Further Improvements to Find-An-Agency Search

The Alliance’s Find-An-Agency search is now mobile-responsive and has several other enhancements. Check it out at http://www.thinkhomecare.org/agencies.

In March 2021, the Alliance re-launched its Find an Agency Search to help families connect with home care, home health, and hospice agencies. Last week, we gave the system an upgrade with two important new features:

  1. The search automatically reformats to all devices, including phones and tablets.
  2. Clicking on an agency’s name opens its full profile.

Try it yourself at: www.thinkhomecare.org/page/agencies.

The search is fast and intuitive, allowing users to quickly filter agencies by geography, services offered, agency type, and accreditation status (or any combination of those factors). Alternatively, users looking for a specific agency may search for it by name.

Results update immediately, as users select criteria, and the search counts the number of agencies shown at any given time.

To test the search for yourself, visit www.thinkhomecare.org/agencies. Questions? Contact me at tmeyer@thinkhomcare.org.

Just Published: 2022 Resource Directories

Considered to be “the bible for home care” in Massachusetts, copies of the the 2022 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 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.

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

Alternatively, you can also use our online Find an Agency search.

Return to www.thinkhomecare.org.

Re-Launched & Improved Online Agency Search

Redesigned from scratch, the Alliance’s new Find an Agency Search is designed to connect families and referral sources with home care agencies quickly and easily.

Redesigned from scratch, the Alliance’s new Find an Agency Search is designed to connect families and referral sources with home care agencies quickly and easily.

The new search is fast and intuitive, allowing users to quickly filter agencies by geography, services offered, agency type, and accreditation status (or any combination of those factors). Alternatively, users looking for a specific agency may search for it by name.

Results update immediately, as users select criteria, and the search counts the number of agencies shown at any given time. Though designed for desktop use, it also works on mobile platforms.

This is a massive improvement over the old search in both design and function, particularly in terms of how it displays search results.

Old Search

New Search

To test the search for yourself, visit www.thinkhomecare.org/agencies. Questions? Contact me at tmeyer@thinkhomcare.org.

Annual Conference Education (ACE): Virtual Edition is Now Open!

ACE Virtual introduces 27 educational webinars covering topics ranging from PDGM, COVID-19, Staff Retention, IT Security and more!

Although it is a chaotic time, and personal energy probably barely exists outside of work – we know that we must continue to offer opportunities for all to stay educated as we adjust to the “new normal”.

The sessions in this new virtual conference have been made available in a recorded format with the option for members to purchase as individual sessions, packages of 5 (based on tracks), or the full series. Thanks to sponsors, you will also be given the opportunity to receive significant discounts on products (up to 50% off!)!

If a staff member that is in the position of Director or higher agrees to have one-on-one phone calls with our Premium Sponsors you earn significant discounts!

Use the following codes:
3 Sponsor Calls: 30% OFF – ACE30
5 Sponsor Calls: 50% OFF – ACE50


An example of what the platform looks like per webinar

CMS Finally Releases Updated ABN Form!

Providers will need to use the renewed ABN form starting this August.

CMS just released the long-awaited Advance Beneficiary Notice of Noncoverage (ABN). The current ABN form expired in March 2020, so CMS instructed providers to continue using the expired form, since the form’s renewal was on hold at the Office of Management and Budget during the Public Health Emergency. Yesterday, CMS posted the updated ABN Form CMS-R-131 and form instructions (see the Downloads section at the bottom of the linked page).

The renewed form (with the expiration date of June 30, 2023) will be mandatory beginning August 31, 2020.  The ABN is issued by home health and hospice providers to Medicare beneficiaries in situations where Medicare payment is expected to be denied. The ABN is issued in order to transfer potential financial liability to the Medicare beneficiary in certain instances. Guidelines for issuing the ABN can be found beginning in Section 50 in the Medicare Claims Processing Manual, 100-4, Chapter 30 (PDF).

2020 NEHCC Program Released!

You have been waiting, and now it’s here, The 2020 New England Home Care & Hospice Conference and Trade Show Program has been released! Join colleagues from throughout the region from May 13-15 in Newport, RI for the best home health and hospice event of the year!

You have been waiting, and now it’s here, The 2020 New England Home Care & Hospice Conference and Trade Show Program has been released! Join colleagues from throughout the region from May 13-15 in Newport, RI for the best home health and hospice event of the year! This fabulous conference will feature renowned keynoters and informative workshops that will give you new ideas and insight to take back to your agency. Sessions include Pre-Conferences on PDGM: Lessons Learned, and Medicaid Healthcare Reform; Keynotes on Caregiver Trends, Navigating Change, The Future in Home Health Through Data, and Bridging the Gap Between Life and Death. With 25 additional break-out sessions, you are bound to find topics that appeal to you and your staff as there is something for everyone!

