Posts by Kourtney Liepelt:

  • Solving the Home Care Crisis at the State Level

    Jan 18 2017

    The riddle of how to best serve the aging population has become increasingly complex, as the demand for long-term services and supports (LTSS) is expected to surge over the next few years amid significant workforce challenges, the preference among Americans to age in place and limited resources to make that possible for much of the Read More

  • How Home Care Agencies Can Better Support Latino Caregivers

    Jan 16 2017

    There has been an ever-increasing focus on recruitment and retention efforts for home care workers amid high turnover rates, the Fight for $15 movement and competition from other sectors. Given the diversity of today’s workforce, even more attention must be paid to specific populations, namely Latinos and immigrants, if home care agencies want to adequately Read More

  • University Initiative Targets Aging in Place Through Smart Homes

    Nov 22 2016

    Indiana University (IU) is set to lead the charge on a $1 million initiative to establish a system of smart homes aimed at advancing the health and independence of older adults. The success of such a program could have implications for seniors remaining in their homes as they age. IU received $670,000 of a $1 Read More

  • Tips for Billing Managed Care and Commercial Insurance in Home Health

    Nov 16 2016

    Historically, the home health industry has largely been driven by Medicare payments, and agencies have been hesitant to turn to managed care and commercial insurance to drive additional revenue. It’s understandable, as the process to seek and secure payment outside of traditional channels can be overwhelming, said Lynn Labarta, CEO of Imark Consulting, a home Read More

  • 7 Takeaways on the State of the Home Health Industry

    Nov 09 2016

    The home health industry in 2016 has been riddled with staffing challenges, technology adoption and changes to clinical and operational processes. Some situations agencies have taken in stride, while others they continue to struggle with, according to a survey conducted by consultancy firm Fazzi Associates. The survey, titled “State of the Home Health Industry,” consists Read More

  • Detroit Home Health Owner Sentenced to 8 Years

    Nov 09 2016

    A partial owner of a Detroit home health care company has been sentenced to eight years in prison for participating in a $33 million Medicare fraud scheme. The sentencing of Badar Ahmadani, 49, of Ypsilanti, Michigan, follows his conviction in 2015 of one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud and one count of Read More

  • SEIU: Home Care Jobs Bill Should Come Early in Clinton Presidency

    Oct 04 2016

    Home care workers have been part of the dialogue throughout the 2016 presidential election, with U.S. Democratic hopeful Hillary Clinton proposing tax reforms to support caregivers and Republican frontrunner Donald J. Trump releasing a health plan that largely ignores impact on the home health care industry. Now, the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) vows to Read More

  • MedPAC Recommends Deeper Home Health Payment Cuts

    Aug 29 2016

    The $180 million reduction in CY2017 Medicare home health payments proposed by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) isn’t enough and should go further, the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) wrote in a letter to CMS. The proposed changes to the Medicare home health prospective payment system (HH PPS), which were posted on Read More

  • How One Home Health Agency Took Staff Communication Mobile

    Aug 24 2016

    At work or on the go, it seems that everyone is attached to their phones these days, and home health agencies stand to benefit by streamlining staff communication via mobile. Given the widespread use of cell phones and SMS texting outside of personal communication, the sooner organizations can implement a mobile strategy, the better. Eighty Read More

  • Americans Living In Multigenerational Households Hits Record High

    Aug 15 2016

    Americans are living with their parents and grandparents at record levels, even though the Great Recession is now a thing of the past, according to a new analysis of census data from the Pew Research Center. In 2014, a record-high 60.6 million people lived with multiple generations in one household, according to the analysis. That number Read More

  • Too Many People Live Far From Home Health Care

    Aug 10 2016

    Many older Americans who have chronic diseases have limited access to in-home medical care, not only because of their location but also because primary care providers are less likely to visit their patients at home, according to a new study. In fact, seven times more primary care providers visited nursing homes than patients at home Read More

  • Training for In-Home Caregivers Cuts Hospitalization Rates

    Aug 08 2016

    When in-home caregivers participate in intensive training, their patients are less likely to go to the emergency room or be hospitalized, according to a recent case study conducted in California. In fact, the rate of repeated emergency room visits among patients cared for by trained workers dropped by 24% in the first year after undergoing Read More

  • Editor’s Picks: Politics, Labor Costs and Dementia

    Aug 05 2016

    Earnings season is in full swing, and Home Health Care News got the scoop on how various providers fared in the second quarter of 2016. Among those we reported on, we discovered that rising labor costs are taking their toll on even the most prominent home health providers, and that a CFO retirement at Amedisys Inc. Read More

