Posts by Mary Kate Nelson:

  • How Home Health Factors into LeadingAge’s Plan to Disrupt Senior Care

    Dec 15 2017

    The time is ripe to completely change the current system for delivering health care and long-term services and supports (LTSS) to older adults in the U.S., according to a major senior care association—and home health could play a substantial role. LeadingAge, which represents more than 6,000 not-for-profit senior care providers, believes that its members in particular Read More

  • Almost Family and LHC Group to Merge in $2.4 Billion Transaction

    Nov 16 2017

    Two home health care heavyweights have announced they plan to join forces to create the second largest home health care provider in the nation. Louisville, Kentucky-based Almost Family, Inc. (Nasdaq: AFAM) and Lafayette, Louisiana-based LHC Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: LHCG) on Thursday revealed that they have agreed to combine in an all-stock merger of equals transaction, pursuant Read More

  • Brookdale Pressured by Activist Shareholder to Increase Transparency

    Oct 30 2017

    An activist shareholder is once again pressuring one of the country’s largest home health providers to act—this time, it says, in the interest of heightened transparency. Specifically, Stamford, Connecticut-based Land & Buildings Investment Management LLC on Monday urged Brookdale Senior Living (NYSE: BKD) to provide more visibility into its ongoing strategic review process, especially “given the duration Read More

  • Almost Family Expects $3 Million Income Loss from Hurricanes

    Oct 09 2017

    Almost Family (Nasdaq: AFAM) expects recent hurricanes will negatively impact its financial results, with up to $3.5 million in lost income expected for the third quarter. The Louisville, Kentucky-based home health provider currently has 332 branch locations in 26 states, and 66 of those operating locations are in Florida. The Florida locations—which included home health, hospice, personal Read More

  • Brookdale to Lean on Ancillary Services in Ultra-Competitive Environment

    Aug 08 2017

    For Brookdale Senior Living (NYSE: BKD), home health may soon be a game-changer. The Brentwood, Tennessee-based senior living provider held its second-quarter 2017 earnings call on Tuesday, the day after a report surfaced that its potential acquisition by Beijing-based real estate and leisure firm Zhonghong Zhuoye Group Co Ltd had been put on hold. The Read More

  • Potential $4 Billion Brookdale Buyout Put on Hold

    Aug 07 2017

    The buyout of one of the nation’s largest home health care providers by a Beijing-based real estate and leisure firm has reportedly been put on hold, according to the Financial Times. Brentwood, Tennessee-based senior living provider Brookdale Senior Living (NYSE: BKD) could be sold for as much as $4 billion, although analysts have long speculated on Read More

  • House Calls Company Landmark Extends Senior Care Services

    Jul 18 2017

    It’s widely believed that treating the frailest seniors where they currently live—whether that’s in their home of 50 years or in a newly-built skilled nursing facility—can help them avoid unnecessary hospitalizations. Landmark Connect, the latest initiative from Buffalo, New York-based in-home medical care provider Landmark Health, certainly subscribes to this way of thinking. The business, Read More

  • OIG to Target Home Health Billing Practices

    Jul 18 2017

    A federal watchdog is planning to take a deeper look at home health billing practices nationwide. Specifically, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Office of Inspector General (OIG) recently announced it intends to identify the common characteristics of “at-risk” home health agencies using data from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) Comprehensive Read More

  • Toyota Invests $14 Million in Aging-In-Place Robot

    Jul 12 2017

    The company behind a new robot for seniors aging in place has attracted a well-known backer: Toyota. Specifically, the Toyota Research Institute (TRI) has invested $14 million in Intuition Robotics, an Israel-based firm that develops social companion technology for older adults. Intuition, which recently opened an office in San Francisco, is the maker of ElliQ, Read More

  • A Place for Mom Strikes New Ownership Deal

    Jul 05 2017

    A major change is in store for senior housing and home care referral service A Place for Mom (APFM). The Seattle-based company’s previous investor, Warburg Pincus, is selling APFM for an undisclosed price to technology investment firm Silver Lake and global growth equity firm General Atlantic, both of which will own equal stakes in APFM Read More

  • Brookdale Rumored To Be in Talks for $3 Billion Buyout

    Jun 13 2017

    One of the nation’s largest home health care providers and the largest senior living provider, Brookdale Senior Living (NYSE: BKD), is rumored to be in buyout talks after receiving an acquisition bid of $3 billion from a Chinese firm, according to a Tuesday report by Reuters. Brookdale has been rumored to be for sale for Read More

  • Most Americans Confused About Medicare Home Health Care Coverage

    May 25 2017

    Only 33% of older Americans have set aside money to pay for their own long-term care, including home health care. Similarly, most Americans believe the federal government should help pay for their care in old age, according to a recent survey. Over half of Americans 40 and older believe the federal government should devote “a lot” Read More