Looking to find new partners with your agency regarding things like software systems, consulting, staff benefits, etc? Our exhibit show is the largest home health gathering in the Northeast with close to 80 exhibitors! See who is currently exhibiting here.

Don’t miss this great event close to home. Check out the brochure here

Learn more about the conference at www.nehcc.com

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.

Report on the Massachusetts Serious Illness Coalition

The MA Serious Illness Coalition pushes to bring awareness and focus on end-of-life issues.

“It is my goal that every nursing school in MA embrace that a nursing student must see a dying patient with the same fervor that they embrace that every nurse must see a baby being born.”
— Susan Lysaght Hurley, PhD, RN
Director of Research, Care Dimensions, Inc

Last week, the Massachusetts Serious Illness Coalition hosted its annual meeting welcoming more than 100 attendees to the JFK Library in Boston. The message from the Coalition’s leadership – as articulated by Blue Cross Blue Shield MA President and CEO – is that “the momentum is building.” From the Coalition’s beginnings less than five years ago, Dreyfus has focused on a long-term strategy to achieve the Coalition’s six goals. These include the ideas that everyone in Massachusetts 18 years or older has a designated health care decision-maker and that all Massachusetts clinicians have appropriate training to communicate comfortably with patients around advanced care planning and serious illness. Dreyfus has likened the work to that done in years past on smoking and on car seats, where steady force and public messaging achieved near-universal changes in public thinking.

The progress on clinician education – from a provider association perspective – is perhaps the most engaging and encouraging news. Dr Atul Gwande, as eloquent as ever, declared that the work to date has shown that: “People have priorities in life beyond just surviving, but you must ask them. Suffering happens when care doesn’t match our priorities.”

In addition to a public education campaign about engaging in advanced care planning conversations, Dr. Gwande announced that the Coalition is in talks with all four Massachusetts medical schools about a cooperative effort to require training of med students in serious illness communication as a graduation requirement.

But it was Dr, Hurley’s remarks that struck home for the home health and hospice agencies in the Coalition. In addition to the above comment, Dr. Hurley spoke of being a young nurse “totally unprepared as to how to talk to the dying.” Along with her subcommittee co-chair Anne Marie Barron of Simmons College, she is working on recommendations on core competencies for nursing education related to serious illness care. These are to be presented in the near future to the Massachusetts Association of Colleges of Nursing. What a great achievement that would be!

For those following the Coalition’s work, these may also be of interest:

  1. End Games, an Academy Award-nominated short documentary on hospice and palliative care executive produced by Shoshana Ungerleider, MD. It premiered at Sundance Film Festival in 2018 and was acquired by Netflix.

2. The Coalition’s public message research and draft public facing marketing approaches.

Commendable progress!

Return to www.thinkhomecare.org.

Talking Home Care: Pat Ahern on Palliative Care 101

Pat Ahern of Care Dimensions joins us to discuss several hospice-related issues affecting the home care industry.

Pat Ahern of Care Dimensions
Pat Ahern

Pat Ahern of Care Dimensions joins us for the eighth episode of the Talking Home Care Podcast. As the CEO of the largest and most experienced palliative care agency in the region, Pat’s an authority on palliative care, hospice, and related issues. In a conversation with Alliance Executive Director Pat Kelleher, Ahern discusses:

  • Palliative care’s role as a “midwife at the other end of life”;
  • Dementia care;
  • Payment reform;
  • Referral sources;
  • Nurse recruitment and training; and
  • Physician involvement.


You may listen to the podcast by clicking the play button below, downloading it directly, or subscribing through iTunes or Google Play. (Length: 26 minutes; Size: 12 MB). If you enjoy it, please give us a five-star review so others can find it as well.

Host: Patricia Kelleher is the Executive Director of the Home Care Alliance of Massachusetts.

GuestPatricia Ahern, joined Care Dimensions in 2017 as president and CEO. With more than 30 years of leadership in healthcare and an MBA, she has the clinical and strategic business skills, and a true passion for the mission, that enables her to provide Care Dimensions’s vision and leadership.

Resources: More information about Care Dimensions.


Talking Home Care LogoDon’t want to miss the next episode of Talking Home Care? Subscribe through iTunes, Google Play, or accessing its feed directly.

Return to www.thinkhomecare.org.

Celebrate Nurses Week

Next week is National Nurses week. It is a time to celebrate the dedication, caring and overall contributions of those who choose nursing as their profession.

The Home Care Alliance would like to share your nursing human interest stories next week across our various social media platforms, whether it’s a shout out to a team or a staff member.

Email Megan Fournier at mfournier@thinkhomecare.org to tell us why you love home care & hospice nurses – OR – share our post below and comment why!

Celebrate Nurses Week 2

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