  • LHC Group Scales Back $1 Billion Pipeline

    Aug 04 2016

    After revealing an “unprecedented pipeline” anticipated to produce approximately $1 billion in revenue, national home health and hospice provider LHC Group Inc. (Nasdaq: LHCG) scaled back its plans for future acquisitions. However, the company unveiled a significantly more targeted approach to joint ventures (JVs) moving forward, when discussing earnings results for the second quarter of 2016 Read More

  • Amedisys CFO Exit Appears to Spook Investors

    Aug 03 2016

    Despite Amedisys Inc. (Nasdaq: AMED) posting strong earnings for the second quarter of 2016 and beating analysts’ expectations, investors initially didn’t appear confident in the results as the home health and hospice company’s share price plummeted 13% Wednesday morning. Baton Rouge, Louisiana-based Amedisys reported an adjusted net service revenue of $361.7 million for the second Read More

  • Coalition Urges CMS to Hit Pause on Pre-Claim Review

    Aug 02 2016

    Home health leaders continue to urge the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to hit pause on the Medicare pre-claim review demonstration, which became active and applicable to all home health agencies in the state of Illinois on Monday. The Partnership for Quality Home Healthcare, in particular, voiced concern that CMS has gone ahead Read More

  • Home Health Fraud Prompts $40 Million Payback, 15-Year Sentence

    Aug 01 2016

    Three Miami residents have been sentenced and ordered to comply with a $40 million payback for participating in what’s considered the largest Medicare fraud scheme prosecuted in Southern Florida in 2015. Jorge Lorenzo, 36, was sentenced to more than 15 years in prison Friday after pleading guilty to conspiracy to commit health care and wire Read More

  • Amedisys Expands Private Duty Footprint With $4.4 Million Acquisition

    Aug 01 2016

    One of the nation’s largest home health care and hospice companies is expanding its private duty footprint with a $4.4 million deal announced Monday. Baton Rouge, Louisiana-based Amedisys, Inc. (Nasdaq: AMED) signed a definitive agreement to acquire substantially all of the assets of Professional Profiles, Inc., a personal care company headquartered in Danvers, Massachusetts, the Read More

  • Home Health Shown to Cut Costs in Joint Replacement Patients

    Jun 16 2016

    The use of home health services after a major joint repair surgery for Medicare patients results in cost-effective care and lower readmission rates, according to data newly released Thursday. The data analysis, conducted by Dobson | DaVanzo & Associates and released by the Alliance for Home Health Quality and Innovation, comes just more than two Read More

  • CMS Addresses Concerns Over Home Health Pre-Claim Reviews

    Jun 14 2016

    Days after unveiling a preauthorization requirement for home health agencies, providers expressed confusion and concern as the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) attempted to clarify what the plan entails. The new preauthorization measure, dubbed the Pre-Claim Review Demonstration for Home Health Services, aims to crack down on Medicare fraud, waste and abuse in Read More

  • Remote Monitoring Fails Early Tests in Improving Health Outcomes

    Jun 13 2016

    There’s been an increasing focus on remote monitoring in the home health sector as of late, with multinational tech giant Philips (NYSE: PHG) among those betting on these types of devices. However, there’s little evidence, if any, showing they improve health outcomes, according to recent research published in the International Journal of Medical Informatics. Internet-linked products and home Read More

  • Home Health Agencies Grapple With Prior Authorization Rule

    Jun 12 2016

    Home health providers and associations were quick to denounce a preauthorization requirement after the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) revealed it will move forward with its formerly announced plans. Across the board, industry officials expressed disappointment and concern with the CMS plans for prior authorization, now deemed the Pre-Claim Review Demonstration for Home Read More

  • CMS Launches Home Health Prior Authorization Requirement

    Jun 08 2016

    Despite pushback from the home health industry and lawmakers, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced Wednesday it intends to move forward with a preauthorization requirement. CMS’ plans for prior authorization, now dubbed the Pre-Claim Review Demonstration for Home Health Services, will roll out in five states as announced in February. The proposal aims Read More

  • Cigna Urges Court to Drop Home Care False Claims Suit

    Jun 08 2016

    Cigna Corp. has urged an Illinois federal court to drop a ‘flawed’ home care false claims suit, which accuses Addus HomeCare Corp. (NASDAQ: ADUS) and a Cigna subsidiary of bilking the government of millions of dollars by providing Medicare- and Medicaid-covered services to people who didn’t need them. A complaint filed by Stop Illinois Marketing Read More

  • Tips for a More Engaged Home Health Workforce

    Jun 08 2016

    Recruitment and retention are top of mind for the home health industry, with staffing needs emerging as an increasingly dire concern. Given the constant stream of studies and statistics released about today’s labor market, it’s no wonder why. Disengagement among employees is a pressing issue across all industries, and a majority-millennial workforce is changing the Read More

