Posts by Cassandra Dowell:

  • Why Shifting Health Policies Favor Home Care

    Aug 05 2015

    As the health care market continues to evolve, it behooves acute and post-acute care providers to evaluate strategies that align with new federal regulations, particularly those related to what’s known as population health. And this is making for a bright future for home care, industry leaders say. Currently, 12 million people receive community-based care from Read More

  • Most Seniors Must Tap Personal Sources to Afford Home Care

    Aug 03 2015

    The majority of caregiving services for older disabled Americans are paid for by personal sources alone, a new study finds. While family caregivers are responsible for the majority of home care that older people receive, home care services provided by paid caregivers nonetheless represent a significant source of help, according to research published in BMC Health Read More

  • Editor’s Picks: Home Health Moves Away From Post-Hospital Care

    Jul 31 2015

    In case you missed it, here are the top headlines grabbing readers’ attention this week, plus some other notable stories from around the web that caught our eye here at HHCN: Most Read: Home Health Dramatically Shifts Away from Post-Hospital Care — Between 2001 and 2012, the number of home health episodes not preceded by a hospitalization Read More

  • Amedisys Discloses $8 Million Settlement, Posts Strong Results

    Jul 29 2015

    Amedisys Inc. (NASDAQ: AMED) is enjoying net service revenue and net income growth, second quarter financial results announced today show. While the major home health and hospice provider’s results were impacted by a federal class-action lawsuit involving overtime payments, the $8 million settlement did not derail earnings. Amedisys had a net service revenue of $314.1 million in Read More

  • Behind the Headlines Podcast: BrightStar CEO on Company’s Rapid Growth, What’s Next

    Jul 28 2015

    Since emerging on the home care scene in 2002, BrightStar Care has expanded its home care services to more than 250 locations in 36 states, through franchising. In March 2014, the first BrightStar Senior Living assisted living and memory care community opened in Madison, Wis. In this week’s podcast, the company’s founder and CEO Shelly Sun Read More

  • Home Health Owner Faces 80 Months In Prison for Fraud

    Jul 27 2015

    A home health care owner and operator has been sentenced to 80 months in prison for his role in a $12.6 million Medicare fraud and tax fraud scheme, according to the Department of Justice. Eleven other individuals have also been convicted in this case. Mohammed Sadiq, 67, of Oakland County, Mich., owned and directed two Read More

  • Home Care Provider Embraces Tech, Cuts Med Errors 80%

    Jul 22 2015

    A nonprofit home health care provider dramatically reduced its medication error rate through the implementation of a technology-driven medication management program, according to a new study. Coon Rapids, Minn.-based Epiphany Senior Living was able to slash its medication/treatment error rate by 84.7% between 2013 and 2014, according to a recently released case study by The LeadingAge Center Read More

  • Influential Group Floats Ideas for Home Care Quality Measurement

    Jul 21 2015

    The National Quality Forum (NQF) recently released an interim report to address performance measure gaps in home and community-based services (HCBS). The report reflects a two-year project to develop a conceptual framework for quality measurement.   The Quality Forum is a nonprofit organization dedicated to proposing and endorsing gold-standard performance measures to gauge and improve U.S. Read More

  • Seniors to Average $50,000 in Home, Community Care Payouts

    Jul 20 2015

    About half (52%) of Americans turning 65 today will develop a disability serious enough to require long-term care services and supports (LTSS), although most will need assistance for less than two years, according to a new report by the U.S Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE). However, about one in seven adults Read More

  • Editor’s Picks: Home Care Movement Takes Stand At White House

    Jul 17 2015

    In case you missed it, here are the top headlines grabbing readers’ attention this week, plus some other notable stories from around the web that caught our eye here at HHCN: Spotlight On: White House Conference on Aging  A lot was said about home care during the White House Conference on Aging on Monday, with Read More

  • Care Worker Set Up Client for Home Invasion

    Jul 15 2015

    A home care worker in Florida recently confessed that she set up her quadriplegic employer for a home invasion, according to local reports. Akeila Hinds was arrested Wednesday and charged with home invasion robbery. She is currently out on bond. “Surveillance cameras captured two people robbing the upscale home in Winter Garden early Wednesday,” explains local Read More

  • Behind the Headlines Podcast: Home Care CEO Talks Franchise Expansion

    Jul 14 2015

    In a rapidly evolving health care marketplace, home care providers must find innovative ways to adapt. And while some operators choose to go it alone, others are finding success by expanding their brand through franchising efforts. The rewards of going big are being seen at Brentwood, Tenn.-based SEI Healthcare, CEO and Founder Beau Brothers tells HHCN Read More