  • Home Health Aide Tops List of 2017’s Most In-Demand Jobs

    May 25 2017

    Home health providers may not find 2017’s most in-demand job surprising—but they may find it concerning. “Home health aide” is the most in-demand job for 2017, according to a recent report from job search portal CareerCast. The job beat out other health care professions, like physical therapists and nurse practitioners, to claim the top spot. Read More

  • How Home Health Can Win the Readmissions Numbers Game

    May 24 2017

    Home health agencies might succeed in reducing hospital readmissions if they think of it as a numbers game. In fact, the number of home health visits during the first week post-discharge may play a critical role in readmission rates of Medicare beneficiaries, according to Zeb Clayton, vice president of client services at Santa Barbara, California-based health care data analytics Read More

  • Home Health Companies Had Banner Month in April

    May 15 2017

    Three of the biggest publicly-traded home health companies had a stellar showing last month, as their market performance both outpaced the S&P 500 index and achieved a new record high for the month of April, according to the latest Home Health Index from Stoneridge Partners. The Home Health Index, which tracks the market values of Read More

  • Number of Home Health Workers Has Grown 115% since 2000

    May 09 2017

    Home health has been one of the fastest-growing health care sectors of the new millennium. In fact, the number of workers in home health care services grew by 115.1% between 2000 and 2016, according to an analysis from “Big Four” accounting firm Deloitte. About 728,800 of the 4.6 million health care jobs created between 2000 and 2016 Read More

  • Kindred Healthcare Rumored to be ‘Receiving Takeover Interest’

    Apr 20 2017

    Late last year, Kindred Healthcare (NYSE: KND) announced its intention to completely exit the skilled nursing sector and place its bets on the home health and hospice business. Now, the Louisville, Kentucky-based post-acute care services provider is reportedly receiving takeover interest. The one-time skilled nursing giant is in “late-stage” discussions with several potential buyers for Read More

  • Yale Study: Home Health Accessibility Varies Greatly Nationwide

    Apr 12 2017

    The availability of home health care increased nationwide between 2002 and 2015, though patients living in certain regions of the U.S. continue to enjoy greater access to home health agencies, according to a recent study from researchers at the Yale School of Public Health. For the study, researchers surveyed 15,184 Medicare-certified home health agencies included in the Read More

  • Maplewood Senior Living Adds At-Home Division

    Mar 26 2017

    Another senior living provider is getting into home care—and it’s not afraid of any seasoned competition. Westport, Connecticut-based senior living provider Maplewood Senior Living recently introduced Maplewood at Home, a new business segment that offers private duty, non-medical services to seniors living in Maplewood communities or in their own homes. The service is geared, in Read More

  • Hospice Utilization Continues to Decline Nationwide

    Mar 22 2017

    Among Medicare-eligible patients, hospice utilization has been declining for years. Specifically, hospice utilization among Medicare-eligible patients nationwide totaled about 2.55% in 2015, down from 2.59% in 2014 and 2.67% in 2013, according to a new analysis from Healthcare Market Resources. The Pennsylvania-based health care market intelligence firm calculated hospice utilization by dividing the number of Read More

  • Home Health and Hospice M&A Jumps 12% in 2016

    Mar 21 2017

    Last year was a busy one for a variety of sectors in the health care services industry—and the home health and hospice sector was no exception. In fact, home health and hospice deal activity rose 12% year-over-year in 2016, according to the 23rd edition of Irving Levin Associates’ Health Care Services Acquisition Report, published Tuesday. Deal Read More

  • Overtime Caps for Home Care Move Forward in Illinois

    Mar 15 2017

    By late summer, some home care workers in Illinois may not be permitted to legally work more than 40 hours per week, The State Journal-Register reported. Specifically, Illinois’ Department of Human Services (DHS) is now free to implement a twice-deadlocked rule that prevents caregivers in the state’s Home Services Program from working overtime. The rule is Read More

  • Hospice Care Linked to Lower Health Care Spending

    Mar 08 2017

    Parts of the United States with high medical service costs would do well to embrace more hospice care. In fact, incentivizing hospice care in these regions may lower total health care costs nationwide, according to a study recently published in Health Affairs. For the study, Shiyi Wang of the Yale University School of Public Health and Read More

  • New Data Measures Recent Economic Impact of Home Health

    Mar 05 2017

    Home health agencies contribute significantly to the U.S. economy—but their impact varies drastically by state, according to new data. Nationwide, home health agencies paid out a combined $35.81 billion in wages in 2014, according to the recently published Home Health Chartbook 2017. The updated report was prepared by Avalere Health for the Alliance for Home Read More

