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American Jobs Plan, Sequestration and Universal Design, What’s Next for Home Health Agencies?

Published: 05/03/2021
American Job Plan Home Health Agencies


To keep you informed on news, innovation, education and advocacy issues around home-based care, we’ve pulled together these important headlines.

CMS & CMMI

Senate confirmation delays for CMS administrator, Chiquita Brooks-LaSure have been keeping some CMS decisions in a holding pattern. Liz Richter is temporarily filling in as Acting Administrator, but the current setup is slowing down decisions. Read the rest of the article here.

CMMI has decided to pause the Global and Professional Direct Contracting Model in addition to the hold on the Serious Illness Population Model. In the meantime, the 53 organizations that were already admitted into the program will be able to proceed as normal. Additional applicants will have to wait until the model opens up again. Read the full article here.

In order to address growing concerns over CMMI’s commitment to value-based care, Director Liz Fowler spoke to clarify the government’s position. She gave no specifics on the future of the programs on hold, but affirmed CMMI’s stance on expanding value-based care. Read the rest of the articles here and here.

This month, 56 health systems and 127 hospitals across 29 states have been accepted as participants of the CMS hospital-at-home initiative. Experts say that the concept had some benefits, but there are a lot of details that must be worked out to make it a truly viable model. Read the full article here.

Staffing

The American Rescue Plan may finally give the industry the push to be able to address some of the staffing challenges that are plaguing the industry. The act allows for a 10% FMAP increase in Medicaid funding for HCBS. Read the rest of the article here.

PACE Plus Act

Senator Bob Casey introduced the PACE Plus Act bill to congress to expand access to the PACE program across the country. If passed, the PACE Plus Act will add the ability to expand current PACE programs and create new ones with grants. Read the rest of the article here.

Medicare Sequestration

The long-awaited extension on the moratorium for Medicare sequestration has passed the House of Representatives and been signed by President Biden. The moratorium has been extended to December 31, 2021. Read the full articles here and here.

THIS MONTH IN HOME HEALTH

Legislation

A group of bipartisan senators introduced a new version of the Home Health Emergency Access to Telehealth (HEAT) Act. The act gives CMS authorization to issue a waiver allowing telehealth visits to count towards in-person visits. Read the full article here.

Universal Design

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the popularity of training programs and services around universal design have skyrocketed. Universal design helps seniors stay in their homes longer by making adjustments to their environment that lower their risk and make mobility easier. Read the rest of the article here.

HOME HEALTH CUSTOMERS IN THE NEWS

Addus HomeCare Corporation

Addus HomeCare Corporation announced a new development partnership with Homecare Homebase and CellTrak. The three organizations will work together to extend the back office capabilities of HCHB’s existing personal care platform and create a robust integration with CellTrak’s EVV and point of care BYOD solution. Read the full articles here and here.

Kindred at Home

Humana is accelerating its in-home care strategy by acquiring the remaining 60% of home health giant Kindred at Home. The acquisition is expected to finalize during the third quarter of 2021. Read the rest of the articles here and here.

Encompass Health Corp

Encompass Health Corp. has been in the news monthly with announcements regarding strategic moves for the home health and hospice service lines and April Anthony’s intention to step down this summer. Encompass is bullish about a wide variety of opportunities available for the segment. CEO Mark Tarr stated that we’re dedicated to identifying the best path forward for a company to generate value creation for out shareholders”. Read the full article here.

Encompass is not slowing down on home health M&A. The organization finalized an agreement in April to acquire Frontier Home Health and Hospice, granting the provider access to new markets in Alaska, Montana and Washington. Read the rest of the articles here and here.

Amedisys

Amedisys Inc. is using its experiences with personal care contracts for PACE programs in Massachusetts to focus on enterprise wide innovation. CEO Paul Kusserow states: We have some of the most complex patients out there in these PACE programs. We’re learning to take really good care of them, then those learnings are funneled throughout our organization.” Read the full article here.


Amedisys is continuing to focus on innovation by launching its Home Health Advanced Program, an SNF-at-Home pilot program. The program will include home health, telemedicine and personal care services in small pilot markets. Read the rest of the article here.

AccentCare

AccentCare CMO Dr. Anna Loengard spoke with Home Health Care News about the work the organization is doing to leverage AI from Jvion to lower readmission risk for patients. Read the rest of the article here.

Jet Health

Jet Health purchased Hospice de la Luz in the company’s third hospice acquisition. Hospice de la Luz brings Jet Health into the Albuquerque, New Mexico market. Read the full article here.

Bayada Home Health Care

Michael Johnson, president of Bayada Home Health Care, recently shared some practical guidance for fellow home health care agencies who are interested in tapping into the Medicare Advantage patient population. Read the rest of the article here.