  • Former Hospice Owner Changes Plea, Admits Fraud

    Jun 06 2016

    The former leader of a Pittsburgh-area hospice company has pleaded guilty following accusations of using patients who weren’t terminally ill to collect millions of dollars in false Medicare and Medicaid billings. Mary Ann Stewart, a 48-year-old from Carrolltown, Pennsylvania, and ex-COO of Horizons Hospice, was indicted last year on one count of health care fraud and Read More

  • Husband, Wife Get Prison Time in $80 Million Medicaid Fraud Scheme

    Jun 05 2016

    The husband-and-wife owners of a Washington, D.C.-area home care agency have been sentenced to 17 years combined in prison for participating in an $80 million Medicaid fraud scheme. Florence Bikundi, 53, and her husband, Michael D. Bikundi Sr., 63, both of Mitchellville, Maryland, were sentenced Wednesday for health care fraud, money laundering and other charges Read More

  • Philips, Right at Home Partner for ‘Always-On’ Home Care

    May 31 2016

    Multinational tech giant Philips (NYSE: PHG) has unveiled its latest product to help people age in place: a platform of connected sensors meant to monitor seniors in their homes in an effort to provide “always-on” home care and peace of mind for caregivers. Through a partnership with in-home care franchise network Right at Home, Philips Read More

  • Editor’s Picks: British Vogue’s First 100-Year-Old Model

    May 27 2016

    Home Health Care News will be observing the Memorial Day holiday this Monday, but we will return to our regular posting schedule on May 31. In the meantime, HHCN would like to wish our readers a safe and happy first weekend of summer. For now, here are a few happenings in the home health sector Read More

  • Health Care, Housing Collaboration Key to Aging in Place

    May 23 2016

    Today’s rapidly growing senior population faces significant challenges, ranging from a lack of retirement funds and a shortage of affordable housing to homes ill-equipped for aging in place. Confronting these challenges for older citizens should be mission critical, even if it will likely require additional public spending, according to a report issued this month by Read More

  • Advocate Under Fire in Another Home Health Lawsuit

    May 23 2016

    Home health workers are again filing suit against Advocate Health Care, as a group of home care nurses claim the company improperly exempted them from certain federal and state wage laws and therefore owes them overtime pay. Advocate is a faith-based, not-for-profit health system based in Downers Grove, Illinois. The company has one of the Read More

  • Amedisys Chief Compliance Officer To Take Yearlong Paid Leave

    May 18 2016

    The chief compliance officer of Baton Rouge, Louisiana-based Amedisys, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMED) will take a year of paid leave beginning Aug. 1 under an employee agreement, the home and hospice company announced. No explanation was provided for Jeffrey D. Jeter’s pending departure in an SEC filing submitted earlier this month. Under the agreement, Jeter will Read More

  • Foundation Leads High Schoolers to Home Health Careers

    May 17 2016

    Amid an increasing caregiver shortage and minimum wage hikes across the country, attracting newcomers to the home health industry—particularly younger workers—is a significant challenge. But one health professional aims to do just that through a foundation geared toward high schoolers. The High School Health Education Foundation was created by Dr. William Leahy, a semi-retired neurologist Read More

  • Former Amedisys Exec Admits to $7.6 Million Fake Tax Credit

    Apr 24 2016

    A former executive of Amedisys Inc. (NASDAQ: AMED), one of the nation’s largest home health providers, has admitted to charges that he defrauded the company of more than $7.6 million. David Michael Pitts, 41, pleaded guilty Thursday to one count of wire fraud. Pitts was the vice president of tax for Baton Rouge, Louisiana-based Amedisys Read More

  • Home Care Must ‘Plan Ahead’ For Minimum Wage Hikes

    Apr 19 2016

    Planning ahead will be crucial for home health and home care agencies as both California and New York recently approved minimum wage hikes that mean workers will soon earn $15 an hour, according to one Los-Angeles based private duty provider.  Other states could soon follow as the momentum behind the fight for a higher wage continues Read More

  • Illinois Home Health Faces Budget ‘Armageddon’

    Apr 06 2016

    Amid an Illinois budget stalemate that has lasted months and resulted in tens of millions of dollars owed to health care providers, some lawmakers and union representatives claim home health agencies face a budget “Armageddon.” “Armageddon is here,” Terri Harkin, vice president of SEIU Healthcare Illinois and Indiana, told a Chicago CBS News affiliate. “This is not Read More

  • Editor’s Picks: Bundled Payment Programs Galore

    Apr 01 2016

    Home Health Care News revolved around bundled payment programs this week, as a private duty provider became a partner in one and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) joint replacement bundled payment initiative went into effect. Readers also tuned in to learn about home health apps taking cues from different social media sites Read More

