Home Health & Hospice Weekly News Roundup

Our weekly list of news, reports, and information about home health and hospice care. Learn about new studies, trends, CMS regulations and more.

Home Health Agencies Conquering Fear of PDGM Boogeyman

The Patient-Driven Groupings Model (PDGM) was one of the largest concerns for the home health industry after it was finalized by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) in October 2019. But now that it has been implemented and agencies have faced their boogeyman, confidence under the new payment model is growing, industry insiders say. To check the industry’s pulse, Home Health Care News recently connected with Nick Seabrook, managing director at BlackTree Healthcare Consulting; Tony D’Alonzo, Bayada’s VP of clinical strategy and innovation; Donald Lirette, the owner of Louisiana-based Bayou Home Care; and Tim Ashe, the chief clinical officer at WellSky. These interviews took place before a national emergency was declared due to COVID-19.

CMS Lays Out Regulatory Relief for Value-Based Care Programs Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

The Trump administration has extended the deadlines for quality reporting and applications for providers in value-based care programs. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released Sunday relief for regulatory requirements as providers face the growing tide of COVID-19 patients. CMS also announced it will not use any quality data on services from Jan. 1 through June 30 in the agency’s calculations for quality reporting and value-based purchasing programs. “This is being done to reduce the data collection and reporting burden on providers responding to the COVID-19 pandemic,” CMS said in a release Sunday. “CMS recognizes that quality measure data collection and reporting for services furnished during this time period may not be reflective of their true level of performance on measures such as cost, readmissions and patient experience during this time of emergency.”

As National Response to Coronavirus Hits Critical Juncture, Home-Based Care Providers Fight for More Support

The United States — now with more confirmed cases than all but two countries — has hit a critical juncture in the uphill battle against the coronavirus. But home- and community-based health care providers are still left fighting for more support. Home Health Care News caught up with National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) President William A. Dombi for an update on where home health and home care providers currently stand amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Implement Measures for Nursing Home Residents

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has put in place measures designed to keep nursing home residents safe from COVID-19. Linden Court in North Platte issued a statement on its Facebook page that visitors are not allowed at the facility until further notice. “We sincerely apologize for the hardship this may cause but, as you know, ensuring your loved ones are cared for in a safe and healthy environment is our greatest concern,” the post says. “We understand that connecting with family members is incredibly important, and there are a variety of other ways you might consider connecting with them other than in-person. These may include telephone, email, text, or through Skype or social media channels. “We will continually evaluate the need to have this restriction in place and will make every effort to contact families when we can again allow visitors in the building.” The CMS’ decision is based on the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It directs nursing homes to significantly restrict visitors and nonessential personnel, as well as restrict communal activities inside nursing homes. Senior citizens are at highest risk for complications from COVID-19, and those with multiple conditions are at highest risk.