  • Why Seniors are Hesitant to Embrace Home Care

    Feb 28 2017

    Home care should be an attractive solution for seniors who want to age in place—but, all too often, that’s not the case. In fact, although the vast majority of Americans would prefer to age in their own homes, fears of abuse, fraud and a lack of support during emergencies are holding people back from embracing Read More

  • The States Where Home Health Aides Cost the Most

    Feb 15 2017

    It’s getting more expensive to hire home health aides—and a combination of inflation and increasing consumer demand will only raise prices in years to come, according to a new analysis from Lincoln Financial Group (NYSE: LNC). Nationally, the average cost of a home health aide is $23 per hour. That’s up from $22 in April 2016. For Read More

  • Harvard: Home Care Yields Biggest Savings in ACOs

    Feb 14 2017

    At-home care agencies have long expressed the desire to join accountable care organizations (ACOs), despite not necessarily being invited to sit at the ACO table. Still, there’s evidence that including at-home care would benefit ACOs in more ways than one. In fact, increasing use of at-home care plays a major role in the ability of Read More

  • Why Obese Seniors Are Less Likely to Use Hospice

    Feb 07 2017

    A senior’s weight may directly impact whether they’ll receive hospice services at the end of life, how long they’ll remain in hospice and whether they’ll die at home, according to a study recently published in the Annals of Internal Medicine. The higher a senior’s body mass index (BMI), the less likely they are to receive hospice services at the Read More

  • Home Health Aide Growth Outlook Outpaces Other In-Demand Jobs

    Feb 05 2017

    When it comes to attracting new talent, the home health industry is between a rock and a hard place. Among 2017’s most-in demand jobs, “home health aide” has the highest growth outlook, according to a recent report from job search portal CareerCast. To complicate matters, however, the job also has the lowest average pay. Before Read More

  • Home Health Quality Ratings Fall, Patients Don’t Mind

    Jan 30 2017

    The quality of patient care provided by the nation’s home health agencies has waned slightly in recent months, though the shift went largely unnoticed by home health patients, according to recently published data. Specifically, the number of home health agencies nationwide that earned a 4.5 patient care star rating fell 1% since CMS last reported such Read More

  • Why Home Health Should Embrace Nurse Practitioners

    Jan 24 2017

    It’s becoming increasingly common for nurse practitioners to visit seniors in their homes—and that could spell good news for those who prefer in-home care, according to a new study published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. Nurse practitioners made 1.13 million in-home visits to frail and elderly patients in 2013, or more in-home visits Read More

  • How ‘Feminine’ Job Listings Alienate Male Home Health Applicants

    Jan 22 2017

    “Home health aide” may be the third-fastest growing job in the U.S., but the language used to describe the job is hurting its popularity among half of all potential applicants. Of the job listings for the 14 fastest-growing jobs in the country, job listings for home health aides use the most “feminine” language, according to Read More

  • Tenet to Exit ‘Risky’ Home Health, Hospice Businesses

    Jan 19 2017

    One of the nation’s largest hospital operators is ditching its home health and hospice businesses entirely, citing the unnecessary risks the businesses pose to the company. Dallas-based Tenet Healthcare (NYSE: THC) has entered into letters of intent to sell its home health and hospice businesses, which are “sub-scale and not essential” for the company to Read More

  • HHS Appeal to Slow Backlog Mandate Doesn’t ‘Tilt the Scales’

    Jan 10 2017

    Despite its resistance, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) must comply with a previously announced timetable for clearing a massive Medicare appeals backlog after all, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia has decided. The Medicare appeals backlog grew exponentially in recent years due, in part, to more aggressive Medicare Read More

  • New Jersey Will Loan Spy Cams to Curb Home Health Abuse

    Dec 26 2016

    Soon, families in at least one U.S. state will be able to secretly monitor home health aides and other in-home caregivers using government-owned micro-surveillance cameras. The new “Safe Care Cam” program was announced Thursday by New Jersey Attorney General Christopher S. Porrino and the state’s Division of Consumer Affairs. The goal of the program? To address New Jersey Read More

  • CMS Releases Data on Hospice Quality, Home Health Use

    Dec 18 2016

    The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) published on Friday new updates to two different hospice data sets—one on the thoughts of consumers, the other on hospice quality measures. The first data set—the Hospice Item Set (HIS)—includes the national averages for quality measure scores of Medicare-certified hospice agencies calculated from the HIS for July 1, Read More

  • Hospice Beats Home Care for Nurse Pay, Retention

    Dec 14 2016

    Staff turnover and wage-related issues have dogged the home care and hospice industries for quite some time. As home care and hospice agencies compete for qualified staff, registered nurses (RNs) looking for work may very well end up choosing the setting that pays the best—and in that sense, home care and hospice are not equals. Read More