  • Amedisys Forges Partnership to Cultivate Real-Time Data

    Mar 30 2016

    Another of the largest home health providers is going big on data in a partnership unveiled Wednesday. Amedisys, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMED) has partnered with Strategic Healthcare Programs (SHP), a provider of health care analytics to aid in performance improvement for post-acute care providers, the companies announced. The partnership seeks to establish real-time data and benchmarking Read More

  • Sienna Senior Living Sells Home Care Business for $16.5 Million

    Mar 27 2016

    Sienna Senior Living has sold Preferred Health Care Services (PHCS), its home care business, to Spectrum Health Care LP for cash proceeds of $16.5 million before working capital adjustments. The deal is the result of two years of debating whether to focus on home care growth through partnerships or other means, or to simply offload the Read More

  • Home Health Owner Sentenced to 5 Years in $7 Million Scheme

    Mar 23 2016

    The owner of a New Jersey home health agency has been sentenced to five years in prison for her role in a $7 million scheme to defraud Medicaid. In addition to the prison term administered Tuesday, Irina Krutoyarsky, 62, of Springfield, New Jersey, was sentenced to three years of supervised release and was ordered to pay Read More

  • Top States for Home Health Use

    Mar 22 2016

    Home health utilization across the country has plateaued, marking the end of a growth spurt that lasted seven years, according to data compiled by Healthcare Market Resources. Still, rates varied significantly by state, perhaps indicating room for growth on a more granular level. The national average for home health utilization in 2014 was 8.76%. This Read More

  • American Hospice Management Goes Bankrupt

    Mar 22 2016

    American Hospice Management Holdings has filed for bankruptcy protection amid “severe financial stress,” leaving the hospice care provider six weeks to sell its business. Already, Hospice Partners of America made a “stalking horse” bid to acquire American Hospice’s operations in Virginia and Texas, leaving operations in Arizona, Florida, Georgia, New Jersey and Oklahoma up for Read More

  • Kindred Holds Off On Major Home Health Acquisitions

    Mar 21 2016

    Home health deals dramatically dropped off in 2015, and now the nation’s largest home health provider intends to sit on the sidelines moving forward. After reporting significant consolidation and revenue growth at the end of 2015, Kindred Healthcare Inc. (NYSE: KND) indicated it won’t make any major home health purchases in the foreseeable future. For Read More

  • Editor’s Picks: ‘Before I Die’ Walls Promote Palliative Care

    Mar 18 2016

    This week on Home Health Care News, we took a break from March Madness to bring you the latest in the home health industry. That included a look at how “Before I Die” walls can promote palliative care, and information about a charge against a former Amedisys Inc. (Nasdaq: AMED) executive in a $7.6 million fraud Read More

  • Home Care Agencies, Workers Split Over NY Wage Hike

    Mar 16 2016

    Lawmakers in New York are currently at odds over a minimum wage hike, prompting health care workers in the state to take to the capital to urge action on the proposed increase to $15 an hour. But industry groups fear the uptick could be detrimental to home care agencies if the state doesn’t properly fund Read More

  • Interdisciplinary Teams Connect the Dots in Home Health Care

    Mar 15 2016

    Between physical therapy, medication administration, assistance with activities of daily life and more, a home health patient’s care needs can be quite complex and at times prove difficult to manage. That’s why once patients move from an acute setting back to their homes, care coordination and collaboration become more important than ever, according to experts Read More

  • Where Seniors Interact Most With Health Care Providers

    Mar 14 2016

    Seniors across the country are interacting with the health care system in very different ways—and with very different regularity. Whereas those living in Manhattan have had contact with the health care system nearly 25 days in a year, Medicare beneficiaries in Lebanon, New Hampshire made far less contact, at roughly 10 days, according to a Read More

  • Former Amedisys Exec Charged in $7.6 Million Fraud Scheme

    Mar 13 2016

    A former executive of one of the nation’s largest home health providers, Amedisys Inc. (Nasdaq: AMED), has been charged in connection with a scheme bilking the company out of more than $7.6 million. David Michael Pitts, 41, is charged in a Bill of Information with wire fraud related to the scheme, which is supposed to Read More

  • CMS Home Health Initiatives Gaining Traction

    Mar 09 2016

    Since November, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has rolled out regulation upon regulation affecting home health care, altering the landscape for agencies across the country. CMS first finalized a rule to incentivize hospitals to work with other post-acute providers for knee and hip replacement procedures through bundled payments for 67 hospital locations. Read More