  • Home Care Takes ‘Fight for 15’ to Obama’s Doorstep

    Jul 13 2015

    Home care workers and their supporters attended Monday’s White House Conference on Aging to further the goals of the Fight For 15 movement. Many supporters even wore red “Home Care Fight for 15” T-shirts during a panel on caregiving in America. The Fight For 15 movement has gained steam among home care workers, whose campaigns Read More

  • Editor’s Picks: Proposed Medicare Cuts Shake Up Home Health Industry

    Jul 10 2015

    In case you missed it, here are the top headlines grabbing readers’ attention this week, plus some other notable stories from around the web that caught our eye here at HHCN: Spotlight On: Medicare Cuts, New Payment Policy Home Health Agencies Face $350 Million Medicare Cut, New Payment Model — The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Read More

  • Home Health’s Many Faces: How Niche Services Drive Business Success

    Jul 08 2015

    A new profile series launched by The Alliance for Home Health Quality and Innovation showcases the diversity of home health patients, and highlights how providers must—and are—adapting business practices to serve distinct demographics. Each part of the four-part Faces of Home Health series looks at a unique population within home health using interviews, data, and Read More

  • Home Care Provider Files for Bankruptcy After Tequila-for-Referrals Charges

    Jul 06 2015

    Kentucky-based Nurses’ Registry and Home Health Corp. recently filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, and alleges Medicare owes the company $1 million in payments for health care services it provided.  Medicare officials suspended payments to Nurses’ Registry earlier this year after suing the company over alleged kickbacks and improper billing, court documents show. The case drew attention Read More

  • Behind the Headlines Podcast: Former Amedisys Exec Talks Big Changes

    Jun 30 2015

    One of the biggest trends in home health care is the use of data analytics and sharing that data to improve patient care. But while it’s an important trend, it is also the most misunderstood, Dr. Michael Fleming, former chief medical officer of Amedisys, Inc. (Nasdaq:AMED), tells HHCN in this week’s podcast. Amedisys is a Louisiana-based home health agency Read More

  • Seniors Requesting Help Seek Home-Based Services

    Jun 30 2015

    Home-based services rank as one of the top needs of seniors reaching out for help, new data show. In 2014, seniors nationwide made more than 271,200 requests for assistance from the Eldercare Locator, a referral service providing information about care resources available in communities around the country.  The average caller is age 60 or older, is a Read More

  • CMS Releases FAQs For Home and Community-Based Setting Scrutiny

    Jun 29 2015

    The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has released Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) related to home and community-based settings to help operators navigate through the evolving health care landscape. “The guidance focuses on the process for states to use in overcoming the presumption that certain settings have the characteristics of an institution, and highlights Read More

  • Proposed Law To Reform Face-To-Face Requirement

    Jun 26 2015

    Proposed legislation would improve Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ approach to collecting evidence regarding the eligibility of patients for home health services. “The existing home health face-to-face requirement is simple in theory, but has proven unworkable in practice,” said Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) in a statement. “This legislation provides a straightforward process that ensures CMS works Read More

  • Harvard: Rising Debt Jeopardizes Aging in Place

    Jun 24 2015

    Increased supports will be needed to care for America’s large and growing senior population in their homes, new research shows. And affordability of these supports—and housing options generally—is particularly pressing, as seniors’ debt load is rising. Many older adults live alone, have at least one type of disability, and have limited resources to pay for Read More

  • Intel-GE to Test the Value of Home-Based Health Tech

    Jun 23 2015

    Home health care providers may glean valuable insights from a new telehealth study involving Intel-GE and a senior living provider known for innovation. Telehealth holds promise as a way for seniors to receive medical evaluations and interventions from the comfort of their own home through technologies such as video and wearable sensors. Providers see telemedicine Read More

  • 3 Changes to Make Aging-in-Place a Reality for Seniors

    Jun 22 2015

    As America’s aging population continues to grow so too do the demands on local communities to meet that population’s changing health care needs. “There’s a real push for people not to be in nursing homes unless they absolutely have to be,” said Robyn Golden, director of health and aging at Rush University Medical Center, during Read More

  • The Future Is Now: Enter Artificial Intelligence for Health Care

    Jun 17 2015

    Data is a buzzword in the home care space, but using innovative tools to capture, interpret and relay that data will be key for providers across the continuum of care. Enter artificial intelligence (AI), said leaders in health care innovation during the National Healthcare Innovation Summit on Wednesday in Chicago, regarding managing and making sense of Read More

  • Behind the Headlines Podcast: Let’s Talk About End-Of-Life Care

    Jun 16 2015

    What’s “sad and foolish” about the current state of end-of-life care? Reducing hospital readmissions is a buzz topic in the home health industry, but fewer stakeholders discuss ways of managing transitions from home care to hospice. Dan Hogan, CEO of health care technology company Medalogix, recently chatted with HHCN about the challenges home health care Read More

