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Choose Home, Palliative Legislation and Home Health Proposed Rule Released

Published: 08/02/2021
Choose Home, Palliative Legislation and Home Health Proposed Rule Released


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

ARPA

The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) introduced a temporary federal matching rate for in home and community-based services. Home Health Care News shared some of the plans states currently have in the works to take advantage of the available funds. Some of the states reviewed in the article are Rhode Island, New York and Washington. Read the rest of the article here.

WISH Act

U.S. Representative Thomas Suozzi introduced the Well-Being Insurance for Seniors to Be at Home (WISH) Act. The purpose of the act is to help seniors afford and access long term care. The WISH Act would create a federal trust fund for long-term care and move a portion of support away from Medicaid. Read the rest of the article here.

Increased Costs

Some of the increased costs that were the result of the pandemic may continue after the country returns to normal”. The top increases home care providers are continuing to see include staff rates, recruitment costs and PPE. Read the full article here.

Vaccinations

In the wake of rising COVID delta variant cases, 60 organizations banded together on a joint letter calling for mandated vaccinations for home health workers. The delta variant is an aggressive new strain that is now responsible for 83% of sequenced cases. Read the rest of the article here.

Expanding Access to Palliative Care for Seniors Act

Four senators have introduced legislation that directs CMMI to create a community-based palliative care payment and delivery model. The legislation called Expanding Access to Palliative Care for Seniors Act is bipartisan. The senators supporting this bill are also the founders of the Senate Comprehensive Care Caucus. The new model will likely take cues from the Medicare Care Choices Model. Currently, Medicare Advantage plans are allowed to cover palliative care as a supplemental benefit, but there is no standard model for palliative care. Read the full article here.

THIS MONTH IN HOME HEALTH

SNF

Activity from large home health providers implies that hospital-at-home models are likely to be a major focus for industry growth in the years to come. Major players in the home health space have made announcements about efforts in this space ranging from acquisitions to JV partnerships. Learn more about the benefits of SNF in the full article here.

PACE

It’s no accident that the PACE Plus Act is garnering attention in Washington now. PACE programs have proven to be effective serving seniors in community settings and had dramatically reduced death rates during the pandemic compared to nursing homes. Read the rest of the article here.

Choose Home

Senators Debbie Stabenow and Todd Young introduced the Choose Home Care Act of 2021. The act would allow some Medicare patients to access extended care services as part of their home health benefit following a hospital stay. The bill would also patients gain access to supplemental services such as meal assistance and remote patient monitoring. The Choose Home Model is expected to generate up to $2.8 billion in savings over 10 years. Read the full article here.

CMS

Direct Contracting has seen bipartisan support, despite the pause that has been placed on the program. There are far more administrative challenges involved in direct contracting than many programs however, which has led to a more laissez-faire attitude than normal. Read the full article here.

CMS released its FY 2020 home health proposed payment rule, a 387 page proposal that outlines several changes including the expansion of the value-based purchasing demo. The agency is also asking to make some of the waiver flexibilities from the pandemic permanent. Other changes include, allowing OTs to complete the initial home health assessment visit, PDGM case-mix weights recalibrations. Read the rest of the article here.

HOME HEALTH CUSTOMERS IN THE NEWS

LHC Group

LHC Group added a new partnership to its over 435 hospital joint ventures nationwide. The company is now working with SCP Health to develop skilled nursing and advanced care at home services. SCP provides emergency department physicians and hospitalists, while LHC supplies nursing and home health services. Read the full article here.

LHC Group is continuing to grow through acquisition. The company announced the purchase of MSA Hospice, Ashley County Medical Center Home Health and Cavalier Healthcare Services. The acquisitions will build out a continuum of care in areas where they already have a home health presence. Read the rest of the article here.

VNSNY

Visiting Nurse Service of New York has launched a new care delivery model for the LGBTQ+ community. The program helps designate appropriate health care screening and education, as well as POC information that includes collecting data on social factors that might have a health impact. VNSNY also helps match discharged patients with LGBTQ-friendly organizations. The company has also created a home health program for gender-affirmation surgery patients. Read the full article here.

VNSNY showed public support for the Better Care Better Jobs Act by encouraging its employees to join members of the 1199SEIU Homecare Workers Union at a rally in support of the bill. Read the rest of the article here.

Brookdale Senior Living Inc.

HCA Healthcare has completed its purchase of a majority stake in Brookdale Senior Living Inc. HCA Healthcare runs 186 hospitals and 2,000 ambulatory sites of care which dovetails neatly into the home health and hospice space with Brookdale’s resources. HCA now owns 80% of Brookdale Health Care Services. Read the rest of the article here.

Amedisys

Amedisys has announced plans to acquire Contessa Health for $250 million. This acquisition gives the company the ability to add acute-level care to its existing services. The deal also has grown the total addressable market from $44 billion to $73 billion. Acquiring Contessa Health is expected to fuel admissions growth and risk-sharing power. Read the full article here.

Amedisys is expanding home health services to Westchester County, New York and the Bronx. The new service area includes 375,000 Medicare enrollees and 165,000 Medicare Advantage enrollees. Read the rest of the article here.

Addus Home Care Corporation

Armada Skilled Home Health and Hospice will be acquired by Addus HomeCare Corporation. This deal will increase Addus’ home health and hospice footprint in New Mexico. Armada brings a home health census of 1,100 and hospice census of 100 to the table. Read the rest of the article here.

Jet Health

Jet Health announced the purchase of Signal Home Health & Hospice in San Antonio. This will be the company’s seventh acquisition. Jet Health is actively considering locations that co-locate hospice operations with their existing home health locations. The company currently has locations in Texas, New Mexico, Colorado and Idaho. Read the full article here.