  • Three Sentenced to Prison for $3 Million Medicaid Fraud

    Dec 13 2016

    Three home health agency employees in Ohio have been sentenced to prison for their role in defrauding Medicaid out of $3 million, according to the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ). The men—43-year-old George Epps, 51-year-old Abdulazis Warsame and 51-year-old Amir Ahmed—worked for Cleveland-based home health care agency Lifeline Home Health Services. Between 2009 and 2013, Epps, Read More

  • Senate Bill Would Extend Independence at Home Demonstration

    Dec 12 2016

    A pilot program that incentivizes the delivery of home-based health care for chronically ill patients may be extended if newly introduced legislation passes. The Senate Finance Committee Chronic Care Working Group introduced the Creating High-Quality Results and Outcomes Necessary to Improve Chronic (CHRONIC) Care Act of 2016 (S. 3504) on Dec. 6. The bipartisan legislation, among other Read More

  • OIG: Largest Nonprofit Misallocated Millions in Hurricane Sandy Funding

    Dec 07 2016

    Visiting Nurse Service of New York (VNSNY), the largest not-for-profit, home- and community-based health care organization in the country, may have used hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of federal disaster relief funds inappropriately, and planned to spend millions more inappropriately, according to a report from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Inspector General (OIG). Read More

  • How Tech Like Amazon’s ‘Alexa’ Is Benefiting Bayada

    Dec 06 2016

    Bayada Home Health Care, one of the top 10 largest home health companies in the United States, recently entered into a multi-year strategic partnership with Chicago-based health care technology firm PreparedHealth. Together, the companies are aiming to keep home health clients out of the hospital and safely aging in their own homes. This goal is Read More

  • Home Health Fraud Paid for Couple’s $900,000 Dream House

    Dec 05 2016

    The owners of a home health care agency in Columbus, Ohio, admitted last week to defrauding Medicaid and building a $932,000 house with the funds, The Columbus Dispatch reported. Muna Alnoubani, 49, and her 51-year-old husband, Riyad Altallaa, pleaded guilty on Dec. 1 in Columbus federal court to conspiring to defraud Medicaid. Altallaa also pleaded guilty Read More

  • Forbes: Venture Capitalists Eye Home Care Opportunities

    Nov 22 2016

    By all accounts, Silicon Valley loved home care in 2016. In fact, prominent, Silicon Valley-based venture capital (VC) firms have invested more than $200 million altogether in home care companies this year, according to Forbes. Home care software provider ClearCare received the most funding overall, having secured $60 million in a round led by Battery Ventures Read More

  • CMS Introduces Four New G-Codes for Home Health

    Nov 21 2016

    The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is introducing four new home health G-codes to replace two old ones—and this worries officials at the National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC), who fear providers may not have adequate time to prepare for the changes. CMS recently issued Change Request 9736, which applies new Read More

  • Illinois Home Care Workers On Track to Earn $15 an Hour

    Nov 20 2016

    The battle for higher wages is nothing new in home care, and progress has often been slow-going. Now, home care workers in at least one Midwestern state are now on track to make $15 per hour and receive overtime wages. The Illinois Senate voted last week to override Gov. Bruce Rauner’s veto of legislation that Read More

  • Why Home Care Agencies Should Share Their Caregivers

    Nov 16 2016

    A startup that recently entered the home care market with $3.1 million in funding has a new goal: to get competing home care agencies to share their caregivers. San Francisco-based Kindly Care has just launched Care Exchange, an online database from which home care agencies can recruit caregivers who also work at nearby agencies—but only if Read More

  • Home Health, Hospice Predicted to See Strong Growth in 2017

    Nov 15 2016

    Professionals and investors in the health care services industry are optimistic about the industry’s future business performance—and they’re particularly bullish about the growth of the home health and hospice sector in the coming year. In fact, the home health and hospice sector is likely to see strong growth in the next 12 months, according to Read More

  • Editor’s Picks: $130 Million Medicare Cut, Brookdale’s ‘Corporate Raid’ Debacle

    Nov 04 2016

    Happy November, Home Health Care News readers! It’s officially Home Care & Hospice Month, according to the National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC), and with the presidential election only days away, caregiver issues are on the national conscience. Our most-read stories this week were about the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) Read More

  • Almost Family Hits New Highs with Revenue

    Nov 02 2016

    Once again, Almost Family (Nasdaq: AFAM) reported record-setting quarterly earnings on Tuesday. The Louisville, Kentucky-based home health care provider, which currently has more than 250 branch locations across 16 U.S. states, reported a third-quarter 2016 net service revenue of $160.42 million. The figure beat analysts’ expectations by $1.23 million and marked the highest net service Read More