  • Home Health M&A Valuations Near Peak

    Mar 08 2016

    There was a dramatic drop off in the number of home health deals completed in 2015 as compared to years past, but even with valuations at all-time highs, strategic buyers will continue to seek out acquisitions that add significant value to their portfolios in the year ahead. “Buyers will be looking for things that really Read More

  • A Magic Wand for Home Care

    Mar 08 2016

    A magic wand-like device for home care under development through a multi-university project could help doctors monitor their patients between visits from afar. The prototype bears the name “Wanda” and is part of a $10-million, five-year grant from the National Science Foundation to Dartmouth College, Johns Hopkins University, the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, the University Read More

  • Home Health Workers Gain Confidence with Dementia Care Training

    Mar 06 2016

    More than one-third of adults over the age of 65 receiving home health care has some form of cognitive impairment, but the number of caregivers qualified to properly serve this subset of patients doesn’t meet the demand, prompting a researcher at the New York University College of Nursing to develop a program aimed at narrowing Read More

  • Lifematters Acquires Care Options, Creates Bigger Player in D.C. Market

    Mar 06 2016

    Private pay home health provider Lifematters has acquired Care Options, a care management, home health care and support services provider, the companies announced Thursday. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Washington, D.C.-based Lifematters expects the deal to improve and expand aging-in-place service options in Maryland, Washington, D.C. and Northern Virginia, according to a Read More

  • LHC Group Expects $1 Billion from ‘Unprecedented’ Pipeline

    Mar 03 2016

    Following a 2015 that boasted increases in revenue and growth in admissions, national home health and hospice provider LHC Group Inc. (Nasdaq: LHCG) announced what it’s calling an “unprecedented pipeline” in the year ahead. Lafayette, Louisiana-based LHC Group is actively discussing 20 potential acquisitions in 2016 that could produce approximately $1 billion in revenue, the Read More

  • Will Supreme Court Accept Home Care Wage Case?

    Mar 01 2016

    The U.S. Supreme Court has not yet indicated how it plans to deal with pending matters following the death of Justice Antonin Scalia, but whether the high court reviews a challenge to the Department of Labor’s wage and overtime rules for home care workers might depend more on an interpretation of a previous ruling. In Read More

  • Kindred Consolidates Home Health, Grows Revenue

    Feb 28 2016

    Kindred Healthcare Inc. (NYSE: KND) has reported a year marked by consolidation and significant revenue growth following the fourth quarter of 2015, particularly in its home health division—news that caused Kindred’s share prices to jump about 20% on Friday. During 2015, Kindred at Home, the company’s home health and hospice arm, consolidated its home health Read More

  • Editor’s Picks: CMS Cracks Down on Fraud

    Feb 26 2016

    This week on Home Health Care News, readers tuned in to learn what the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is doing to crack down on fraud. They also discovered how value-based purchasing and new quality measures are ushering in a new era in the home health industry, and read about a new partnership Read More

  • ‘Worker Bees’ Avoid Jail in $7 Million Home Health Fraud Case

    Feb 24 2016

    A New Jersey couple has avoided jail time for their involvement in a plan to bill Medicaid millions for home health care services administered by unlicensed aides or not completed at all. Nelson and Sonia Mesa, of Elizabeth, New Jersey, were sentenced to three years of probation last week, and Sonia Mesa additionally received four Read More

  • Conflicting Home Health Star Ratings Lead to Confusion

    Feb 23 2016

    Between two recently introduced ways of rating home health agencies, those looking for home health care might find conflicting results. Take Brookdale Senior Living, for example. Four of its home health agencies in Florida, North Carolina, Ohio and Rhode Island earned a top score of five stars based on data they submitted related to quality of patient Read More

  • CMS Tightens Screws on Home Health Fraud

    Feb 22 2016

    The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is making strides to crack down on home health fraud through data use and more site visits, the agency announced Monday. Recently released data could help CMS pinpoint more locations where it won’t certify new home health agencies in the future based on utilization patterns. CMS has Read More

  • Kindred Goes Big on Data with Inovalon, Avalere

    Feb 22 2016

    In a health care environment riddled with newly introduced value-based payment models, Kindred Healthcare, Inc. (NYSE: KND), the nation’s largest home health provider, is setting out to improve clinical outcomes and ensure more coordinated care through better data use and analytics. Louisville-based Kindred has entered a multi-year agreement with Inovalon (Nasdaq: INOV), a technology company Read More

  • New Code Allows Home Health Claims Without Skilled Services

    Feb 16 2016

    A new condition code will allow home health claims for subsequent episodes to process even when skilled nursing services aren’t involved, according to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). Currently, home health claims submitted without skilled nursing visits are automatically returned to the provider, as are claims that are the first in a Read More