  • Jefferies to Investors: ‘Home Health Is Where It’s At’

    Jun 14 2015

    Home health demand is expected to rise significantly, and several factors make the industry a worthwhile sector for investors, says global investment banking firm Jefferies in a recent report. Factors that bode well for the industry include an improved reimbursement outlook; rising interest in alternative payment models, specifically bundled payments (BPCI); and consolidation/merger and acquisition Read More

  • 3 Tips to Boost Home Care Morale and Lower Turnover

    Jun 09 2015

    Effective communication can deliver increased productivity, reduce employee turnover and create an improved work environment. But as the way people communicate continues to evolve, some home health providers may struggle to effectively connect with staff members, prompting employees to look elsewhere for work. Employee turnover continues to plague the home health industry, and caregiver turnover Read More

  • Tell Stories with Data for Home Health Success

    Jun 03 2015

    Data is king, and home health care agencies will lose out on critical partnerships if they don’t embrace the numbers, industry leaders agree. “Data analysis is key to demonstrating value in home health,” said Teresa Lee, executive director of Alliance for Home Health Quality and Innovation during the Home Care & Hospice LINK Conference on Read More

  • Behind the Headlines Podcast: How to Be a Home Care Hero

    Jun 02 2015

    Home Health Care News is excited to kick off its podcast series “Behind the Headlines,” featuring the newsmakers and industry leaders shaping the future of home care. What are “nightmares” in home health? And why did one provider need to take a “look in the mirror” before choosing to launch his own company? Home Health Read More

  • Home-Based Dementia Care Reduces Nursing Home Admissions

    Jun 01 2015

    A program helped to reduce nursing home use by those with dementia by offering supports for their caregivers, new research shows. In the telephone-based assessment and care management program, trained nonphysician managers used evidence-based protocols to educate and offer support to caregivers. Care managers were trained social workers, nurses, and nurse practitioners. The study included randomized data Read More

  • Number of Home Care Workers Jumps 9.3% in 2015

    May 20 2015

    In what might reflect the growing need for home care services, the number of home care workers has increased 9.3% compared to last year, new data shows. The jump might also be explained by home care becoming “an increasingly accessible option for today’s seniors,” says the the newest edition of United Health Foundation’s America’s Health Rankings Senior Read More

  • Conspirators Convicted for $50 Million Home Health Fraud

    May 19 2015

    A jury in New Orleans convicted four employees of medical service clinics last week for their roles in a $50 million Medicare fraud scheme. The jury convicted two doctors, a nurse and an office manager for their roles in the scheme. Barbara Smith, M.D., 66, of Metairie, Louisiana; Roy Berkowitz, M.D., 69, of Slidell, Louisiana; Read More

  • Tech Startup Promises Big Savings to Medicare

    May 18 2015

    A tech startup is making waves in the health care space, recently netting Medicare an estimated $6.5 million by reducing hospitalizations among aging patients in select states, most notably in Massachusetts. Now, Care at Hand Inc., a San Francisco-based tech company, has set its sights on expanding in Maryland, the only state to have a Read More

  • Most Read: Innovative Home Care Providers Net Reluctant Clients

    May 15 2015

    In case you missed it, here are the most popular stories grabbing Home Health Care News readers’ attention this week: Home Care Providers Win Over Reluctant Clients with Short Visits, Light Touch — While many seniors agree they prefer to age in place, not all are eager to become home care agency clients. Providers are implementing Read More

  • Housing Plus Services, A Growing Home Health Arena?

    May 13 2015

    Affordable senior housing may just hold the next key demographic for home care agencies, as evidence shows in-home services are effective in helping older people remain healthy and independent.  New Housing Plus Services use affordable senior housing properties as platforms for the delivery of health and supportive services to older adults, “many of whom have Read More

  • 10 Ways to Make Communities Aging Friendly

    May 13 2015

    As the demand for aging-related care and services continues to grow, communities nationwide are implementing new strategies to support the rapidly growing older adult demographic.  “Today’s older adults desire and will likely have a different aging experience than that of their parents and grandparents,” writes the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging (n4a) in Read More

  • VNA Leader: Home Health Care’s ‘Sputnik Moment’ Is Now

    May 12 2015

    The home health care industry has a promising future: Americans are living longer than ever, and the majority prefer to age in place, receiving in-home services. But the evolving health care landscape is not without challenges, and many providers say they struggle with high employee turnover, a confusing reimbursement system and lack of transparency between Read More

  • Private Duty Agencies Protest New State-Run Registry

    May 11 2015

    The training and education requirements differ for home care workers who appear on the state registry versus private in-home care employees in Oregon, spurring home care agency owners to advocate for new legislation. Owners of private in-home care agencies in the Beaver State are voicing support for legislation that would add regulatory and training requirements Read More

