Editor’s Picks: ‘Gotta Catch ‘Em All’

This week, a few members of the Home Health Care News team were swept up in the newly-released Pokemon Go game. Fortunately, the sensational mobile phone game didn’t distract us from bringing our readers the hottest industry news.

Readers were intrigued by an ‘extreme’ case of Medicare fraud and which home care companies once again topped a Forbes’ ‘best’ list. We also clued readers into some expert opinions on the current regulatory environment and how agencies can be less likely to be flagged for fraud.

Most Read

Agency Faces $21 Million Penalty for ‘Extreme’ Medicare Fraud—A home care company with operations in five U.S. states has agreed to pay the federal government millions after admitting to fraudulent billing practices so widespread, the government called the company an “extreme outlier.” The company, Kentucky-based MD2U Holding Company, has admitted to violating the False Claims Act and is now liable to the United States in the amount of $21 million, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

Home Care Companies Top Franchise List—Home care companies were once again named top franchise investment choices by Forbes, underscoring the strong demographics for the industry. Four home care companies made Forbes’ “Top Franchise to Buy” list for its investment category.

Where It Pays for Home Health Agencies to Spend More—Home health agencies are feeling a serious squeeze on their margins due to a host of factors, including Medicare cuts, managed care cost containment, rising wages and a forthcoming pre-claim review from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). This environment is making an always important question even weightier than usual—namely, where agencies should cut costs and where they should invest to drive productivity.

How Home Health Agencies Can Stay Off the Fraud Radar—Home health companies are under more scrutiny when it comes to fraud and improper billings than ever before. In a tougher operational climate with higher pressures and more regulations, home health agencies need to be aware how to fully comply and avoid the Feds’ fraud radar.

Around the Web

Op-Ed: The Supreme Court Gets it Right one Home Care—Now it’s Gov. Rauner’s Turn—The Supreme Court decided to let stand a new federal rule that prevents home care employers from denying their workers minimum wage or overtime pay, writes Progress Illinois. The decision should serve as a wake-up call for Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner, an op-ed urges, as Rauner attempts to limit hours for home care workers in the state.

Alzheimer’s Effects on the Brain Found in Young People—Changes in the brain associated with Alzheimer’s disease can be seen as early as childhood in people with a heightened genetic risk, according to a study published in the journal Neurology, The Wall Street Journal writes. A new research theory on Alzheimer’s is that the mind-robbing disease is actually a developmental disorder that begins much earlier in life.

Amy’s Adds

Covenant HealthCare a ‘Pokemon Go’ No-Hunting Zone, Officials Say—A new mobile game has taken the nation by storm, and unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve likely heard about the augmented reality game Pokemon Go, which requires players to go outside and wander around real places to search for virtual Pokemon. The number of players roaming too close to one hospital in Saginaw, Michigan, has prompted the hospital declare its property a “no-hunting zone,” claiming that people walking into the hospital put patients in jeopardy.

A Century of Home Healthcare, From P-Town to Plymouth—A century ago, Cape Cod didn’t have a hospital, but it did have a nurse who would visit residents door-to-door on her bicycle, marking the beginning of the Visiting Nurse Association of Cape Cod. Flash forward 100 years, the VNA of Cape Cod has 800 employees and provides more than 380,000 home visits annually, CapeCod.com writes.

Written by Amy Baxter