LifeMatters Hires New COO, HHS Inspector General to Resign

HomeCare.com alum joins LifeMatters

Silver Spring, Maryland-based home care provider LifeMatters has hired a new COO.

Daniel Gold comes to the position after serving as executive vice president and COO of HomeCare.com, which offers tools and technologies to connect families and caregivers. Gold has worked in different capacities within the post-acute care since the early 1990s.

LifeMatters employs more than 1,300 caregivers, with four offices in the Mid-Atlantic, specifically in Maryland and the greater Washington D.C., area. The company offers both skilled and non-medical care services.

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“Our objective is to maintain a leadership position in the home care industry, deliver great care to our clients and improve outcomes while affiliating with leading healthcare partners,” Gold said in a press release announcing the news. “Our plans are to grow the company organically through selected acquisitions as we expand into new markets and services.”

Additionally, Gold aims to broaden LifeMatters’ relationships with Medicare Advantage plans, ACOs and other payment models.

Earlier this month, CMS further expanded the supplemental benefits covered under Medicare Advantage in 2020, opening the door for a variety of non-medical benefits to be covered under MA plans and creating even more opportunities for home care providers to become partners in MA contracts.

HHS inspector general announces resignation

After more than 14 years on the job, Daniel Levinson, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) inspector general, has announced he will resign May 31.

The Office of Inspector General (OIG) announced the news earlier this month. Levinson, who spent more than 35 years in government, will move on to other endeavors, while Principal Deputy Inspector General Joanne Chiedi will serve as acting inspector general when Levinson steps down, according to an OIG spokesperson.

In a statement following the announcement of the news, Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar praised Levinson’s recent work ramping up OIG oversight.

“In 2018, it was an honor to see OIG participate in another record-breaking Healthcare Fraud Takedown Day, charging defendants with schemes involving more than $2 billion in false billings,” Azar said.

As HHCN previously reported, OIG reported $2.91 billion in expected investigative recoveries during 2018.

Despite Levinson’s departure, efforts to tackle fraud, waste and abuse in home health and hospice can only be expected to increase if OIG’s 2020 budget request is approved.

In the request submitted last month, OIG requested an extra $10 million in funding specifically to tackle home- and community-based fraud. The money would help finance several anti-fraud initiatives, including putting more “boots on the ground” to investigate suspicious activity.

Uber Health hires new legal director

Uber Health has hired a new legal director.

Lamis Hossain comes to the position after three years as assistant general counsel for McKesson Specialty Health, which delivers specialty drugs to doctors and health care providers across the country.

In total, she spent nearly 17 years with global healthcare services and medical supply company McKesson Corporation (NYSE: MCK), serving in several different divisions and capacities.

San Francisco-based Uber first launched its health care unit, Uber Health, last year. The HIPPA-compliant platform allows health care providers to request and pay for rides for patients, ensuring they make it to appointments. Rather than using an app, the ride-hailing company sends passenger text messages with their ride information.  

Missed medical appointments take a major toll on the health care system, with a total estimated impact of $150 billion. Additionally, missed appointments can lead to a decline in patient condition, especially for seniors whose risk of developing complex conditions increases with age.

Since launching, Uber Health has already partnered with several home care providers.

Examples include Georgetown Home Care, a private duty home care provider based in Washington, D.C.; Right at Home, a home care franchise with more than 550 locations nationwide; and 24Hr HomeCare, a home care provider with 16 locations throughout California, Arizona and Texas.

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