  • Inside the New Patient-Driven Star Ratings for Home Health

    May 07 2015

    The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services shed more light Thursday on a new star rating system for home health agencies, based on what consumers say about Medicare-certified providers’ performance. The “Patient Survey Star Ratings,” to go into effect in January 2016, will be based on data from the Home Health Care Consumer Assessment of Read More

  • Pioneer ACOs Save Medicare $384 Million, Aim to Expand

    May 05 2015

    A payment model created under the Affordable Care Act, which has incentivized some health systems to place a greater emphasis on home care, has generated substantial savings to Medicare, a new study reveals. The Pioneer Accountable Care Organization (ACO) Model generated more than $384 million in savings to Medicare over its first two years, giving the Read More

  • Family Caregivers: Biggest Barrier to Home Care Tech?

    May 04 2015

    Family caregivers can be barriers to technology adoption and usage by older adults in their care, even though they acknowledge the positive impact technology can have on a care recipient’s life.  Sixty-seven percent of caregivers report that the older adult in their care has not started any new enrichment activities in the past two years, Read More

  • CMS Proposes $200 Million Increase In Hospice Pay

    May 03 2015

    Medicare-certified hospices may see an estimated $200 million increase in their payments for fiscal year 2016, but some industry members are voicing concern about how reimbursements will be distributed among different levels of care. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently issued a proposed rule (CMS-1629-P) that would update fiscal year 2016 Medicare Read More

  • Home Health Aides Paid Hundreds for Fraudulent Certifications

    Apr 27 2015

    A New Jersey home health agency owner has admitted her role in a $7 million scheme to defraud Medicaid and engage in bribery, money laundering, and tax evasion, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).   Among the details of the alleged crimes are actions that defrauded Medicaid by submitting false documents to the N.J. Board Read More

  • Wall Street Interest in Home Care Grows After Medicare Fix

    Apr 21 2015

    Home health leaders largely applauded Congress after legislation to replace Medicare’s controversial Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) was recently signed into law. And already home care industry groups are seeing positive results from the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act, or permanent “doc fix,” according to new data. Among Investor’s Business Daily’s 197 industry groups, its Medical-Outpatient/Home Care industry Read More

  • Home Health Fraudster Gets $25 Million Fine, 10-year Sentence

    Apr 20 2015

    A Chicago man was recently sentenced to 120 months in prison and ordered to pay $23.3 million in restitution for Medicare fraud committed while operating two Chicago-area home health companies. Jacinto “John” Gabriel, Jr., 48, has been in custody since February 2014, when he entered a guilty plea to charges of conspiracy to commit health Read More

  • Most Read: Most Expensive States for Home Health, Boomers’ Shifting Views

    Apr 17 2015

    In case you missed it, here are the most popular Home Health Care News stories grabbing readers’ attention this past week: 5 Most Expensive States for Home Health in 2015 – While the cost of home care services continues to grow more slowly than the cost of assisted living and nursing home care, a new report from Read More

  • Top 10 Places for Home Health Growth

    Apr 15 2015

    Home health volume trends are less favorable than historical norms, a new six-year analysis of patient and discharge data reveals. But some states are bucking the recent industry shift, the report from Healthcare Market Resources shows. “As we look at the six-year national analysis, we see that the golden years for home health seem to Read More

  • Agency Faces $50 Million Lawsuit Over Absent Home Care Aide

    Apr 14 2015

    A Virginia-based home health care agency is being sued for $50 million after a client with severe disabilities died in a mobile home fire last year, local media report. Hand ’n Heart was allegedly hired by the victim, 35-year-old Josh Smith, to provide 24/7 care, and is being sued by his family. “The lawsuit filed in Norfolk Read More

  • Tech Barriers Threaten Robust Home Health Partnerships

    Apr 12 2015

    Most hospitals see the value in partnering with or acquiring home health companies for population health management, but technology barriers stand in the way of maximizing these relationships, a new report reveals. The majority of respondents said their organization is working toward improving its population health management strategy either by acquiring, or more likely by actively Read More

  • States Disagree Over Home Care Minimum Wage Rule

    Apr 07 2015

    States’ views on minimum wage increases for home health care workers continue to differ, as nine states recently voiced opposition to the minimum wage rule that four other states recently said they support. Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt recently asked a federal appeals court to reject U.S. Department of Labor regulations that “threaten the availability Read More

  • With OASIS Changes Looming, Govt. Invites Home Health Provider Feedback

    Apr 06 2015

    Home health agencies have another opportunity to weigh in on the new version of the Outcome and Assessment Information Set (OASIS) data set, the National Association for Home Care & Hospice is reminding industry members.  OASIS needs to be updated to accommodate the 10th revision to the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems Read More

  • Home Care Matches Inpatient Results for Knee Patients

    Mar 31 2015

    Patients who recover at home after knee replacement surgery do just as well as those who choose inpatient rehab, new research shows. Patients do just as well receiving at-home physical therapy as their inpatient counterparts when it comes to complications, long-term pain management and movement recovery, according to a study recently presented at the American College of Read More

  • Amazon — Home Care Agencies’ Newest Competitor?

