This week, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced Medicare Accountable Care Organizations saved more than $466 million in 2015, surpassing shared savings in 2014.
Other highlights of the week include a Harvard pilot study that utilized a checklist for caregivers, enabling them to track changes in patients’ conditions and potentially monitor and reduce the likelihood of a future hospitalization. Home care also had a small win in an overtime case in New York. Here in the newsroom, we keep our readers informed on how the industry is advocating against home health copayment proposals.
Harvard Pilot Proves Value of In-Home Care Checklist—A quick intervention tool that aims to reduce hospital readmissions among home care patients has found some initial success in a recent pilot study approved by Harvard Medical School. The six-month study found that caregivers who utilize a short checklist about their patients’ conditions were able to report a number of changes that could result in more serious care interventions if left untreated.
Copayment Woes Drive Agenda for Home Care Advocates—Another potential new regulation is in the future for home health care: copayments. The copays, which were eliminated from Medicare several decades ago, have been reintroduced into the health care reform dialogue and could make a full comeback if budget proposals are approved. That is, unless home care advocates can shift the momentum in Washington.
Judge Shuts Down Class Action in Home Health Overtime Suit—Recent changes in federal overtime laws that impact home health care workers and other domestic workers have led to a boom in collective action lawsuits throughout the industry. However, home care workers in New York won’t be able to sue for overtime pay through a class action lawsuit, a recent judge in the state ruled.
Week in Review
Medicare Accountable Care Organizations Generated $466 Million in Savings in 2015—More than 400 Medicare ACOs generated more than $466 million in total program savings in 2015, according to CMS. Of these, 125 qualified for shared savings payments by meeting quality performance standards and their savings threshold. By comparison, ACOs saved $411 million in 2014, with 97 qualifying for shared savings payments.
Around the Web
How Expanded Roles for Home Health Aides Can Improve the Health of Older Americans—Millions of older Americans with home health aides need assistance with activities of daily living to help them stay connected to their communities and remain in their homes as they age, The Huffington Post writes. But what if aides are also trained on more medical conditions and can help manage health to a greater extent? A recent pilot study proves that additional training significantly improved the health of home care clients.
On Demand Senior Home Care Via Smart Phone—Honor, a home care company that is well-known for its technology platform, is featured in East Bay Times for its care pro matching services. East Bay Times sat down with several clients to hear how the service works for them.
Written by Amy Baxter