Kindred at Home

Susan Diamond, CFO of Humana discussed many of the changes and innovations coming to healthcare and Humana’s efforts in a recent Changemakers article on Home Health Care News. In the article, Susan touches on the collaboration between Kindred at Home and Humana as the organization outlines future plans for home-based care. Read the rest of the article here.

Mission Healthcare

Mission Healthcare has purchased Health Living Network in the largest acquisition deal in the company’s history. This acquisition effectively doubles Mission’s overall business and expands to include California, Utah, Arizona, Nevada, Oregon and Washington. Read the full article here.

Mission Healthcare is continuing its recent surge of growth with the acquisition of three additional home health and hospice agencies. The acquisitions include Tender Care Home Health & Hospice and Sun Tree Hospice in Utah, as well as Idaho-based Hands of Hope Home Care & Hospice. Read the rest of the article here.

AccentCare

Steve Rogers, CEO of AccentCare spoke with Home Health Care News as part of the publication’s Changemakers” series. The company has expanded from serving seven states to 31 during Roger’s tenure at AccentCare. He is looking for ways to deploy services in a flexible manner that truly serve the needs of patients and become more focused on the home environment. Read the rest of the article here.

Aveanna Healthcare

Rod Windley and Tony Strange, chairman and CEO of Aveanna Healthcare spoke with Home Health Care News about their history in the industry and plans for the company moving forward. The pediatric home health organization is looking to grow aggressively in the Medicare Home Health space in the coming years. Read the full article here.

Encompass Health

Barb Jacobsmeyer, the new head of Encompass Health’s home health and hospice segment sat down with Home Health Care News to share her history with the company and some of the next steps she has planned as the new leader of the division. Read the rest of the article here.

Encompass Health CEO, Mark Tarr confirmed the board’s belief that a full or partial separation of the company’s assets will enhance the long term success of the organization. Read the full article here.

RESOURCE ARTICLES

New Legislation Seeks to Help Seniors Pay for Long-Term Care” By Joyce Famakinwa, Published by Home Health Care News on July 12021

As Pandemic Eases, Home Care Providers Discover Some Costs Stick” By Andrew Donlan, Published by Home Health Care News on July 112021

How States Could Expand Medicaid HCBS Programs” By Robert Holly, Published by Home Health Care News on July 192021

Health Care Associations Call for Vaccine Mandate as Threat of the Delta Variant Grows” By Joyce Famakinwa, Published by Home Health Care News on July 272021

Bipartisan Senate Bill Would Create Community-Based Palliative Care Demo” By Jim Parker, Published by Hospice News on July 302021

New LHC Group, SCP Partnership Finds Missing Link” to High Acuity Home-Based Care” By Jim Parker, Published by Hospice News on July 72021

VNSNY Launches Care Delivery Model Tailored to LGBTQ Community” By Joyce Famakinwa, Published by Home Health Care News on July 62021

LHC Group Acquires Three Hospice, Home Health Providers” By Jim Parker, Published by Hospice News on July 12021

Recent Deals Signal Start of a New Home Health Arms Race, Market Shift” By Robert Holly, Published by Home Health Care News on July 82021

Transactions: HCA Healthcare Completes $400M Deal with Brookdale; LHC Group Announces New Acquisitions” By Robert Holly, Published by Home Health Care News on July 52021

Amedisys Looks to Pull Away from the Home Health Pack with No Brainer’ Contessa Deal” By Robert Holly, Published by Home Health Care News on July 12021

Changemakers: Susan Diamond, CFO, Humana” By Robert Holly, Published by Home Health Care News on July 122021

Addus to Acquire Home Health, Hospice Provider Armada for $29M” By Andrew Donlan, Published by Home Health Care News on July 132021

Jet Health Acquires Signal Home Health & Hospice” By Jim Parker, Published by Hospice News on July 122021

Mission Buys Healthy Living Network, Effectively Doubling Its Overall Business” By Robert Holly, Published by Home Health Care News on July 142021

Changemakers: Steve Rodgers, CEO, AccentCare” By Robert Holly, Published by Home Health Care News on July 182021

Transactions: Regence BlueShield Teams Up with DispatchHealth; Amedisys Enters New Market” By Joyce Famakinwa, Published by Home Health Care News on July 182021

Home Health Veterans Windley, Strange Hoping to Take Aveanna Above and Beyond $2 Billion” By Andrew Donlan, Published by Home Health Care News on July 202021

Despite Formidable Challenges, PACE Leaders Keep Expansion Dreams Alive” By Joyce Famakinwa, Published by Home Health Care News on July 252021

Home Health CEO Barb Jacobsmeyer Hits the Ground Running, as Encompass Confirms Separation Plans” By Andrew Donlan, Published by Home Health Care News on July 282021

Mission Healthcare Acquires Three Hospice, Home Health Agencies” By Jim Parker, Published by Hospice News on July 272021

Encompass CEO Mark Tarr: Home Health Separation Will Enhance Long-Term Business Value” By Andrew Donlan, Published by Home Health Care News on July 282021

[Updated] SNF-Diversion Bill Choose Home’ Introduced, Projected to Save Up to $247M Annually” By Robert Holly, Published by Home Health Care News on July 292021

CMS Taking Laissez-Faire’ Approach to Direct Contracting” By Andrew Donlan, Published by Home Health Care News on July 52021

Extensive’ Proposed Rule Sets Stage for Value-Based Purchasing, PDGM Adjustments” By Joyce Famakinwa, Published by Home Health Care News on June 302021