    Mar 30 2015

    E-commerce giant Amazon is launching a new section in the United States, Home Services, where customers can shop for professional help, the company announced Monday. Services include house cleaning and other household chores, and may present competition for some private-duty home care agencies that provide those services for clients. At launch, the Amazon Home Services store Read More

  • Most Read: Home Health to Dominate by 2024, Telemedicine Proves Value

    Mar 27 2015

    In case you missed it, here are the most popular Home Health Care News stories grabbing readers’ attention this past week: Home Care Could be Heart of the U.S. Health System by 2024, Leaders Say — People’s homes are likely to become the key setting in tomorrow’s modern health care model, according to leaders from technology Read More

  • Drunk Care Aide Lawsuit Puts Spotlight on Background Checks

    Mar 26 2015

    Damages caused by a drunk home health care aide are raising questions about the length to which one home health agency vets new hires. The aide allegedly “crashed through a garage door to take her elderly charge’s car on a drunken joy ride to another state,”  Courthouse News Service (CNS) reports. Martha Howard, 77, sued home Read More

  • Self-Disclosure Leads to $4.4 Million Home Health Settlement

    Mar 24 2015

    A Hancock, Mich.-based hospital has agreed to pay the United States more than $4 million to settle allegations that its home health care agency committed Medicare fraud. Portage Hospital, LLC, in Hancock, Michigan, agreed to pay $4,446,392.43 due to claims its hospital-owned home health care agency, Portage Health Home Care & Hospice, violated the False Claims Read More

  • Bill Would Tie Home Health Payments to Readmissions

    Mar 23 2015

    Home health leaders are voicing support for the recent introduction of bipartisan Medicare reform legislation that could put home health providers more in the drivers’ seat for coordinating post-acute care yet also increase the financial risks associated with hospital readmissions.  The Bundling and Coordinating Post-Acute Care (BACPAC) Act is meant to support the coordinated delivery of clinically advanced Read More

  • Half Of Older Americans Utilize Home Care at End of Life

    Mar 18 2015

    More than 50% of Americans 65 and older receive in-home health care from a medically trained person prior to death, according to a recently released Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) study. The data comes from the Health and Retirement Study, a large national survey. Investigators looked at recurring and non-recurring health care costs for people involved Read More

  • $30 Million Home Health Conspiracy Included Deepwater Horizon Payouts, Feds Charge

    Mar 16 2015

    Twenty individuals and one corporation in Louisiana are being indicted for allegedly claiming over $30 million in a home health Medicare fraud, according to an announcement by U.S. Attorney Kenneth A. Polite. Some charges relate to money distributed after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010. Lisa A. Crinel, one of those indicted, was the owner Read More

  • 3 Simple Ways Home Health Can Reduce Hospital Readmissions

    Mar 11 2015

    It’s no secret that many home health agencies are turning to the latest technology and software to improve patient outcomes and reduce hospital readmissions, but other strategies require getting back to the basics of connecting with patients. “Hospital readmissions are a driving factor in escalated health care costs,” said Rosann Prosser, director of clinical operations Read More

  • OhioHealth Earns Patient Buy-In for Telehealth, Reduces Rehospitalizations

    Mar 09 2015

    Home health providers are leveraging technology to decrease rehospitalizations and otherwise improve patient outcomes and worker safety, but they might have to overcome pushback from patients who are resistant to these devices, a new study reveals. It’s no secret that older Americans’ No. 1 preference to receive care is in their home, yet the majority Read More

  • Home Health Fraudster Loses House, Gets 7-Year Sentence

    Mar 03 2015

    A Massachusetts home nursing agency owner was recently sentenced to 92 months in prison for fraudulently billing millions of dollars of services to Medicare and then laundering the proceeds.  Michael Galatis, 63, of Natick, Mass. was sentenced by the District of Massachusetts to 92 months in prison, three years of supervised release, and ordered to Read More

  • Retirees Rank Home Care No. 1 Way to Meet Long-Term Needs

    Mar 02 2015

    The vast majority of retirees 50 and older say their top preference for receiving long-term care is in their own home, driving demand for these services, according to a new Merrill Lynch retirement study conducted in partnership with Age Wave.  Eighty-five percent say, if needed, they would prefer to receive extended care in their home, Read More

