Posts by Robert Holly:

  • Amedisys, LHC Group, Addus Shares Rise Despite PDGM Concerns

    Aug 20 2018

    The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) last month proposed an overhaul to the current prospective payment system for the home health industry with a sweeping new model that experts say would drastically increase billing efforts and force a move away from therapy services. So far, the potential negatives of the Patient-Driven Groupings Model Read More

  • LHC Group, FirstLight, Lifesprk Craft Strategies to Combat Senior Isolation

    Aug 20 2018

    Most experts in the aging services field agree that senior isolation is a major problem in the United States. The solution is largely up for debate, but home care companies of all shapes and sizes have a business- and mission-driven mandate to combat the problem. Socially-isolated older adults are individuals who rarely leave their home or Read More

  • Interim, Right at Home Glean Business and Clinical Benefits from Dementia Programs

    Aug 19 2018

    To remain competitive in the highly fragmented home care industry and capitalize on an increasingly lucrative niche market, agencies are opting to roll out specialized programs entirely focused on dementia care. Sunrise, Florida-based Interim HealthCare and Omaha, Nebraska-based Right at Home—two of the largest home care franchisors in the country—are hoping to lead the way. Read More

  • Oscar Health to Enter Medicare Advantage with $375M Alphabet Investment

    Aug 16 2018

    Medicare Advantage (MA) plans are becoming more important payers for home health, as they have shown a steady climb in beneficiaries over the past decade. New opportunities are also arising for MA plans to cover non-skilled in-home care. There could soon be another MA player on the scene—one backed by Google parent company Alphabet Inc. (Nasdaq: GOOGL). Read More

  • Movers & Shakers: Brookdale Names Steven Swain as New CFO

    Aug 16 2018

    Brookdale Announces New CFO Brookdale Senior Living Inc. (NYSE: BKD) has tapped Steven Swain to serve as executive vice president and chief financial officer. Brentwood, Tennessee-based Brookdale is the nation’s largest owner and operator of private-pay senior living communities, as well as a major provider of home health and hospice services. As a company, Brookdale Read More

  • NHPCO, Better Medicare Alliance Team Up to Tackle Medicare Advantage Hospice Coverage

    Aug 14 2018

    Although health care policymakers have begun to further open the Medicare Advantage (MA) door, hospice providers remain largely shut out and still looking for a “carve-in.” But though the hospice industry may be on its own island when it comes to the MA program, it at least appears to be building new bridges. The National Read More

  • PreparedHealth Platform Grows as Providers Seek to Reduce Readmissions

    Aug 13 2018

    Collaborating across the continuum of care is becoming increasingly important, a point crystallized by one health care technology company’s rapid growth—and success in bringing together some of the nation’s largest home health and private duty providers, as well as rehabilitation companies and health systems. That company, PreparedHealth, has recently landed new business, validating its mission Read More

  • OIG Special Agents Sound Off on Hospice Fraud, CMS Rules

    Aug 12 2018

    In one example of hospice fraud, a provider was caught billing for 17 days of general inpatient care for a 70-year-old Medicare beneficiary, though a caregiver had never even visited him. In another case, an owner a hospice was found to be using recruiters to solicit and enroll beneficiaries for hospice care when they were Read More

  • Humana Highlights Home Health’s Value in Reducing Hospital Readmissions

    Aug 12 2018

    Insurance giant Humana, Inc. (NYSE: HUM) is touting the value of its home health business—and its ability to prevent costly hospital readmissions and streamline transitions of care. Louisville, Kentucky-based Humana highlighted its home health line, Humana At Home, in its latest corporate social responsibility report, released on Wednesday. In 2017, Humana At Home served nearly Read More

  • Why ‘Name-Only’ Promotions May Fall Flat in Home Care

    Aug 09 2018

    Companies across the United States are more frequently trying to recognize and retain their employees by offering promotions that come without raises attached. It may be a popular tactic, but it’s unlikely to work in the home health and home care industries, experts say. “It’s an interesting idea, but it gets really difficult when you Read More

