The Biggest Home Health Care News of 2015

Home Health Care News kept readers on the forefront of breaking news throughout the home health and home care industry in 2015. The year was marked by rapidly-changing regulations and a booming emergence of app-based caregiving services. From policy changes to major acquisitions and reports on the biggest players in the industry, here’s a list of our top posts this year: 

10. July 7—Home Health Closures, Mergers Expected Under Medicare Proposal

Proposed Medicare payment policies for 2016, including value-based purchasing models, were expected to be a significant blow to home health providers, potentially squeezing out smaller players and creating advantages for larger agencies and stimulate merger and acquisition activity. 

9. June 30—Disruptive Home Care Startup Raises $20 Million to Expand

HomeHero, a California-based startup that connects private duty home caregivers and clients with each other, raised $20 million in Series A funding to expand outside of California to nearby states. The company has drawn comparisons to another tech company, Honor, that similarly aims to bridge together the fragmented health care system by cutting out the middle man. 

8. October 21—Numbers Show Huge Nurse Practitioner Impact on Home Health

Non-physician practitioners (NPPs) are playing a larger role in providing home health services, even being relied on as primary practitioners among Medicare beneficiaries, a study from the National Association of Home Care and Hospice found. The findings support the passage of the Home Health Care Planning Improvement Act of 2015, which enables NPPs to certify Medicare home health plans of care.

7. February 19—Top 10 Home Care Franchises

Visiting Angels topped the list of the largest home care franchises this year, according to a report from FranchiseKnowHow, LLC and The organizations analyzed 61 home care franchise systems for the industry update report, revealing that Visiting Angels added 1,757 locations between 2010 and 2013 to its network.

6. November 15—New Overtime Threshold Not Coming Until Late 2016

The home care industry sighed a collective breath of relief this fall when it was revealed that a portion of the Department of Labor’s new overtime requirement for home care workers would be unlikely to go into effect before late 2016. The proposed rule would increase the salary cap for who is eligible for overtime pay. 

5. October 27—How One Home Care Agency is Partnering with Uber

Uber, a popular on-demand ride service company based in San Francisco, has partnered with 24Hr HomeCare, a West Coast-based home health agency, to create a new service line that connects home health and hospital systems. The new service, UberASSIST, provides an on-demand discharge service from a hospital to a patient’s home by a trained team. 

4. November 4—How One Home Health Agency Broke Down ACO Barriers

Illinois-based Better Care Home Health, Inc. sat down with Home Health Care News to share how the home health agency has been able to work within an accountable care organization (ACO) despite the high barriers of entry for home health. Better Care’s CEO Marvin Javellan shares why he took the jump to position his agency as a risk-sharing partner.

3. October 21—Top 10 Largest Home Health Providers

Providers across the spectrum are tapping into the home health market to expand their services across multiple facets of care, as evidenced by LexisNexis’ 2015 rankings of the leading home health agencies in the United States. Kindred Healthcare topped the list this year, followed by Amedisys, Inc. and LHC Group.

2. November 18—POTUS Signs Innovation Act, Expands Home Health Opportunities

President Obama signed the Innovation Act, opening up the Programs of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) to allow more individuals to receive care services in their homes. The legislation will increase opportunities for home health agencies, hospitals and other health systems and long-term care providers in the county to implement new PACE programs.

1. April 2—Startup Raises $20 Million to Launch ‘Uber for Home Care’ 

A new home caregiving service called Honor has been likened to the ride sharing app Uber by matching home care providers with clients via a smartphone app. The San Francisco-based company raised $20 million in funding and will provide caregivers to perform private duty home services such as housework, but not nursing services.

Editor’s note: The top stories list is based on traffic data received on Senior Housing News content compiled beginning on January 1, 2015.

Written by Amy Baxter