  • Hospitals Have Changed Their Tune on Home Health Partnerships, LHC Chief Says

    Feb 26 2015

    As hospitals begin to feel some impact from readmission penalties, partnerships with home health agencies are being embraced with unprecedented enthusiasm, said leaders of home health, hospice and comprehensive post-acute health care services provider LHC Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: LHCG), during a conference call Thursday. Hospitals’ attention to partnerships with home health agencies is shifting in a “big Read More

  • Cable Giant Makes Major Play into Home Health

    Feb 19 2015

    Cox Communications and Cleveland Clinic announced a strategic alliance Thursday to bring health care to the home through telehealth and other innovations. The venture into home health by the third-largest U.S. cable TV company — with about 6 million customers — is a natural one, Todd Smith, director of media relations, tells HHCN. “We’ve spent Read More

  • CMS Tightens Home Health Add-On Payments

    Feb 17 2015

    The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is alerting home health providers that their billing departments should be aware of new requirements to improve the enforcement of existing policies for certain payments. Change Request (CR) 9027 notifies home health agencies of new edits in Original Medicare systems to ensure Low Utilization Payment Adjustment (LUPA) Read More

  • Supreme Court Home Health Ruling Spurs Collective Bargaining Changes

    Feb 10 2015

    Last year’s Supreme Court ruling in a home health case is being cited by Gov. Bruce Rauner (R) as the legal justification for a move that would potentially weaken union organizing in Illinois. Rauner issued an executive order Monday that would exempt state workers who don’t want to join a union from paying fees that Read More

  • Fake Doctor Gets 17 Years For Home Health Fraud

    Feb 09 2015

    An elaborate scheme that involved posing as a medical doctor is netting one Florida woman a nearly $8.5 million fine and 17-year jail sentence, federal officials recently announced. Alejandra Collazo, 43, of Pembroke Pines, Fla., defrauded the Medicare program while owning and operating Miami-based Vortex Medical Center & Management Services, Inc. Collazo was sentenced Feb. 5, Read More

  • Obama Budget Proposes Home Health Copays to Cut Medicare Costs

    Feb 03 2015

    A home health copay, as seen in the Obama Administration’s 2016 budget proposal, would reduce Medicare spending by $830 million through 2025. The 2016 budget proposal, released Monday, contains home health copayments for Medicare beneficiaries along with cuts to post-acute care provider reimbursements for the next decade. The budget proposal includes a reduction each year Read More

  • Miami Home Health Fraudster Sentenced to 106 Months in Prison

    Jan 27 2015

    The owner and operator of a Miami home health care agency was sentenced Monday to 106 months in prison for his participation in a $30 million Medicare fraud scheme, according to FBI reports. Ramon Regueira, 66, of Miami, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud on Nov. 13, 2014, according Read More

  • Gentiva Shareholders Approve Merger With Kindred

    Jan 26 2015

    Kindred Healthcare, Inc. (NYSE: KND) is nearing the completion of its $1.8 billion merger with Gentiva Health Services, Inc. (NASDAQ: GTIV). Gentiva recently announced the company’s stockholders have approved all necessary proposals for the merger with Kindred, which is expected to be complete Feb. 2, 2015. Kindred and Gentiva entered into a definitive agreement Oct. 9, 2014, Read More

  • Bipartisan Legislation Supports Competitive Bidding Reform

    Jan 21 2015

    Recently introduced bipartisan legislation would require bidders to obtain a bid bond within the  Medicare competitive bidding program for durable medical equipment, prosthetics, orthotics and supplies (DMEPOS).   The legislation was introduced by Representatives Tiberi (R-Ohio) and Larson (D-Conn.) and Senators Portman (R-Ohio) and Cardin (D-Md.). H.R. 284 and S. 148 would ban non-binding bids, which Read More

  • Extendicare to Acquire Revera’s Home Health Business in $83 Million Deal

    Jan 20 2015

    Extendicare Inc. recently entered into a definitive agreement to acquire the Revera Home Health business from Revera Inc. for $83 million in cash, before working capital adjustments, Extendicare has announced. Both Extendicare and Revera Home Health are based in Canada, with Extendicare having an additional corporate office in Milwaukee, Wis. Extendicare recently competed the first stage Read More

  • Ensign Expands Hospice, Home Care Footprint Through New Acquisitions

    Jan 05 2015

    The Ensign Group, Inc. (Nasdaq:ENSG) is making moves in the hospice and home care space through two recent acquisitions in Texas and Arizona, the company announced Monday.  The Ensign Group is the parent company of the Ensign group of skilled nursing, rehabilitative care services, home health, home care, hospice care, assisted living and urgent care Read More

  • 4 Considerations to Make When Going Mobile in Home Health

    Dec 10 2014

    As an increasing number of home health agencies undergo upgrades to meet the demands of today’s digital health care landscape, providers must select the networks and mobile devices that will best fit their needs and protect sensitive information. Since 2009, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ database of major breach reports — those Read More

