Editor’s Picks: Green Light for Free Intro Visits, BrightStar Battles Minimum Wage

This week, readers caught up on the latest news on free home health referrals and were keen on updates following the extension of minimum wage and overtime protections to home care workers. Here are the top headlines from this week and some notable stories from around the web that caught our eye here at HHCN.

Most Read
OIG: Free Introductory Home Health Visits Are Not Patient Bribes—On the heels of a historic $712 million fraud takedown from a ruling on home health referrals, free introductory visits offered by one home health care provider do not violate the civil monetary penalties law or the anti-kickback statute, according to the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General’s (OIG) opinion. 
BrightStar CEO: ‘Slippery Slope’ if Franchises Are Considered Big Businesses—Home health care company BrightStar Care is on the forefront of a lawsuit against the city of Seattle over its new minimum wage law that forces franchise businesses to ramp up wages at a faster pace than unaffiliated small businesses. BrightStar CEO Shelly Sun tells SHN why she’s fighting beside one of her Seattle franchise owners, who is a plaintiff on the lawsuit.
NAHC Asks Court to Delay Home Care Wage, Overtime Regs—Following a ruling by a U.S. Court of Appeals that extends minimum wage and overtime protections to nearly 2 million home care workers, the National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) filed a motion to the courts in an effort to stall the process. At the same time, the Department of Justice filed a motion to expedite the issuance of the mandate.
Agency President Gets 7 Years for Home Health Fraud—The president of Chicago-based Home Care America Inc., a home health practice, was sentenced to seven years in prison for his role in a $4 million fraud scheme. Rick Brown, 58, was found to have fraudulently billed Medicare for care plan oversight and services that were never provided.
Around the Web

Startup Shift Labs Wants to Change How Medical Devices Are Made—Seattle-based Shift Labs, a startup business with three low-cost medical devices, has created a simple monitoring system for the flow of intravenous (IV) drugs called DripAssist. The product has potential implications for the home health market and wherever IV drugs are utilized by care workers and doctors. The business is working on FDA approval and hopes to have the product ready for the market by the end of next year.
Stat of the Week

Global Home Healthcare Devices (HD) Market is Expected to Reach $60.1 Billion by 2024, Finds New Report—With a large aging population, the global home healthcare devices (HC) market is expected to see rapid growth over the next several years, reaching $40.2 billion in 2019 and $60.1 billion by 2024, according to a report called Global Home Healthcare Device Market 2014-2024.

Written by Amy Baxter