  • Addus Encouraged by EVV, MA Opportunities Ahead

    Aug 07 2018

    Lifted by the closures of two sizable home health and hospice acquisitions, Addus HomeCare Corporation (Nasdaq: ADUS) posted steady financial results for the second quarter of 2018. The Frisco, Texas-based provider expects those financials to grow stronger, too, as the company positions itself to take advantage of M&A opportunities stemming from pending electronic visit verification (EVV) requirements Read More

  • Home Health Business Remains Down for Brookdale Senior Living

    Aug 07 2018

    Home health continues to be a trouble spot for Brookdale Senior Living (NYSE: BKD), the nation’s largest owner and operator of private-pay senior living communities. Brentwood, Tennessee-based Brookdale posted its financial results for the second quarter of 2018 this week, highlighted by a companywide net loss of $165.5 million compared to a net loss of Read More

  • Flesh-Eating Bacteria Case Once Again Highlights Hospice’s Dialysis Dilemma

    Aug 06 2018

    An East Coast fisherman likely wasn’t expecting that a morning of crabbing at Matt’s Landing in New Jersey would lead to a rare and deadly infection—or highlight a major dilemma in the Medicare hospice program. Specifically, the case is an example of how patients sometimes must forgo the comfort care that hospice can provide in Read More

  • Why NAHC Wants to Become the NRA of Home Care

    Aug 06 2018

    It’s not the ideal comparison, according to National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) President William Dombi. But NAHC wants to be more like the NRA. Regardless of how people feel about the National Rifle Association—the organization that’s often praised or blamed for stopping legislative efforts focused on gun ownership rights—its influence on Capitol Read More

  • Home Health Industry Divided on Severity of Pre-Claim Threat

    Aug 05 2018

    Whenever policymakers aim potentially controversial or burdensome regulations at the home health industry, stakeholders big and small typically march in lockstep to ward off attacks. But this year’s proposed iteration of pre-claim review appears to be an exception. There is a noticeable divide between larger home health providers and smaller ones—and a more muted overall Read More

  • With Home Health Revenue Up, Ensign ‘Getting Arms Around’ PDGM

    Aug 05 2018

    Thanks to a relatively obstacle-free regulatory environment, Cornerstone Healthcare, Inc., the home health and hospice business of The Ensign Group (Nasdaq: ENSG), posted solid financial results in the second quarter of 2018. Company leadership highlighted the results during a call with investors Friday. Mission Viejo, California-based The Ensign Group and its independent subsidiaries provide skilled, Read More

  • Eyeing MA Opportunity, Right at Home Strikes Partnership with Kindred at Home

    Aug 01 2018

    There’s been healthy debate inside the home care industry as to how significant Medicare Advantage opportunities will really be come 2019. Despite the varying outlooks, home care providers by and large are making sure they’re best positioned to take advantage of whatever prospects do arise. The latest of those efforts is coming from Omaha, Nebraska-based Read More

  • OIG Issues Sweeping Report on Hospice Fraud and Care Quality Concerns

    Jul 31 2018

    To counter claims of fraud and abuse in the hospice industry, federal regulators have loudly announced their plans to aggressively go after dishonest providers. Those watchdogs include the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services’ Office of Inspector General (OIG), which released a sharp new report on fraud vulnerabilities within the Medicare hospice program on Read More

  • AccentCare, Elara Caring Use Predictive Analytics for Smarter Hospice Transitions

    Jul 31 2018

    Hospice utilization has risen sharply compared to a decade ago, but many patients are still entering hospice care later than ideal. This limits the effectiveness of hospice for both consumers and providers, including those that dually offer home health and hospice services and want to provide the right level of care at the appropriate time. Read More

  • Trump Signs Bill Delaying EVV

    Jul 30 2018

    President Donald Trump late Monday officially signed off on H.R. 6042, a widely supported bill to delay the nationwide deadline for electronic visit verification (EVV) in Medicaid-reimbursed personal care services. The 21st Century Cures Act, signed into law in 2016 under the Obama Administration, originally required home care providers and state agencies to begin adopting Read More

  • New Walgreens Platform Connects Customers with Heal, Other Health Care Providers