  • Health Care Spending Growth Continues to Slow

    Dec 04 2014

    U.S. health spending grew more slowly last year that at any time in the last 53 years, according to new data from the Office of the Actuary (OACT) at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). Health spending grew at 3.6% and total national health expenditures in the United States reached $2.9 trillion, or $9,255 per person Read More

  • Southern States’ Elderly Have Greater Instances of Disability, Study Finds

    Dec 03 2014

    Where one lives in the United States affects how long and how healthfully one lives, a new report finds. Between 2008 and 2012 there were 40.7 million people aged 65 and over in the United States, representing 13.2% of the total population, data in the new U.S. Census Bureau report shows. The report was commissioned and Read More

  • CMS Proposes New Rule To Drive ACO Participation

    Dec 02 2014

    The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) proposed a new rule Monday that aims to boost Accountable Care Organization (ACO) success by improving incentives to participate.  The changes would update and improve policies governing the Medicare Shared Savings Program (Shared Savings Program) by targeting several program areas including beneficiary assignment, data sharing, available risk models, Read More

  • Study: Majority of Seniors With Dementia Lack Diagnosis

    Dec 02 2014

    More than half of elderly Americans with dementia are not evaluated for cognitive symptoms by a medical provider, a new study finds. As many as 1.8 million Americans over the age of 70 with dementia are not medically evaluated, found University of Michigan researchers in a study published in the online publication “Neurology.” Two hundred ninety-seven Read More

  • Home Care Workers to Join Forces with Fast Food Employees for Higher Wages

    Dec 01 2014

    As home care workers continue to voice their support for minimum wage increases, they are also continuing to align with those outside the industry to attract attention to their cause. Home care workers are expected to join fast food workers during a nationwide strike Dec. 4, when fast food workers in at least 150 cities Read More

  • West Virgina Home Care Owner Makes Case for More State Funding

    Nov 18 2014

    While the number of people age 65 and older in West Virginia is expected to increase by 1.5% by 2025, the amount of workers available to take care of that population is expected to decline by 9%, a home care service expert told state lawmakers on Monday. About 16% of people in the state are Read More

  • Planning for Alzheimer’s Tied to Increased Use of Home Care Agencies

    Nov 13 2014

    Loved ones who make financial plans for Alzheimer’s disease or dementia care are more likely to use elder care services, such as home care agencies, according to a new survey. More than a quarter of Alzheimer’s caregivers spend over $4,000 each month on their loved ones’ care, according to the study that polled more than 1,600 people taking care of a Read More

  • Program Helps Nurses Fight Depression Among Homebound Elderly

    Nov 12 2014

    A new intervention tool may provide relief to homebound older adults who suffer from moderate to severe depression, show results from a new study recently published in JAMA Internal Medicine. The intervention program, developed by Weill Cornell Medical College, trains nurses to both identify and manage clinically significant depressive symptoms.  “The program provides nurses with a framework to deal Read More

  • Poor State Training for Personal Care Aides Leading to Home Care Crisis

    Nov 11 2014

    State training standards for personal care aides (PCAs) are inadequate and inconsistent, say health workforce researchers. Less than half of states, or 45%, have one or more programs with no PCA training requirements and 22% have no PCA training requirements at all, according to a recent report published by the UCSF Health Workforce Research Center on Long-Term Read More

  • Mega Million Dollar Deals Color M&A Home Health Activity

    Nov 10 2014

    Fifty-three home health and hospice transactions have taken place year-to-date, and even greater merger and acquisition activity is on the horizon, says Irving Levin Associates in its recent report that shows M&A activity from 2009 through 2014. Recently, after a long bid war, Kindred Healthcare, Inc. (NYSE: KND) and Gentiva Health Services, Inc. (NASDAQ: GTIV) agreed to merge Read More

  • PBS: The Ins and Outs of In-Home Services

    Nov 10 2014

    About one-third of older Americans use paid caregiver help, and that number is projected to double from 13 million in 2000 to 27 million in 2050, says PBS NewsHour in a recent article.  As more Americans seek in-home help for older loved ones, it’s important to understand what options are available. “Generally, two types of Read More

  • Boomers’ Homes Aren’t As Ready for Aging As They Think

    Nov 06 2014

    Not only do the majority of Baby Boomers prefer to age in place, but they also feel their homes are places they can stay as they get older (75%). This sentiment exists despite the fact that many of these homes lack aging-friendly features such as a single story, 58%; low maintenance, 47%; and accessibility features, Read More