  • Lawmakers Block Home Care Wage Hike In Missouri

    Feb 15 2016

    Missouri lawmakers have voted to block a proposed state agency rule that would increase wages for home care aides. The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services seeks to raise the pay for home care attendants from $7.65 an hour to anywhere between $8.50 and $10.15. The Missouri House on Wednesday approved the bill to Read More

  • Private Equity Firm Buys Home Care Agency All Metro

    Feb 10 2016

    Nautic Partners LLC has sold its stake in All Metro Health Care Services, Inc., a provider of home and community-based services in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Florida, after just over a year of ownership, the firm announced Wednesday. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Private equity firm One Equity Partners (OEP) purchased Read More

  • Home Health Reduces Hospital Readmission Risk by 30%

    Feb 03 2016

    People who use home health care in New Jersey following their hospital stays are less likely to be readmitted, saving the state’s health care system millions of dollars, according to a new study released by the Home Care and Hospice Association of New Jersey. In fact, patients who receive in-home services are 30% less likely Read More

  • Industry Greets New Face-to-Face Rule with Cautious Optimism

    Feb 01 2016

    It seems the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) learned from a rocky rollout for its Medicare face-to-face rule, as it released similar regulations with several key distinctions last week for home care services covered by Medicaid. “We’re very appreciative of the Medicaid program taking the time to develop the rule so that it Read More

  • CMS Proposes New ACO Evaluation Method

    Jan 31 2016

    Health care providers in the most common type of Accountable Care Organization (ACO) may see their payments based on new criteria, including adjustments based on region. The potential changes are meant to increase participation in ACOs, and follow some stakeholder recommendations. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) on Thursday proposed a rule that would Read More

  • CMS Issues Final Rule on Medicaid Face-to-Face Requirement

    Jan 28 2016

    The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has issued its final rule requiring that physicians conduct and record face-to-face visits with patients in order to receive Medicaid coverage for home health services and medical equipment, similar to regulations already in place for Medicare. CMS released the rule Wednesday in the Federal Register. It will Read More

  • Senior Living Provider Launches ‘Virtual’ In-Home Program

    Jan 27 2016

    Aging in place has never been easier, thanks to one senior living provider’s new continuing care program likened to “virtual senior living.” Life Enriching Communities, which operates two nonprofit continuing care retirement communities (CCRCs) in the Cincinnati area, had been wanting to reach a subset of the retirement aged population who are in good health Read More

  • Florida Home Health Owner Convicted in $57 Million Fraud Scheme

    Jan 27 2016

    The owner and manager of three Miami, Florida-area home health agencies was convicted late last week for his role in a $57 million fraud scheme that involved submitting false and fraudulent claims to Medicare, the United States Department of Justice announced. Khaled Elbeblawy, 39, of Miramar, Florida, was convicted of one federal count of conspiracy Read More

  • Videos Provide Bite-Sized Home Health Training

    Jan 25 2016

    In an ever-changing health care landscape riddled with staffing shortages and new bundled payment programs, caregiver training becomes increasingly important—especially when it comes to the home health industry. Enter mmLearn.org, an organization started by senior living provider Morningside Ministries, a San Antonio, Texas-based not-for-profit offering independent living, assisted living, memory care and skilled nursing at four communities Read More

  • Managed Care Plan Settles Fraud Case for $47 Million

    Jan 24 2016

    The state of New York has announced a $47 million settlement with CenterLight Healthcare and CenterLight Health System, effectively resolving claims that the company’s Select Medicaid Managed Long Term Care Plan fraudulently billed Medicaid for services rendered to patients who didn’t qualify for the program. CenterLight Healthcare’s Select program is a managed long-term care plan Read More

  • Editor’s Picks: Honor Goes W-2, Addus’ New CEO

    Jan 22 2016

    This week on Home Health Care News, readers learned about Addus’ new CEO and delved deeper into Amedisys’ M&A plans. They also discovered that home care startup Honor will be directly employing its caregivers moving forward as opposed to working with independent contractors, as well as how Almost Family is tackling CMS’ value-based purchasing model. Read More

  • Home Health Owner Admits Role in $7 Million Fraud

    Jan 20 2016

    The owner of a Union County, New Jersey home health care agency has acknowledged his involvement in a scheme that bilked Medicaid out of $7 million, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced Tuesday. Paul Mil, 66, of Springfield, New Jersey, pleaded guilty to federal charges of conspiracy to commit health care fraud, money laundering and Read More

  • Is Home Care ‘Imploding’ in the Nation’s Capital?

