This week, Home Health Care News readers learned about Hometeam’s new partnership and a home health owner in Texas who is under investigation by the FBI. Readers also found out how the industry as a whole feels about the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ preauthorization proposal, and were clued into Kindred Healthcare’s recent “bizarre” behavior.
This Week in Review
MedPAC Outlines Post-Acute Pay Overhaul, Backs Part D Changes—The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) has wrapped up its work on a “road map” for revamping how the program pays for post-acute care, Modern Healthcare reported. The advisory panel voted in favor of several changes to the Part D prescription drug program that could save up to $10 billion over five years. The post-acute proposal, which will be included in MedPAC’s June report to Congress, would alter the way Medicare reimburses home health agencies, skilled-nursing facilities, inpatient rehabilitation facilities and long-term care hospitals.
FBI: Home Health Owner Ordered Nurses to Overdose, Kill Hospice Patients—Brad Harris, the founder of home health and hospice agency Novus Health Care Services, Inc. in Frisco, Texas, repeatedly ordered his employees to give hospice patients drug overdoses to hasten their deaths and maximize profits, according to an affidavit obtained by a local NBC affiliate. Harris also allegedly sent a text message to an employee that read, “You need to make this patient go bye-bye,” and told his employees to “find patients who would die within 24 hours.”
New Hometeam Partnership Aims to Take Panic Out of Transitions—Hometeam, a private duty in-home care startup, has partnered with a major skilled nursing provider in New Jersey, CareOne. The new partnership aims to transition patients from CareOne’s rehabilitation facilities safely to care in the home, expanding the rehab benefits from CareOne through the resources of Hometeam’s technology and caregivers.
Home Health Lashes Back Against Preauthorization Proposal—A recent proposal that would require home health agencies to receive prior authorization before caring for patients has been met with an onslaught of backlash by the industry. The period for home health agencies to submit comments on the preauthorization proposal from CMS ended Tuesday with close to 250 comments—that were largely against the rule.
Kindred Buys Executive’s Home for $2 Million After ‘Bizarre’ Driveway Dispute—Kindred Healthcare Inc. spent more than $2 million purchasing the home of one of its executives after claiming concerns for the executive’s “personal safety,” records revealed on Tuesday. The company reportedly purchased the home in December 2015 with the approval of the governance committee after the executive and his family found themselves at the center of a dispute with real estate developer David Fenley, a former neighbor. “It’s bizarre behavior,” Fenley’s attorney, Dennis Murrell, said. “I have represented a lot of public companies and never seen anything like this.”
Alone on the Range, Seniors Often Lack Access to Health Care—It can be challenging to grow old in rural America, according to this article from The New York Times. When it comes to attention and medical resources, like hospice services, “We’re kind of underrepresented,” said Dr. Bill George, who practices at Beartooth Billings Clinic in Red Lodge, Montana. “People sometimes feel forgotten.”
Written by Mary Kate Nelson