  • Investors Funnel $30 Million to Startup Offering Home Care

    Nov 02 2016

    Yet another small, California-based company with millions of dollars in funding appears to be making a splash in the home-based health care market. ConcertoHealth has completed a $30 million round of funding from existing investors, the Irvine, California-based company announced Tuesday. The company currently provides health care services for elderly, frail, complex and Medicare-Medicaid dual-eligible Read More

  • Alleged ‘Corporate Raid’ Hurts Brookdale’s Home Health Business

    Nov 01 2016

    Like the rest of its business, Brookdale Senior Living’s (NYSE: BKD) home health segment didn’t fare so well this past quarter. The nation’s sixth-largest home health provider is blaming “an aggressive and egregious corporate raid in southern Florida” for the poor performance of its home health, hospice and outpatient therapy business segments specifically, according to executives Read More

  • Home Health Appears Not to Help Terminally Ill Die at Home

    Oct 31 2016

    Though 86% of Americans would prefer to spend their final days in their own homes, that’s a more realistic goal in some U.S. states than others. And just because someone elects to use home health or hospice services doesn’t mean they’ll spend any more of their final days at home, according to a study recently published Read More

  • Two Nonprofit Home Health Owners in Talks to Merge

    Oct 25 2016

    Two major nonprofit health systems are in talks to merge, according to new reports. And each organization has a considerable presence in the home health care market. Englewood, Colorado-based Catholic Health Initiatives (CHI) and San Francisco-based Dignity Health have signed a non-binding letter of intent to explore their alignment, the organizations announced in a press Read More

  • House Calls Startup Raises $27 Million from Investors

    Oct 18 2016

    A California-based startup specializing in on-demand physician house calls is looking to expand its health care services beyond the Golden State—with its sights set primarily on the millions of American seniors aging in place, the founder and CEO tells Home Health Care News. Los Angeles-based Heal, which recently raised $26.9 million in funding in a Series A Read More

  • Editor’s Picks: Tall Tales and Fraud in Home Health

    Oct 14 2016

    This week, Home Health Care News readers heard from frustrated home health agencies in Illinois after the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released data that characterized the Pre-Claim Demonstration as proceeding smoothly there. Readers also learned the fate of the former vice president at Amedisys Inc. (Nasdaq: AMED) who stole $7.6 million from Read More

  • Startup Secures $3.1 Million to Help Families Hire Caregivers Directly

    Oct 12 2016

    Another app-based home care solution has burst onto the scene, and with $3.1 million in funding to boot. But this one—San Francisco-based Kindly Care—isn’t out to replace the home care agencies in its markets, according to its co-founder and CEO Igor Lebovic. Instead, it’s out to capture the clients home care agencies can’t. This strategy is different from Read More

  • States With the Highest Hospice Medicare Spending

    Oct 06 2016

    Different states account for varying levels of Medicare spending on hospice patients, with Southern states in particular having the highest standardized Medicare payments per hospice beneficiary. That’s according to a new data set from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). The Hospice Utilization and Payment Public Use File, or “Hospice PUF,” contains information on Read More

  • How Home Health Can Ace the Updated ICD-10 Codes

    Oct 02 2016

    Big changes are coming to ICD-10 this October, and home health providers need to be prepared. The extremely large code set was first implemented in the majority of states about a year ago, to the dismay of many home health providers across the country. Then, in June, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) added just Read More

  • How Uber Might Soon Be Delivering Home Health Workers

    Sep 27 2016

    Soon, Uber may be a more common way for home health workers to reach their clients. The popular ride sharing company recently partnered with Circulation, a Boston-based health care transportation platform that integrates with health care systems, as well as with Uber’s API. Right now, the goal of the partnership is to provide reliable non-emergency medical Read More

  • States Where Seniors Use Home Health the Most

    Sep 26 2016

    Seniors in New England are using home health care services at a higher rate than seniors in other U.S. states, while seniors in non-continental U.S. states are using home health at the lowest rates, according to data published last Thursday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The data was published as a Read More

  • Editor’s Picks: Pre-Claim Delays and Woes

    Sep 23 2016

    It’s been a big week for the home health Pre-Claim Review Demonstration. The poorly-received program made several Home Health Care News headlines, first with its delayed start in Florida, and then due to home health providers still calling for the program’s total suspension everywhere. Meanwhile, the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General Read More

  • The Case for Aligning Medicare and Medicaid Home Health Benefits

    Sep 21 2016

    Medicare rules limiting home health should be relaxed and brought more into line with Medicaid for the most costly patient population, according to the Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC). In fact, the oversight of programs serving dual-eligible beneficiaries within the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) should be aligned, according to the “Delivery System Reform: Improving Care Read More