    Jan 18 2016

    Cases of fraud plague the home care industry. The recent extension of minimum wage and overtime protections to approximately 2 million home care workers across the country has sparked outcry from several states and pushback from different trade organizations. Now, one home care aide is saying enough is enough. Michael Thompson has been a home Read More

  • Providers Cut Hours, Raise Fees to Handle DOL Rule

    Jan 13 2016

    Home care agencies are cutting caregiver hours and rescheduling case loads in order to avoid paying overtime as mandated by the U.S. Department of Labor. The results are declining profits and increased caregiver turnover, according to survey findings from Home Care Pulse, a firm focused on research centered on satisfaction and quality assurance within the Read More

  • Tech Companies Unveil Aging-in-Place Innovations

    Jan 11 2016

    A robot suit designed to show the wearer what it feels like to be older. A connected and interactive insole meant to keep the user’s feet warm. A smart spoon and fork aimed at counteracting tremors associated with Parkinson’s Disease. Among the vast array of gizmos and gadgets on display last week at the 2016 Read More

  • Insurer Cuts 8 Home Health Providers

    Jan 11 2016

    Insurance company Highmark has shed eight Pennsylvania home health agencies from its commercial and Medicare Advantage networks for 2016, a move that reflects insurers’ push to partner with the best performing agencies. The agencies cut from Highmark’s network include Renaissance Home Care, Inc. in Mt. Lebanon, Pennsylvania; Visiting Nurse Association of Erie County; Titusville Area Read More

  • Editor’s Picks: Home Health M&A, Hometeam’s $27.5 Million Funding

    Jan 08 2016

    This week, Home Health Care News readers tuned in to read about trends in the home health merger and acquisition environment, and also learned about one company raising $27.5 million. They also discovered some of the top home care franchises in the industry, and read up on how one agency uses data to drive success. Read More

  • The 12 Best-Liked Home Care Franchises

    Jan 06 2016

    Home Instead Senior Care and Visiting Angels are among the home care companies that franchisees like best, according to a report by Franchise Business Review, a national franchise market research firm that performs independent surveys of franchisee satisfaction and franchise buyer experiences. The report consists of survey responses from 28,000 franchise operators who represent 339 Read More

  • Top 3 Opportunities in Health Care Apps

    Jan 06 2016

    The value of connected health data has significantly increased in the home care space given a recent shift from fee-for-service to value-based payments. Chronic care management, personal fitness and wellness, and remote patient monitoring in particular are top technology opportunities to produce better outcomes and therefore generate maximum incentives under this new model, according to Read More

  • Competition Heats Up in Home Health M&A Market

    Jan 05 2016

    Merger and acquisition activity within the home health sector surged in 2015, and industry professionals predict a robust year ahead, as well. Property valuations may be preventing some major players from completing desired deals, though, and word is that pricing has yet to reach a peak. Months after one of the nation’s largest home health and Read More

  • CMS Fields Questions on Value Based Purchasing

    Jan 04 2016

    The time has arrived for the implementation of newly proposed Medicare payment policies, and home health agencies large and small affected by one in particular now have a resource aimed at thwarting any confusion. The home health value based purchasing pilot program (HHVBP) is officially underway in nine states as of Jan. 1, and the Centers Read More

  • 12 States Urge Supreme Court to Overturn DOL Rule

    Dec 28 2015

    The attorneys general from Kansas and 11 other states have requested that the U.S. Supreme Court review a lower court’s decision to effectively extend minimum wage and overtime protections to approximately 2 million home care workers across the country, arguing that the ruling threatens residents’ access to in-home care. In August, the U.S. Court of Read More

  • MedPAC: Home Health Medicare Payments Too High

    Dec 14 2015

    Medicare payments to home health agencies are too high and don’t necessarily reflect the cost of a typical episode, the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) reiterated at a meeting last week. The home health prospective payment system includes the number of therapy visits provided in an episode as a payment factor, and providing more visits Read More

  • Next Wave of Seniors Rejects Nursing Homes, Fears Burdening Family

    Dec 09 2015

    Aging adults have many concerns as they near retirement—among them health care costs and nursing home stays—but they’re doing little to plan ahead. In fact, soon-to-be retirees say they’d rather die than live in a nursing home and cite health care costs as one of their main concerns as they age, but few are taking Read More

  • Court Gives Green Light to Polarizing Home Care Union

    Dec 07 2015

    A federal appeals court panel has decided not to overturn a new union for thousands of home care aides in Minnesota. The ruling has garnered approval from the workers who have unionized, but opposition from those who say the union threatens right to work principles. A three-judge panel of the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Read More

  • Beyond Readmissions: Inside One Health Network’s Home Care Initiative

    Dec 06 2015

    Reducing medical expenditures and lowering hospital readmission rates are only part of the equation when it comes to one health network’s all-encompassing home care initiative. More than anything, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania-based Allegheny Health Network (AHN) is focused on maintaining control over the quality of care and services delivered once patients leave the hospital, made possible through Read More

