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HCHB Customers in the News: July 2022

Published: 08/03/2022
Home Health and Hospice Customer News

In July, Homecare Homebase customers commented on regulatory updates, partnerships, MA relationships and announced plans for expansion and branding. Take a look at the last months newsworthy highlights.

CommonSpirit Health at Home Comments on Emergency Waiver Flexibility

Trisha Crissman, vice president and COO of CommonSpirit shared her thoughts on the importance of the telehealth emergency waiver and why it needs to be made permanent. Without permanent changes to Medicare coverage for telehealth services, most Medicare beneficiaries not residing in rural areas will lose access to coverage for telehealth services,” she told HHCN. Additionally, the provision of telehealth as an integrated and clinically appropriate part of the home health patient’s plan of care has helped to reduce overall mileage and increase nursing capacity, offsetting some of the financial constraints of decreased volumes and more recently, rising mileage reimbursement rates.” Read the full article here.

VNA of Florida Partners with Tampa General Hospital

The joint partnership between Visiting Nurse Association of Florida and Tampa General Hospital will form TGH Home Care. VNA will provide care on behalf of TGH to a wide range of eligible patients throughout the state of Florida. VNA’s commitment to quality and reach throughout the state were the primary reasons the hospital chose to work with VNA of Florida. The agency has a five star rating. The partnership is expected to lower readmission rates for Tampa General Hospital and open up avenues for future care models. Read the rest of the article here.

Addus Shares Long-Term Implications of ARPA Funding Extension

Home care providers now haven an additional year to utilize funds from the American Rescue Plan, making it easier for states that had their requests for funding approved recently to use all of their requested funds. Most of the funds have been used by states to combat workforce challenges. The pandemic exacerbated this need and want among consumers for home-based care, but because these increases aren’t permanent, we can’t make permanent changes to wages for our staff – impacting our ability to recruit and retain quality individuals to meet the growing need”, stated the Chief Strategy Officer for Addus Home Care Darby Anderson. There’s still a lot of bipartisan support for investments in HCBS, through whatever reconciliation bill may or may not get introduced,” Anderson said. That’s what we’re fighting for now.” Read the rest of the article here.

Payor Diversification May Pay Off for Addus and Aveanna

An HHCN+ article recently made note of two HCHB customers’ payor diversification strategies. Addus HomeCare and Aveanna Healthcare have made a point of providing services to both Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries. This diversification strategy may prove to be helpful for these companies in the long run. Read the rest of the article here.

Aveanna and Addus Comment on Pennsylvania Provider Home Care Choice Regulations

Pennsylvania announced a proposal intended to create a hybrid between agency and consumer tracking models. However, home-based care providers including Addus and Aveanna have concerns that the new proposal and provided public comment. Many feel the proposal would create unnecessary duplication and my restrict patients’ care choices. Read the rest of the article here.

AccentCare Sheds Light on Home Health Driven Hospital-at-Home Programs

Home-based care providers may be better equipped to drive hospital-at-home programs. The bottom-up” approach is more practical for patient access and reimbursement. Dr. Anna Leongard shared her thoughts in an article with Home Health Care News. I think that you could argue that many hospitals really don’t understand the space of the home. That’s not really their bread and butter. Whereas community-based providers, we do it every day. I think there’s a lot of advantages to expanding who could actually conceive a program and manage it.” AccentCare started working on hospital-at-home initiatives six years ago. Read the full article here.

AccentCare Talks Innovation

AccentCare Chief Medical Officer Dr. Anna Loengard shared AccentCare’s approach to innovation with Hospice News. During the interview, Loengard covered the utilization of Muse, the importance of GIP services and their growing hospital-at-home programs. AccentCare has developed programs with Baylor Scott & White and UCSD. Another program with Kaiser in Georgia is also in the works. Read the full article here.

Transitions Care Weighs in on Payors as Providers Trend

Jim Palazzo, CEO, Transitions Care shared his thoughts on the entry of large payors into the home health and hospice field in a Hospice News article. Palazzo is optimistic about payors’ ability to bring more resources to the table but urges providers to be careful about contracts. Organizations must make the quality of care a priority in these transactions in order to be beneficial to both the patient and the organizations which they contract with.” Read the full article here.