  • VNAA to Challenge Pre-Claim, Medicare Cuts

    Sep 06 2016

    A national, nonprofit organization that promotes, advances and supports mission-driven providers of community-based health care has revealed the specific home health and hospice legislation it will focus on and which causes it will seek to advance on Capitol Hill in the coming months. The Visiting Nurse Association of America (VNAA), based in Arlington, Virginia, outlined two Read More

  • 1 in 4 Home Care Workers Lives in Poverty

    Sep 05 2016

    Taking inflation into account, American home care workers are actually making lesser wages than they did 10 years ago—despite their jobs being in greater demand than ever before. In fact, given the enormity of the upcoming demand for home care workers, this trend is unsustainable, according to a new research report. There are about 2.2 Read More

  • Editor’s Picks: ClearCare’s $60 Million Funding

    Sep 02 2016

    This week, Home Health Care News readers learned what ClearCare’s CEO thinks its $60 million funding round means for competitors like Honor and Hometeam, why two U.S. Senators are calling for a delay of the home health pre-claim review demonstration launch, and why one California-based home care company has branched into senior living. HHCN will Read More

  • Home Health Care Workers Win $16 Hourly Wage

    Aug 23 2016

    The Fight for $15 may be just the beginning. About 34,000 state-contracted home health caregivers in Washington state have fought for a wage of $16 per hour, and won. Specifically, by the time their contract expires in 2019, the average wage for state-contracted caregivers will exceed $16 per hour. The newly negotiated contract also doubles Read More

  • NY Times: PACE Changes Worry Critics

    Aug 22 2016

    As more private equity moves into a Medicare program designed to help American seniors age in place, worries are mounting among critics who believe the work should be left exclusively to non-profits using government funds, The New York Times reported. The program in question is the Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE), a federal Read More

  • Miami Man Admits Guilt in $4.2 Million Home Health Fraud Scheme

    Aug 16 2016

    A Miami man has admitted his guilt in a home health agency’s ploy to defraud Medicare out of $4.2 million. 56-year-old Ramon Collado Gonzalez pleaded guilty to a single count of conspiracy to defraud the United States and make false statements in connection with a federal health care benefit program, according to the U.S. Department of Justice. Read More

  • Editor’s Picks: Honor’s Eye-Popping Funding

    Aug 12 2016

    This week, Home Health Care News readers learned how one home health provider cut the risk of avoidable hospitalizations in half, why intensive caregiver training has a positive impact on hospitalizations, and about the newfound confidence Brookdale Senior Living (NYSE: BKD) has in its home health care business. Readers also learned more about Honor’s eye-popping Read More

  • Brookdale Sees ‘Recovery’ in Home Health, Looks to Grow

    Aug 09 2016

    The nation’s largest senior living provider says its home health and hospice businesses have bounced back—and there are plans to grow both businesses in the near future. In fact, the second quarter of 2016 saw “the beginnings of a recovery in [Brookdale Senior Living’s] ancillary business,” Brookdale Senior Living (NYSE: BKD) CEO Andy Smith said in Read More

  • Majority of U.S. Seniors Against Pre-Claim Review

    Aug 08 2016

    The start of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) pre-claim review demonstration has drawn harsh criticism from many stakeholders in the home health care industry. Now, they may be able to say that seniors themselves don’t like the initiative, either. Bring Home the Vote, which sponsored the poll, is a national initiative that Read More

  • Home Health M&A Trends: Deal Volume Rose, Dollar Value Fell

    Aug 02 2016

    For years, there existed an inverse relationship between the number of home health and hospice transactions and their total dollar value. In general, as the number of home health and hospice transactions climbed between 2012 and 2014, the total transaction dollar value declined, according to the second edition of the “Health Care Mergers & Acquisitions Read More

  • NYTimes: Managed Care’s ‘Perverse Incentives’ Victimize Home Care Patients

    Jul 24 2016

    Long-time managed Medicaid patients are seeing their home care hours slashed abruptly and illegally, even as their condition worsens, according to an article recently published in The New York Times. Specifically, Medicaid beneficiaries in New York state are experiencing reductions in the number of hours of home care they receive out of the blue—despite the fact Read More

  • Editor’s Picks: Robots, Drones and ACOs

    Jul 22 2016

    Happy Friday, Home Health Care News readers! This week, our most-read stories included an entrepreneur’s plan to introduce “robots-as-a-service” in home care, as well as tips for how home health agencies can avoid being on the Feds’ fraud radar. We also gave some suggestions regarding how home care agencies can win roles with accountable care Read More

  • 5 Tips to Win at Value Based Purchasing

    Jul 20 2016

    Value based purchasing is already the reality in many states—and potentially on the horizon for the rest. For the states currently involved in the value based purchasing pilot, it’s a seismic change—and the stakes are high—but there are ways to manage the transition successfully, according to panelists participating in a July 20 Home Health Care Read More