    Jul 30 2018

    Walgreens is teaming up with more than a dozen health care providers—including physician house call startup Heal—in launching a new digital marketplace built to connect its online customers with store- and community-based services. Deerfield, Illinois-based Walgreens is one of the nation’s largest drugstore chains and part of the Retail Pharmacy USA Division of Walgreens Boots Read More

  • CMS Updates Home Health Compare, Extends Moratoria and Issues Coding Guidance

    Jul 30 2018

    The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has been busy of late, as the agency has recently updated its quality of patient care star ratings, extended its moratoria on new home health care agencies opening and issued coding guidance for fiscal year 2019. The national average for the Quality of Patient Care Star Rating, Read More

  • Bayada, Brookdale Team with Other Providers for New Alzheimer’s Roundtable

    Jul 29 2018

    More than a dozen of the biggest players in aging services met in Chicago last Thursday to take part in the Alzheimer’s Association’s newly formed Dementia Care Provider Roundtable. The goal of the roundtable is to share best practices from their diverse industry perspectives. Participants in the roundtable included representatives from Bayada Home Health Care, Read More

  • Value-Based Purchasing Proposals May Signal Expanded Rollout

    Jul 29 2018

    The Patient-Driven Groupings Model (PDGM) largely stole the show when the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released its proposed payment rule earlier this month. But there were also some important and surprising positives within the rule’s 600 pages that home health providers shouldn’t ignore, industry executives and analysts say. The two most striking Read More

  • Hospice Census Up, Small Acquisitions on the Radar for Vitas

    Jul 26 2018

    Vitas—Chemed Corporation’s (NYSE: CHE) hospice business—posted sturdy second-quarter financial results Wednesday, partially thanks to increases in both its average daily census and admissions levels. Cincinnati-based Chemed’s Vitas segment is recognized as one of the nation’s largest providers of end-of-life care, employing about 11,500 professionals who operate across hospice locations in 14 states and Washington, D.C. It’s Read More

  • MedPAC: Home Health Increasingly Not a Post-Hospital Service

    Jul 25 2018

    In an ongoing and dramatic shift from the early 2000s, the vast majority of home health episodes are no longer preceded by a hospitalization or skilled nursing facility stay. That’s according to the latest round of federal health care spending data insights compiled by the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC), a nonpartisan legislative branch agency Read More

  • Bill Delaying Nationwide EVV Deadline Awaits Trump’s Signature

    Jul 24 2018

    In-home care providers, state Medicaid programs and their tech-vendor partners will very likely have at least one more year to gear up for the federally mandated nationwide rollout of electronic visit verification (EVV). That is, depending on what President Donald Trump decides to do. The U.S. House of Representatives last month signed off on H.R. Read More

  • ResCare Leadership Refresh Continues with New Divisional President

    Jul 24 2018

    ResCare, Inc., one of the largest privately held home and community-based health services providers to complex populations in the United States, has continued its recent leadership infusion by hiring a new top executive to oversee its robust Intellectual and Development Disability (IDD) Services business line. Louisville, Kentucky-based ResCare announced on Tuesday that assisted living and Read More

  • House Passes Bipartisan Hospice Bill Strengthening Physician Training, Patient Outreach

    Jul 23 2018

    Lawmakers may not agree on much these days, but they at least appear to agree when it comes to fostering end-of-life care for terminally ill Americans. The U.S. House of Representatives on Monday passed the Palliative Care and Hospice Education Training Act (PCHETA), a bipartisan piece of legislation designed to expand and strengthen end-of-life care Read More

  • Movers & Shakers: McBee Announces Dordick as New President

    Jul 23 2018

    McBee Looks Internally for New President McBee Associates has a new—but familiar—incoming president to help guide the health care services and consulting firm as it adapts to a shifting value-driven landscape and new payment models for post-acute spaces. Executive Vice President Mike Dordick has been promoted to president of the Wayne, Pennsylvania-based McBee, the firm Read More

  • Beyond the Basics: 3 Things Home Health Providers Should Know About PDGM

    Jul 23 2018

    There are a variety of technical changes and nuances home health providers need to be aware of before the new Patient-Driven Groupings Model (PDGM) goes into effect in 2020. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released details of its home health payment reform plan in its July 2 proposed rule. In its initial Read More