Transitions Care Embraces the Illinois House Calls Project

The Illinois House Calls Project is an initiative led by the Home Centered Care Institute (HCCI) to foster collaboration between home-based primary care providers in Illinois. The group of 17 health care organizations participating in the program include hospice and palliative care providers that also provide primary care services. Transitions Care sees the project as an opportunity to expand its primary care footprint and provide the right care” for people. Read the rest of the article here.

LHC Group CEO Questions the Role of Conveners

Improving the relationship between home health providers and MA payors is a hotly debated topic. A variety of solutions have been proposed by industry leaders. Keith Myers, CEO of the LHC Group suggested a new approach to improving relationships with MA plans. I think we’ve done a lot more with managed care [because of our JVs with hospitals] and I have really good relationships with executives,” Myers said. But I think our biggest problem are the conveners in the middle of all of this.” Read the full article here.

LHC Group Waiting on Deal with Optum

The acquisition deal between Optum and the LHC Group are in a waiting period after the FTC requested more information regarding worker pay. The FTC is particularly interested in how minimum wage workers in the home health and hospice industry bargain for higher wages. The LHC Group employs 30,000 individuals across 37 states and the District of Columbia. Read the rest of the article here.

St. Croix Continues to Expand

St. Croix Hospice announced the opening of a de novo location in Jefferson City. The company now has seven locations serving 44 counties in Missouri. Jefferson City is located in the middle of the state and provides a convenient base for care. The new location is the fourth de novo St. Croix has launched in 2022. The provider currently serves over 3,00 patients across nine states. Read the full article here.

Avow Hospice Talks Retention

In today’s competitive hiring environment, you have to figure out how to make your company stand out. Jaysen Roa, president and CEO of Avow Hospice discussed some of the retention strategies the company uses to achieve a high employee satisfaction rating. 94% of surveyed workers said that Avow is a great place to work”, the national average is 57%. Read the rest of the article here.

Two Kindred Hospice Locations in Oregon Pending Sale

The state of Oregon requires the state’s health authority to review M&A transactions as part of the diligence process before a sale can be completed. Clayton, Dubliner & Rice (CDR) are awaiting approval of the purchase of two Kindred hospice locations. Read the full article here.

Enhabit Home Health Spinoff Completed

It’s official. Enhabit Home Health has completed the spinoff process and is now a separate entity from Encompass Health. Enhabit President and CEO Barb Jacobsmeyer remarked on the organization’s outlook for the upcoming months As an independent company, we will have enhanced strategic and operational flexibility to put the interests of our patients, people and investors first as we strive to bring high-quality, compassionate care to every patient where they are most comfortable: in their homes.” Enhabit operates 252 home health locations and 99 hospice locations in 34 states. Encompass Health stockholders received one share of Enhabit common stock for every two shares of Encompass Health stock they held as part of the spinoff. Read the rest of the article here.

Compassus Appoints New Senior VP and Chief Marketing Officer

Kathy Winn has been chosen as the new senior vice president and chief marketing officer. Winn stated: I am looking forward to working alongside a team of passionate, talented individuals to raise awareness of Compassus’ high-quality services to help more patients and families.” Compassus provides home health, infusion, palliative and hospice services across 30 states and is looking to expand services and reach with the addition of Winn’s expertise. Read the full article here.

CenterWell Discusses Restructuring Plan

Humana is continuing the process of incorporating Kindred at Home into the CenterWell brand. Ultimately, CenterWell will become one of two business units under Humana’s umbrella. Insurance Services will be made up of the businesses that currently sit in the retail group and specialty segments, while CenterWell will represent the current health care service segment,” said CEO Bruce Broussard. The simplified business structure should help the company become more agile and patient focused. Read the rest of the article here.

Amedisys Discusses MA Strategy

The 2023 proposed rule has highlighted the need for providers to foster payor diversification to lessen the potential blows from changes in Medicare rates. Chris Gerard, CEO of Amedisys commented on some ways the company’s MA strategy should help move the company forward despite of rate cuts. He also addressed the discussions that Amedisys is having with CMS about the proposed rule. Read the full article here.

Choice Health at Home Expansion Plans

Choice Health at Home has grown to 60 locations across four states and has ambitions plans to continue expanding its home health, hospice, personal care and rehabilitation services. The company is aiming to spread nation-wide by creating regional density. Jackson & Trina Lanier, president and co-founder of Choice Health at Home sat down with Home Health Care News to discuss the company’s origins, industry challenges and private equity backing. Read the full article here.