  • Silicon Valley Startup Pilots ‘Robots-as-a-Service’ for Home Care

    Jul 19 2016

    A robot companion for every senior. To some, that may seem far-fetched—but not to a Silicon Valley entrepreneur with ties to Google, or the home care company he has partnered with. “Our belief is that personal consumer robots will be everywhere in the next 10 to 15 years,” Thuc Vu, co-founder and CEO of Santa Clara, Read More

  • At-Home Health Monitors Linked to Spike In ER Visits

    Jul 13 2016

    Home health caregivers may be able to play an important role in reducing hypertension-related emergency room visits, according to a Canadian study recently published in Annals of Emergency Medicine. People who use mobile health devices to check their blood pressure at home may be more likely to visit the emergency room unnecessarily, the study reveals—perhaps because they Read More

  • Kindred’s Arkansas Deal Met with Backlash, Skepticism

    Jul 12 2016

    It has been almost one month since Kindred Healthcare (NYSE: KND) entered into a $39 million agreement to acquire the in-home health care operations from the Arkansas Department of Health, and the dust has far from settled. The deal between the state and the nation’s largest home health care provider has been met with skepticism Read More

  • Hospital Elder Units Help Seniors Go Home

    Jul 11 2016

    The need for specialized hospital units for seniors is high and growing—and the proven ability of these units to return seniors to live at home independently could spell good things for the home health care industry. Approximately one-third of patients older than 70 years of age and more than half of patients older than 85 are discharged from Read More

  • Agency Faces $21 Million Penalty for ‘Extreme’ Medicare Fraud

    Jul 10 2016

    A home care company with operations in five U.S. states has agreed to pay the federal government millions after admitting to fraudulent billing practices so widespread, the government called the company an “extreme outlier.” Kentucky-based MD2U Holding Company has admitted to violating the False Claims Act and is now liable to the United States in the amount of Read More

  • Editor’s Picks: Home Health Agencies of the Future

    Jul 08 2016

    This week, Home Health Care News readers tuned into stories about lawsuits, coding and next-generation home health agencies. From the look of things, big changes are ahead. Here in the newsroom, we were impressed by the vigor of some of China’s rowdiest retirees. Most Read 4 Features of the Home Health Agency of the Future—A Read More

  • Joint Venture Creates Major Home Health, Hospice Provider in Cincy

    Jul 06 2016

    Two senior living organizations in Greater Cincinnati have joined forces in what they say is an unusual way—combining their home health and hospice operations to form one company, but keeping their senior living offerings separate. The joint venture will best prepare the two organizations for the changing health care reimbursement landscape, officials reckon. Cedar Village, Read More

  • Epic Health Services Fined $98K After Sexual Assault

    Jul 06 2016

    A Texas-based home care provider has been ordered to pay a hefty fine after allegedly ignoring threats of workplace violence and forcing its caregivers to work in dangerous homes. The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) fined AndVenture Inc.—which does business as Epic Health Services—$98,000 for failing to adequately protect its employees from Read More

  • NYTimes Criticizes ‘Absurd’ Fight Against Home Care Wage Rule

    Jul 05 2016

    Though various home care agencies and associations loudly disagree, the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent decision not to consider Home Care Association of America v. Weil is cause for celebration, according to The New York Times’ editorial board. In fact, exempting home care workers from the Fair Labor Standards Act’s so-called “companionship” clause is actually “a vital Read More

  • Google Capital Makes Care Sector Entry with $46 Million Investment

    Jun 29 2016

    A behemoth of global business now has tied itself to home care. Google Capital on Wednesday announced it has invested $46.35 million in Waltham, Massachusetts-based Care.com, Inc. (Nasdaq: CRCM), the world’s largest online marketplace for finding and managing family care. Google Capital, a growth equity fund backed by technology conglomerate Alphabet (Nasdaq: GOOGL), invests in Read More

  • D.C. Home Care Workers Win $15 Minimum Wage

    Jun 29 2016

    Home care workers in the nation’s capital will now earn at least $15 per hour by 2020, thanks to a recently approved bill. The “Fair Shot Minimum Wage Amendment Act of 2016” stipulates that the minimum wage in Washington, D.C., will jump from $10.50 per hour to $11.50 per hour in July, and will increase Read More

  • Priciest Home Health Markets in the United States

    Jun 28 2016

    Depending on where you live in the United States, you could wind up paying significantly more or drastically less for home health care. Now, there’s data that indicates just how much more someone in North Dakota and other expensive markets can expect to pay on an annual basis, compared with someone in Louisiana, or another Read More

  • Editor’s Picks: Fraud, Fraud, Fraud

    Jun 24 2016

    This week, Home Health Care News readers read up on three main topics: reimbursement, coding and fraud. The Medicare Fraud Strike Force charged about 300 people—including some in the home health industry—in a variety of schemes that involved more than $900 million in fraudulent health care billings, and the Office of the Inspector General identified Read More