  • WSJ: As America’s Unpaid Caregiver Network Shrinks, Challenges Add Up

    Jul 22 2018

    When a professional home health agency isn’t an option, family and other unpaid caregivers are often asked to pick up the slack. It’s estimated that more than 34 million people in the United States provide unpaid care to individuals 50 and older. The economic impact of those services is far from trivial. Indeed, unpaid caregivers—largely Read More

  • Health Care in the Home Still Raises Safety Concerns

    Jul 19 2018

    Millions of individuals in the United States depend on home health services to help manage chronic conditions and recover after surgeries or unexpected illnesses. Home health utilization is increasingly, too, partly because services are typically provided in the lowest-cost setting. Home health may be cheaper, but it’s also, perhaps, more dangerous. There are numerous risks Read More

  • Amedisys, LHC Group Shares Rise Despite Pre-Claim, Regulatory Uncertainty

    Jul 19 2018

    The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced at the end of May it was seeking public input on a new proposal to bring back a slightly different version of pre-claim review, which the home health industry fiercely contested and fought back when first introduced two years ago. Well, it turns out that proposal Read More

  • Why Home Health Payment Reform Isn’t A ‘Death Knell’ for Therapy Services

    Jul 19 2018

    Proposed policy changes related to how home health agencies bill for therapy shouldn’t cause the industry to cut staff or abruptly back away from those services, experts say. Under the Patient-Driven Groupings Model (PDGM) proposed by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) on July 2, home health providers would no longer be able Read More

  • NAHC President on Pre-Claim’s Chilling Effect, End of the Hospice Honeymoon

    Jul 18 2018

    The home health, personal care and hospice industries are—again—in the midst of rapid and profound change. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is rekindling its Pre-Claim Review Demonstration (PCRD) efforts, while proposing a new payment system known as the Patient-Driven Groupings Model (PDGM). Meanwhile, the hospice space is seeing explosive growth, and the Read More

  • Hackers Reportedly Steal, Ransom Data Of More Than 80,000 Home Care Patients

    Jul 18 2018

    In a bizarre and developing story, as many as 80,000 patients in Canada may have had detailed medical, financial and personal records stolen by a hacker group after it infiltrated the computer systems of home care services provider CarePartners. Ontario-based CarePartners, which has provided government-sponsored personal, rehabilitation and nursing care services to hundreds of thousands Read More

  • Home Health Aide Among Most Family-Friendly Jobs

    Jul 18 2018

    Technology and sales companies may be doing the best job of offering workers family-friendly jobs and greater flexibility, but the home health industry isn’t too far behind, at least for home health aides. Indeed, one the most widely used job sites in the world, recently analyzed hundreds of millions of its job postings in search Read More

  • As Home Health Providers Integrate Services, Vendors and Consultants Follow Suit

    Jul 17 2018

    TPG Capital portfolio company Mediware Information Systems, Inc. announced last week that it’s acquiring the long-standing home health and hospice consulting group Fazzi Associates. To some degree, the transaction—which marks one of the few instances where a software business buys up a consulting firm—is reflective of the broader home health, personal care and hospice landscape. Read More

  • Congress Unlikely to Act as PDGM, Pre-Claim Loom

    Jul 16 2018

    Washington, D.C., policymakers have hurled several challenging volleys toward the home health, personal care and hospice industries in 2018, including possible reincarnations of the Home Health Groupings Model (HHGM) and Pre-Claim Review Demonstration (PCRD). To parry those attacks, or at least make sure they’re not overly burdensome, stakeholders will likely need to band together in Read More

  • Senior Helpers’ CEO Outlines Plans for New Town Square Franchising Model

    Jul 14 2018

    In-home senior care services franchisor Senior Helpers has teamed up with the George G. Glenner Alzheimer’s Family Center to launch a new nationwide franchising concept for Town Square, a reminiscence therapy adult day care center built to look and feel like the 1950s. The new franchising model—Senior Helpers Town Square Franchising—is officially an affiliate of Read More

  • Minnesota Launches Union-Backed Home Care Job Board

    Jul 14 2018

    The Minnesota Department of Human Services has launched the state’s first online job platform built to connect seniors and people with disabilities with caregivers for home care support. Direct Support Connect is a state-sponsored job board for people looking to hire direct support workers, along with Minnesota’s home care workers and personal care assistants seeking Read More

