Posts by Alex Spanko:

  • Bundled Payment Lessons Remain Valuable for Home Health, Skilled Nursing Providers

    Jun 26 2018

    Despite high hopes when it was introduced in 2012, the Bundled Payment for Care Improvement (BPCI) program has become somewhat of an afterthought for the home health industry. Diminished excitement surrounding bundled payments is partially because post-acute providers, including home health and skilled nursing agencies, can no longer be episode initiators under the upcoming BPCI Advanced model. Read More

  • End-of-Life Care Costs Declined Last Decade

    May 17 2018

    Medicare spending on older Americans during their end-of-life years was down toward the start of last decade, a new study has found. Led by Dartmouth researchers, the study upends the notion that older adults, many of whom end up on hospice care in the last few weeks of life, are largely responsible for driving up Read More

  • CMS Struggles to Find Participants in Home Health Data Beta Test

    Dec 12 2017

    The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is in the midst of a multi-year process to develop new data collection requirements—and the agency still needs home health care agencies in multiple areas around the country to weigh in. CMS and the RAND Corporation last month kicked off the second phase of a program to Read More

  • Care Coordination Among ACOs Could Actually Increase Admissions

    Dec 06 2017

    Accountable care organizations (ACOs) are designed to save money by fostering cooperation: By working together, providers across the health care continuum can hopefully save Medicare money and boost quality. But the largest share of the savings may simply come from shifting patients out of skilled nursing and home health settings, a new study suggests—and not Read More

  • Trump HHS Pick Says ‘Amen’ to Home Health Benefits

    Nov 29 2017

    President Trump’s nominee to replace Tom Price as head of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) expressed an interest to overhauling the way Medicare and Medicaid cover end-of-life care. He also praised the role home care can play in efforts to lower health spending through Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs). While testifying before the Senate Read More

  • Kindred Projects Home Health Recovery After Storm-Battered Third Quarter

    Nov 07 2017

    Buoyed by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) recent decision to delay the home health groupings model (HHGM), executives at Kindred Healthcare, Inc. (NYSE: KND) say they see growth ahead in the sector. After taking a financial hit amid the recent natural disasters, Kindred expects annual revenue and admissions growth of 3% to Read More

  • The Price is Wrong: HHS Secretary Steps Down Amid Travel Scandal

    Sep 29 2017

    Department of Health and Human Services secretary Tom Price resigned from his post Friday amid an investigation into his use of private jets at taxpayer expense. As head of HHS, Price had most recently impacted the home health care industry after announcing some mandatory bundle payment initiatives would become voluntary. The government spent more than Read More

  • After Hurricanes, Senators Call for Oversight Committee on Senior Safety

    Sep 21 2017

    After the devastation from Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, U.S. Senators are stepping in to better protect seniors during emergencies by establishing a national oversight committee. Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson this week filed legislation that would create a National Advisory Committee on Seniors and Disasters, a 15-member board that would help states implement emergency preparedness plans for Read More

  • Why It’s Hard to Be a New Nurse in Home Health

    Aug 15 2017

    It’s certainly no secret that elder care providers of all stripes have trouble finding and retaining solid talent. But home health and home care companies have the added detriment of a largely solitary workplace environment, which can make it even more difficult for operators to convince new recruits that a patient’s home is the best Read More

  • Plan to Clear Medicare Appeals Backlog Hits Judicial Snag

    Aug 14 2017

    The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) was told late last year to clear a Medicare appeals backlog by 2021. But a higher-court judge last week said such a task may be impossible under current law, and ordered a halt to the timeline. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit found merit Read More

  • Kindred CEO Sounds Off on Home Health Payment Rule

    Aug 04 2017

    Kindred Healthcare, Inc. (NYSE: KND) president and CEO Benjamin Breier sounded off on the proposed home health groupings model (HHGM), vowing to work with the industry and regulators to craft a solution that works for all parties. “The home health industry is undeniably united in its negative view of the rule, and will take a Read More

  • Trumpcare Passage, Medicaid Changes in Sight

    Jun 13 2017

    While the nation stood transfixed by former FBI director James Comey’s testimony before the Senate, that same body moved closer to putting forth a Trumpcare bill—potentially signaling major changes to the way home health companies receive Medicaid payments. The under-the-radar movement was enough to prompt one Washington insider, speaking before a health care conference in Read More

  • Home Health CEOs Seek Growth Through Hospital Deals, Personal Care

    Jun 12 2017

    The move to value-based payment systems and managed care can be a boon for home health agencies — as long as savvy operators know how to navigate the new landscape by focusing on partnerships and the rising importance of personal home care. The outlook for the home health industry is cautiously bright, Lincoln Healthcare Leadership Read More

  • Managed Care Programs Improve Care, Reduce Costs

    May 17 2017

    Managed long-term services and support programs (MLTSS) bring a host of benefits to states, including better care outcomes and reduced spending, and could shift more patients away from institutions to in-home or community programs, according to a new survey. The National Association of States United for Aging and Disabilities’ (NASUAD) MLTSS Institute sent surveys to Read More

  • Seniors’ Homes May Hold Key to Pay for Home Health Care

    Apr 25 2017

    At a time when more and more aging Americans need home health care but don’t have the pensions or savings to cover the costs, some experts say it could be wise to turn to a much-maligned source: the reverse mortgage. That was a message behind a Monday webinar, co-sponsored by the National Reverse Mortgage Lenders Read More

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