  • CMS Makes Thousands of Revisions to ICD-10 Codes

    Jun 23 2016

    The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) officially finalized the first major updates to ICD-10. CMS added just under 2,000 new codes, revised about 400 codes and deleted about 300 codes, according to experts who analyzed data posted to the CMS website. The agency published the official code changes and impactful revisions in tabular Read More

  • Honor’s New Partnership for Ultra-Personal Home Care

    Jun 21 2016

    A Silicon Valley home care startup that’s no stranger to innovation is making moves to provide the most personalized care for each and every client. San Francisco-based Honor has partnered with the National Parkinson Foundation, which has funded more than $189 million in Parkinson’s disease care, research and support services, to train its caregivers on the best Read More

  • Home Health Agencies Failing to Master OASIS Skills

    Jun 20 2016

    Home health agency staff do not have nearly as firm a grasp on the Outcome and Assessment Information Set (OASIS) as they should—and that could spell trouble for agencies nationwide. On average, home health managers’ OASIS competencies come in at around 74%, according to data from Fazzi Associates, a Northampton, Massachusetts-based home care and hospice Read More

  • Hospice Reimbursement Caps Challenged in Supreme Court Petition

    Jun 20 2016

    Forcing hospices to pay for Medicare patients’ care without being reimbursed is unconstitutional, according to one hospice agency in Arkansas. Southeast Arkansas Hospice Inc. (SEARK) claims it is a constitutional violation to mandate that hospices care for Medicare patients after the government has reached its annual Medicare reimbursement limit, saying in a petition to the U.S. Read More

  • [Updated] Supreme Court Ruling Could Increase False Claims Cases

    Jun 16 2016

    False claims cases against health care providers—home health included—could spike following a June 16 ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court regarding payment conditions in provider claims. The Supreme Court unanimously decided that the implied false certification theory can be a basis for False Claims Act (FCA) liability when a party submitting a claim makes specific Read More

  • How Home Care Agencies Can Right-Size Their Office Staff

    Jun 15 2016

    Having the right kind and right number of front-line staff is critical to a home care agency’s success. But the same can be said of a home care agency’s office staff—and having the right number of office staff is absolutely key to generating cash flow. That was the premise of a June 15 webinar titled “Determining the Right Read More

  • Lincare Offloads Specialty Pharmacy Biz for $75 Million

    Jun 14 2016

    It’s been a busy few months for respiratory therapy giant Lincare Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: LNCR). The Clearwater, Florida-based subsidiary of German gases, engineering and health care company The Linde Group acquired home care company American HomePatient from Highland Capital Management in late 2015. Then, in early 2016, Lincare was ordered to pay $238,900 in civil monetary penalties Read More

  • Editor’s Picks: Prior Authorization Is Here

    Jun 10 2016

    This week, Home Health Care News readers were among the first to know that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) officially plans to launch the home health prior authorization requirement in five U.S. states. Readers also learned why some experts believe an overtime wage rule will not impact the home care industry too Read More

  • Experts Recommend Changes to Home Health Star Ratings

    Jun 09 2016

    There’s plenty of room for improvement when it comes to the methodology, clarity and accessibility of Home Health Quality of Patient Care star ratings. That was the consensus among the Home Health Quality of Patient Care Star Ratings Technical Expert Panel (TEP), convened by Abt Associates in early May. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Read More

  • Amedisys CEO: ‘Volume Cures All Ills’ in the Home Health Business

    Jun 08 2016

    Amedisys Inc. (NASDAQ: AMED) wants to be on top: the biggest, the best, and the first choice for employees. To accomplish this, the Baton Rouge, Louisiana-based home health and hospice giant is focusing primarily on strong volume growth—a plan of action the company’s CEO, Paul Kusserow, believes has enormous potential. “We believe volume cures all Read More

  • Home Health Stocks Climb Higher than Ever

    Jun 07 2016

    For the second consecutive month, the market value of three of the most prominent publicly traded home health companies hit a record high and outpaced the S&P 500 Index overall. The Stoneridge Partners Home Health Index, which tracks the monthly average market performance of LHC Group (Nasdaq: LHCG), Almost Family (Nasdaq: AFAM) and Amedisys (Nasdaq: AMED), grew 0.63% in Read More

  • Home Care Overtime Policy Creates ‘Panic and Fear’ in Illinois

    Jun 06 2016

    The rollout of a home care worker overtime policy in one U.S. state has resulted in “distrust, fear of retaliation, and flat out panic” among home care workers and the residents they serve. That’s according to SEIU Healthcare Illinois, a union representing about 8,500 Illinois home care workers, as well as the National Employment Law Read More

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