  • Visiting Nurse Service of NY Creates Market Niche with Transgender Care

    Jul 12 2018

    As the home health industry has grown and become more competitive, it’s become increasingly important for providers to seek any means of differentiation. For the Visiting Nurse Service of New York (VNSNY), that’s meant spearheading a rapidly growing program specifically designed for gender affirmation surgery patients. Gender affirmation surgeries are procedures that transform individuals’ bodies Read More

  • M&A and Finance News: Humana Completes Curo Purchase

    Jul 11 2018

    Humana, PE Firms Finalize Curo Purchase Humana Inc. (NYSE: HUM) and private equity firms TPG Capital and Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe have competed their previously announced $1.4 billion acquisition of Curo Health Services. Louisville-based based Humana and the two PE firms plan on combining Mooresville, North Carolina-based Curo with the hospice business of Kindred Read More

  • New Association Hopes to Fill EVV Communication ‘Void’

    Jul 11 2018

    There’s a new national association on the block that’s dedicated entirely to electronic visit verification (EVV) and bridging the communication gap between states, managed care organization and in-home care providers. Officially launched at the end of June, the National EVV Association (NEVVA) will serve as an industry voice and resource for news, regulatory information, expertise Read More

  • What Mount Sinai’s Hospital-At-Home Program Means for the Home Health Industry

    Jul 10 2018

    Recent findings highlighting the success of hospital-at-home programs point to “tremendous opportunity” for in-home care providers, health care experts say. But that opportunity largely depends on the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and its continued development of innovative payment models, they argue. Broadly speaking, hospital-at-home programs try to identify acute patients with certain Read More

  • Home Care Workers Sue for Reimbursement of Union Fees in Wake of Janus

    Jul 10 2018

    The U.S. Supreme Court’s recent ruling in the landmark Janus v. AFSCME case is beginning to have ripple effects throughout the home care industry. Last month, the United State’s highest court ruled 5-4 that public employees do not have to pay union fees to help cover the costs of collective bargaining by union groups on Read More

  • At-Home Deaths On the Rise in United States

    Jul 09 2018

    Americans are more often spending their final days at home or in other community-based settings instead of the hospital, a new study has found. Overall, the proportion of deaths that occur in acute-care hospitals has fallen to below 20%, according to a retrospective cohort study published last month in JAMA. That’s a steep drop compared Read More

  • How Universal Design is Helping Home Health Providers Improve Care

    Jul 08 2018

    Home health providers small and large are more commonly thinking about home design as an important tool for keeping patients safe, comfortable and away from hospitals. To hone that design know-how, several of them—including Kendal at Home–are turning to a certification program that works with an innovative, immersive “living laboratory.” Launched in 2015, the Louisville, Read More

  • House Bill to Support Hospice Training Moves Closer to Vote

    Jul 08 2018

    Legislation aimed at raising awareness and increasing the quality of hospice and palliative care is steadily finding its way through Capitol Hill. U.S. Rep. Tom Reed (R-New York) announced on Tuesday that the Palliative Care and Hospice Education and Training Act (PCHETA) has made it out of the House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee and Read More

  • Tech Roundup: Netsmart Finalizes Change Healthcare Acquisition

    Jul 08 2018

    Netsmart Finalizes Acquisition of Change Healthcare’s Home Care and Hospice Solutions Netsmart, one of the largest providers of behavioral health electronic health records (EHRs) in the United States, has finalized its acquisition of the home care and hospice solutions of Change Healthcare, formerly known as McKesson Homecare and McKesson Hospice. Financial terms of the deal Read More

  • New York Considering Advanced Home Health Aide Designation

    Jul 05 2018

    New York has announced plans for an advanced home health aide program in the state and is currently taking comment from industry stakeholders. Last week, the New York State Department of Education published proposed regulations for an advanced home health aide (AHHA) program in the state register. The AHHA program effectively allows home health aides Read More