  • Home Health Quality Measures Under Scrutiny

    Dec 02 2015

    Home health and other post-acute providers are on a path to being evaluated on a standardized set of quality measures, and another notable milestone is approaching. The National Quality Forum (NQF) has announced its plan to review standardized performance measures that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is considering for use, including several Read More

  • How Communities Could Create Aging-in-Place Zones

    Nov 30 2015

    Land-use regulations could mean the difference between aging in place and moving elsewhere for many older adults, and restructuring zoning codes might allow more seniors to remain in their homes, a group of researchers has suggested. Practitioners, policymakers and researchers convened in September for a roundtable discussion sponsored by the Urban Institute in conjunction with Read More

  • Health Network Saves $5 Million Through Home Care Program

    Nov 30 2015

    Amid a significant push to reduce hospital readmission rates and as new reimbursement initiatives unfold, one Pennsylvania health network has ramped up its home care program to better streamline its services, saving millions of dollars in the process. Pittsburgh-based Allegheny Health Network (AHN) launched its Healthcare@Home program last year. Since then, AHN boosted its service offerings Read More

  • How NAHC is Pushing Supreme Court to Take Wage Case

    Nov 29 2015

    Days after provider associations asked the U.S. Supreme Court to review the Department of Labor’s extension of wage and overtime protections to home care workers, one group is detailing its arguments crafted to convince the high court to consider the case. The National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) and its co-plaintiffs brought their Read More

  • Editor’s Picks, Thanksgiving Edition: Clinton’s Caregiver Proposal

    Nov 25 2015

    Home Health Care News will be observing the Thanksgiving holiday this Thursday and Friday, but we will return to our regular posting schedule on Nov. 30. In the meantime, HHCN would like to wish our readers a safe and enjoyable Thanksgiving. For now, here are a few happenings in the home health sector this week. Read More

  • Georgia Supreme Court Upholds Minimum Wage Protections

    Nov 24 2015

    Home care workers hired by third-party agencies in Georgia are covered by the state’s minimum wage protections only when federal exceptions don’t apply, the Georgia Supreme Court ruled Monday. In 2013, a group of home care workers sued Southern Home Care Services Inc. and its subsidiary Res-Care Inc., arguing they weren’t being paid minimum wage Read More

  • Clinton Proposes Tax Breaks, Wage Reform for Caregivers

    Nov 23 2015

    As caregiving costs continue to burden families and home care workers across the country fight for a $15 per hour minimum starting wage, one presidential candidate has vowed to reform tax policies to better support paid and unpaid caregivers alike. U.S. Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton on Sunday proposed a set of initiatives aimed at Read More

  • Does Home Care Need an ‘iPhone of Aging’?

    Nov 22 2015

    More people rely on home care agencies than in-home technology devices to facilitate aging in place. While the agencies might welcome the business, the situation might indicate the need for more innovative tech solutions and better marketing strategies, according to survey findings from third-party referral agent Caring.com. “I haven’t seen the iPhone of aging tech yet—the thing Read More

  • McKesson Ventures Bets on Home Care Tech

    Nov 18 2015

    For the first time ever, McKesson Ventures has made a direct investment in the home care space. San Francisco-based ClearCare, a home care tech startup that provides paperless care management software, has secured an undisclosed amount of funding from McKesson Ventures, the venture capital branch of Fortune 500’s McKesson Corporation, the companies announced Tuesday. The Read More

  • Inside One Agency’s Staff Retention Efforts

    Nov 17 2015

    High staff turnover rates have plagued the home care industry in recent years, but one provider is looking to buck that trend. Caregiver turnover rates rose from 39.4% industry wide in 2009 to 61.6% in 2014, according to a study released earlier this year by Home Care Pulse and the Home Care Association of America. Read More

  • Wage Rule Enforcement Begins, Home Care Industry Holds Breath

    Nov 13 2015

    The Department of Labor could officially begin enforcement of its rule guaranteeing overtime and minimum wage protections for about 2 million home care workers on Friday, but several significant question marks persist when it comes to implementation. From Nov. 12 to the end of the year, the DOL “will exercise prosecutorial discretion in determining whether Read More

  • Editor’s Picks: Home Health Aide Goes Above and Beyond

    Nov 13 2015

    This week, Home Health Care News readers learned about new legislation that aims to reinstate old home care wage rules. Our readers also discovered how home health is being integrated in senior living communities, and delved into the ways that immigration reform could help to address labor shortages in the sector. Here in the newsroom, Read More

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