halamandaris’ Passing

The Home Care Alliance of Massachusetts is deeply saddened by the passing of Val J. Halamandaris, president of the National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC).

Val dedicated most of his professional life to public service, and transformed the home care industry over the last five decades by fighting for elderly, disabled, and dying Americans. For 20 years, he served as counsel to the Senate and House Committees on Aging before founding NAHC and serving as its president for the last 30 years.

When Val started at NAHC, home care wasn’t what it is today. Institutionalization of the elderly was the standard, and Val sought to change the United States’ policy on this fundamental issue.

“The home care industry suffered an enormous loss this week. Val Halamandaris’ dedication to fighting for Americans’ rights to age in their homes and receive the care that they deserve was unprecedented.We all mourn this loss, but celebrate his 50 years of commitment to our most vulnerable,” said Alliance Board Chair, Holly Chaffee.

Val is survived by his wife, Kathleen, three sons, their wives, six grandchildren, and his brother. A funeral mass will be held for him at 10:00 am on Saturday at St. Peter’s Roman Catholic Church on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Caring Institute.

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