  • Great Lakes Caring Exec Earns Spot on Glassdoor Top CEO List

    Jul 05 2018

    The latest list of top CEOs in the United States includes nearly a dozen health care executives, but hardly any from companies that specialize in home health services. The sole home health exec that did make the cut: Great Lakes Caring Home Health and Hospice CEO Adam Nielsen. Glassdoor, one of the world’s largest job Read More

  • M&A and Finance News: Amedisys Expands Borrowing Capacity

    Jul 05 2018

    Amedisys Announces New Senior Secured Credit Facility  Amedisys, Inc. (Nasdaq: AMED), one of the largest independent home health, hospice care and personal care companies in the country, has entered into a new secured revolving credit facility. The new credit facility more than doubles the Baton Rouge, Louisiana-based Amedisys’ borrowing capacity, increasing it from $250 million Read More

  • [Updated] CMS Proposes Home Health Groupings Model, $400 Million Medicare Payment Boost

    Jul 02 2018

    The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is proposing to overhaul the home health prospective payment system and continue the shift toward value-based care. Specifically, the agency is moving forward with the Patient-Driven Groupings Model (PDGM) and floating several other changes, as well as the annual update to the Medicare rate. Proposed changes are Read More

  • Providers Side with MedPAC on Changes to Home Health Referral Rules

    Jul 01 2018

    Hospital discharge planners should have more leeway in how they educate and inform patients about post-acute care options, perhaps making star ratings a more important part of the conversation, home health providers believe. But it’s a change that would need to be handled carefully to prevent favoritism or abuse in how referrals are made, they caution. Read More

  • Universal Home Care A Scam, Opponents Say

    Jul 01 2018

    A Northeastern state moved one step closer to making universal home care for its residents a reality when it finalized language for a November ballot initiative earlier this week. The Maine Secretary of State’s Office on Monday officially released the wording for a citizens’ initiative referendum that, if passed, would raise taxes on wealthier residents Read More

  • Movers & Shakers: Caring.com Names New CFO

    Jul 01 2018

    Caring.com Names New CFO Recently acquired senior care referral service Caring.com has found a new chief financial officer. San Mateo, California-based Caring.com—acquired in May by private equity group Caring Holdings, LLC—has chosen technology and finance veteran Lia Burke as its next CFO. Among the reasons for the hiring, Burke was chosen because of her experience Read More

  • How Home Care Paved the Way for SCOTUS’ Janus Ruling

    Jun 28 2018

    After much anticipation, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) on Wednesday issued its decision in Janus v. AFSCME, ruling along party lines that public employees do not have to pay union fees to help cover the costs of collective bargaining. A previous ruling related to home care workers in Illinois helped pave the way. Read More

  • CMS Proposes Two Changes to Home Health Star Ratings Algorithm

    Jun 27 2018

    One measure behind home health quality of patient care star ratings may be on its way out, but another is poised to take its place. The Medicare Learning Network, an education and outreach arm of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), outlined two recommended changes to quality of patient care star rating methodology Read More

  • How One Tech Company is Solving Home Care Communication Gaps

    Jun 27 2018

    Virtual care company Synzi has set its sights on the home health market and has started to land innovative providers looking to curb costly hospital readmissions by better filling communication gaps with patients. Synzi’s growing list of home health partners includes Florida’s Trilogy Home Healthcare, which signed up for the communication platform in May. Launched Read More

  • CMS Launches New Audit Initiatives for Medicaid

    Jun 26 2018

    The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is stepping up its game when it comes to Medicaid oversight—and that may mean more red tape and audits for home care providers. CMS announced on Tuesday it plans to move forward with a series of wide-ranging transparency and accountability initiatives designed to improve Medicaid oversight and Read More

  • Why the Looming AseraCare Decision Could Decimate Hospice Fraud Prosecution

    Jun 25 2018

    Trends in hospice fraud have authorities on high alert and providers feeling the heat. But a looming, potentially precedent-setting legal case currently in the hands of the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals may soon make the prosecution of hospice providers much more difficult to pursue under the False Claims Act (FCA). “[The case] could decimate Read More