  • Grant Expands Employment, Training for NYC Home Care Aides

    Nov 05 2014

    The Paraprofessional Healthcare Institute (PHI) recently received a $40,000 grant from the Capital One Foundation to support training and employment for home care aides in the Bronx. The Foundation’s grant will support PHI’s home care aide training program conducted in collaboration with Cooperative Home Care Associated (CHCA), a worker-owned home care agency affiliated with PHI. “We Read More

  • LHC Group Enters Ala. Three-Party Home Health Venture

    Nov 04 2014

    National home health, hospice and post-acute care provider LHC Group (NASDAQ: LHCG) announced it has entered into a three party home health joint venture with Southeast Alabama Medical Center (SAMC) and Troy Regional Medical Center in the Certificate of Need (CON) state of Alabama. The service area includes seven counties with a population of 415,000. The Read More

  • TennCare Disputes Patient’s Ability to Continue Receiving Home Care

    Nov 03 2014

    Tennessee’s Medicaid managed care program is trying to move a patient who currently receives 20 hours of daily nursing care at home to a nursing home to cut costs, but the patient is fighting the move, raising questions about care costs and the patient’s benefits under home care versus nursing home care.  The state’s plans Read More

  • CMS Finalizes Payment Changes for Medicare Home Health Agencies

    Oct 31 2014

    The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced a final rule Thursday that will enact changes to the Medicare home health prospective payment system (HH PPS) for calendar year 2015, which the agency projects would reduce Medicare payments to home health agencies by .30%, or $60 million. “[The rule] will foster greater efficiency, flexibility, Read More

  • Caregiving Costs Americans $522 Billion Annually

    Oct 29 2014

    The price tag for informal caregiving of elderly people by friends and family in the United States amounts to $522 billion annually, a new study finds. The new RAND Corporation study, published online by the journal Health Services Research, improves on earlier estimates about the value of informal caregiving. RAND is a nonprofit research organization. Read More

  • WaPo Beats Government In Creation of Online Hospice Guide

    Oct 28 2014

    A new online consumer guide to hospice published by The Washington Post aims to address what it says is a lack of Medicare data that is easily accessible for consumers. The Washington Post gathered data largely from government sources on more than 3,000 hospices that participate in Medicare, which pays for the vast majority of hospice Read More

  • Study: Americans In Hospice Often Receive Less Than 1 Week of Care

    Oct 27 2014

    Of ongoing concern to hospice and palliative care professionals is the fact that 34.5% of patients died or were discharged within seven days of admission, according to the latest National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO) data.  “While many dying Americans are opting for hospice care at the end of their lives, far too many Read More

  • NAHC Establishes Ebola Task Force for Home Care Workers

    Oct 23 2014

    The National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) announced the creation of an Ebola Task Force Wednesday, which aims to help home care agencies protect their workers from the spread of the Ebola virus. “I am proud to announce the creation of an Ebola Task Force, chaired by Barbara Citarella, and will include many Read More

  • Tech Startup Eyes Untapped Opportunity in Home Health

    Oct 22 2014

    A new technology startup is building a support platform that could disrupt the way families, health professionals and others access home healthcare services. CareZapp, in beta, has three main components: a private social network where caregivers and professionals can communicate and collaborate; a framework for applications that can assist with home care; and a network Read More

  • Home and Community-Based Services Are Becoming Essential in Senior Living

    Oct 21 2014

    Home and community-based services (HCBS) are grabbing the attention of senior living providers, and a growing number are entering the sector, data show. Today, more than half, or 52% of the largest not-for-profit system providers offer some sort of home and community-based service off-campus to non-residents, according to a recent Ziegler article citing research from the Read More

  • AAHomecare Unveils New App, ‘Nerve-Center’ for News

    Oct 20 2014

    The American Association for Homecare (AAHomecare) recently unveiled the AAHomecare app, the latest in a stream of initiatives designed to modernize its communications platforms. The AAHomecare App will act as a “nerve-center” for all home medical equipment (HME) news, the company says. The app will provide AAHomecare breaking news and member alerts, combined with the latest Read More

  • Senior Community Links Hospitals With Care Visits to Reduce Readmissions

    Oct 15 2014

    A partnership between an affordable senior housing community and nearby health system has significantly reduced the senior housing residents’ visits and admissions to the emergency room. Harrisburg, Pa.-based Presbyterian Apartments’ residents were frequenting nearby health system The PinnacleHealth System’s ER for primary care purposes, prompting both organizations to discuss targeted ways to provide primary care Read More

  • Seth Rogen Partners with Home Instead For Alzheimer’s Care Campaign

    Oct 14 2014

    Actor Seth Rogen’s Hilarity for Charity event is teaming up with Home Instead Senior Care to provide in-home grants to families living with Alzheimer’s Disease. The event and Hilarity for Charity Fund, established as part of the Alzheimer’s Associatoin, is also led by Rogen’s wife and actor Lauren Miller Rogen. The movement is meant to Read More

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