VNSNY

Visiting Nurse Service of New York (VNSNY), one of the largest nonprofit home and community-based services providers in the U.S. revamped their referral process during COVID to account for the uptick in referrals. Read the full article here.

VNSNY announced that they have joined the advocacy group, Moving Home Health, a coalition dedicated to advancing home-based are in the US. The group is currently advocating for regulatory and reimbursement policies that broaden the care delivery potential for home-based care. Read the rest of the article here.

VNHS

Visiting Nurse Health System’s President and CEO, Dorothy Davis spoke with Home Health Care News about the effect that staffing challenges are having on the home-based care industry as a whole, as well as VNHS as an organization. Read the full article here.

The Pennant Group

The Pennant Group Inc. announced the acquisition of Pasco Southwest Home Health in Colorado. The agency has two locations and will provide an excellent foothold for future expansion”. Read the rest of the article here.

RESOURCE ARTICLES

Confirmation Delay for Next CMS Administrator Could Cause Problems for Home-Based Care Providers” By Andrew Donlan, Published by Home Health Care News on April 212021

Pause to Alternative Payment Models Gives Some Providers a Golden Ticket,’ Leaves Others Behind” By Andrew Donlan, Published by Home Health Care News on April 202021

CMMI Chief Fowler: Value-Based Care at a Crossroads” By Jim Parker, Published by Hospice News on April 202021

New CMMI Director Liz Fowler: US at Really Critical Juncture’ on Path to Value-Based Care” By Robert Holly, Published by Home Health Care News on April 202021

CMS Hospital-at-Home Program Closing In On 200 Participants” By Andrew Donlan, Published by Home Health Care News on April 192021

The Conversation Is Way Overdue’: Why the Home Care Staffing System Is Broken” By Andrew Donlan, Published by Home Health Care News on April 182021

In Speech to Congress, President Biden Again Shines Spotlight on Home-Based Care” By Andrew Donlan, Published by Home Health Care News on April 292021

InnovAge, National PACE Association Applaud PACE Plus Act’” by Joyce Famakinwa, Published by Home Health Care News on April 182021

Congress Prolongs Medicare Sequestration Moratorium for Hospices, Other Providers” By Jim Parker, Published by Hospice News on April 142021

Biden, Congress Extend Medicare Sequestration Holiday Through 2021” by Joyce Famakinwa, Published by Home Health Care News on April 142021

“‘There Are Still Many Questions Unanswered’: Home Care Providers Seek Clarity on American Rescue Plan” by Joyce Famakinwa, Published by Home Health Care News on April 72021

Senators Reintroduce Home Health Telehealth Legislation” By Robert Holly, Published by Home Health Care News on April 232021

Why COVID-19 Has Made Universal Design More Important for Seniors, Home-Based Care Providers” By Joyce Famakinwa, Published by Home Health Care News on April 152021

Why Humana Believes It Can Do Home Health Care Better” By Robert Holly, Published by Home Health Care News on April 282021

Hunting for New Segment CEO, Encompass Health to Stay Aggressive in Home Health” By Andrew Donlan, Published by Home Health Care News on April 282021

Encompass Health Pens Deal to Acquire Home Health Assets of Frontier” By Joyce Famakinwa, Published by Home Health Care News on April 262021

How PACE Helped Amedisys Create a Personal Care Innovation Hub in Massachusetts” By Robert Holly, Published by Home Health Care News on April 272021

Humana Obtains Full Ownership of Kindred at Home in $8.1 Billion Deal” by Jim Parker, Published by Hospice News on April 272021

Encompass Acquires Frontier Home Health & Hospice” by Jim Parker, Published by Hospice News on April 262021

Addus, Homecare Homebase Co-Building New Tech Platform for a Unified Patient Record’” By Robert Holly, Published by Home Health Care News on April 222021

Addus Partners with Homecare Homebase on Integrated EMR Solution” by Jim Parker, Published by Hospice News on April 222021

Looking to Build Market Share, Amedisys Rolls Out SNF-at-Home Pilot Program” by Joyce Famakinwa Published by Home Health Care News on April 292021

Jet Health Acquires Hospice de La Luz” by Jim Parker, Published by Hospice News on April 142021

What Medicare Advantage Plans Want From Home-Based Care Providers” By Andrew Donlan, Published by Home Health Care News on April 142021

How Intrepid USA, VNSNY Refined Their Referral Processes Following Pandemic-Related Volume Swings” by Joyce Famakinwa Published by Home Health Care News on April 122021

VNSNY, Contessa Join Amazon-Backed Home Health Coalition” By Robert Holly, Published by Home Health Care News on April 112021

America’s Home Care Infrastructure Is Crumbling. Here’s How to Fix It.” By Robert Holly, Published by Home Health Care News on April 52021

The Pennant Group Acquires Colorado Home Health Agency” By Andrew Donlan, Published by Home Health Care News on April 12021