  • OIG Puts the Pressure On as Hospice Fraud Cases Pile Up

    Jun 24 2018

    In March 2018, Health and Palliative Services of the Treasure Coast and two of its businesses paid $2.5 million to settle a False Claims Act (FCA) case related to hospice billing. A month later, Horizons Hospice agreed to pay more than $1.2 million to resolve allegations that the company fraudulently billed Medicare and Medicaid for services to patients Read More

  • Nurses’ Attitudes Can Determine Infection Control Compliance

    Jun 22 2018

    Infection is a leading cause of hospitalization among home health care patients, yet relatively little is known about nurses’ compliance with infection control practices. That’s beginning to change, and early findings suggest attitude toward infection control compliance has an enormous impact. Researchers at The University of Manchester, Columbia University and Appalachian State University teamed up Read More

  • Movers & Shakers: Two Board Appointments for Brookdale CEO

    Jun 21 2018

    Brookdale CEO Appointed to NIC, Nashville Healthcare Council Boards  Brookdale Senior Living (NYSE: BKD) President and CEO Cindy Baier has been appointed to the board of directors of two prominent industry groups. Baier was appointed to the board of directors of both the National Investment Center for Seniors Housing & Care (NIC) and the Nashville Read More

  • Poor Communication Between Home Health, Doctors Leaves Patients ‘Lost in the Wilderness’

    Jun 20 2018

    Despite ongoing efforts to provide seamless transitions of care, patients’ journeys from hospital to home still remain full of gaps. Persistent, systemic lapses in communication between doctors, home health providers and patients may be largely to blame. Continuity in care, when achieved, gives patients greater confidence, engagement and trust in the overall medical care being Read More

  • M&A and Financing Newsflash: Anthem Completes Acquisition of Aspire Health

    Jun 19 2018

    Anthem Finalizes Deal for Aspire Health Months Ahead of Schedule  Insurer Anthem, Inc. (NYSE: ANTM) has completed its acquisition of Aspire Health, the nation’s largest provider of non-hospice, community-based palliative care. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Indianapolis-based Anthem and its affiliated companies provide products and services to more than 74 million people. Read More

  • Poor Onboarding, Lack of Innovation Fuel Home Care Turnover

    Jun 19 2018

    While the need for more home care workers is pressing, regulatory complexities can make it difficult and confusing for nurses, therapists, aides and caregivers who are new to the industry. That’s one reason Tina Marrelli has continually updated “The Handbook of Home Health Standards: Quality, Documentation and Reimbursement.” First published in 1988, the text—which is often Read More

  • MedPAC Flags Home Health Referral Problems in Report to Congress

    Jun 18 2018

    The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) has alerted Congress to how rarely home health patients pick their neighborhood’s highest quality provider after being discharged from the hospital. MedPAC compiles its regular report to advise Congress on payments to health plans participating in the Medicare Advantage program and providers in Medicare’s traditional fee-for-service program, but lawmakers are not required Read More

  • Skeptics Raise Concerns As Private Equity Investment in Home Health Industry Rises

    Jun 15 2018

    The in-home care industry is seeing record-breaking valuations and a historic pace for mergers and acquisitions. Heavy investment from private equity firms is among the dominant drivers of that action, and not just for in-home care, but for the U.S. health care sector more broadly. As private equity becomes increasingly involved in the health care world, Read More

  • Simulation Program Helps Recruit, Train Next Generation of Home Care Nurses

    Jun 14 2018

    The United States is projected to experience a serious shortage of nurses, one that is only expected to intensify as baby boomers age and more frequently become in need of home health services. To recruit and prepare aspiring nurses, many of whom are millennials, nursing schools are launching innovative training programs specifically targeting in-home care. Read More

  • Movers & Shakers: Fresno Hospice Finds New CEO

    Jun 14 2018

    Hinds Hospice Picks New CEO Hinds Hospice in Fresno, California, has picked a new CEO to replace Amy Tobin, who is retiring after more than five years with the end-of-life care provider, The Business Journal reported. Eric Klimes, an Army veteran, assumes the CEO position for Hinds Hospice, which was founded in 1981 and currently Read More

  • Amedisys Boosts Productivity by Slashing Turnover Rates

    Jun 13 2018

    By focusing on quality and software improvements, Amedisys, Inc. (Nasdaq: AMED) has been able to slash turnover in recent years and, in turn, boost productivity and profitability. Three years ago, Baton Rouge, Louisiana-based Amedisys’ turnover rates were “shockingly” in the high 30% range, CEO Paul Kusserow said Wednesday afternoon at William Blair’s 38th Annual Growth Stock Read More

  • Vermont VNA Announces $850K Expansion to Meet Rising Hospice Demand

    Jun 13 2018

    Three decades ago, Vermont’s median age was roughly the same as the nation’s. The Green Mountain State is now, however, one of the oldest, and more of its aging residents are starting to make hospice care a pillar of their end-of-life plans. To keep up with that rising demand, the Visiting Nurse Association & Hospice of Read More

  • Right at Home, BrightStar, FirstLight Among Best Franchises in 2018

    Jun 12 2018

    A handful of home care companies are among the best franchise opportunities for buyers in 2018, a new ranking has found. To help prospective franchisees weigh risk and rewards, Forbes released its annual “America’s Best & Worst Franchises to Buy” list, broken down into categories for high investments, medium investments and low investments. Home care Read More

  • Court Revives $35 Million Lawsuit Targeting Brookdale

    Jun 12 2018

    A federal court has breathed new life into a $35 million whistleblower lawsuit filed against Brookdale Senior Living (NYSE: BKD), the largest senior living provider in the United States and a major home health player. The 6th Circuit Court of Appeals on Monday reversed a federal court’s dismissal last year of a False Claims Act lawsuit Read More

  • Home Health Businesses Acquired by KKR Through $9.9 Billion Envision Deal

    Jun 11 2018

    Private equity powerhouse KKR has acquired Nashville-based Envision Healthcare Corporation (NYSE: EVHC), one of the largest doctor-staffing companies in the United States with roughly half a dozen in-home care entities under its umbrella. The $9.9 billion deal, announced Monday, is one of the biggest by a private equity firm in the past couple years, easily Read More

  • M&A and Financing Newsflash: Nova Leap Completes Deal for Canadian Home Care Business

    Jun 11 2018

    Nova Leap Health Completes Home Care Purchase  Nova Scotia, Canada-based Nova Leap Health Corp. (TSXV: NLH) has completed its $2.1 million acquisition of Always Home HomeCare Services Ltd. and its subsidiary Always Safe Training Ltd., both also located in Canada. Nova Leap, which provides personal home care and support services, has focused its acquisition strategy Read More

  • Health System LifeCare Buying Up In-Home Care Agencies

    Jun 11 2018

    Despite potential policy hurdles on the horizon, LifeCare Health Partners has strengthened its presence along the continuum of care by acquiring two more in-home care agencies. The new deals come after a handful of other acquisitions in the past couple years for the Plano, Texas-based health care services provider, which hopes to continue adding in-home Read More

  • Spending Has Little Impact on Dialysis Patients’ Hospice Use

    Jun 10 2018

    In general, health care expenses and intensity of care varies for Medicare patients receiving chronic kidney dialysis during the last year of their life. One thing that does not vary, however, is their lack of access to hospice care, a new study has found. As part of the study, published June 4 in the journal Health Affairs, Read More

  • Must-Read News: Medicare’s Dire Financial State, Death Doulas Council

    Jun 10 2018

    Catch up on the latest in home health and home care by checking out our must-read news from across the web. Keep reading to see our top HHCN stories rom the last week. Medicare’s financial problems have reportedly gotten worse, and the program is now expected to be broke in eight years, or three years earlier Read More

  • Home Health Wields Political Clout to Shape Policy

    Jun 08 2018

    Vowing to flex political muscle its built in the nation’s capital and throughout the country, home health providers and advocates are prepared to fight a new proposal to bring back the controversial pre-claim review. This is not an empty threat, a Home Health Care News (HHCN) review of lobbying data and recent advocacy efforts suggests. Over Read More

  • Movers & Shakers: Senior Helpers Appoints New Top Marketing Officer

    Jun 07 2018

    Senior Helpers Bolsters Leadership Team with Chief Marketing Office Hire Baltimore-based in-home care provider Senior Helpers has hired Chuck Sullivan to fill its chief marketing officer position. Senior Helpers is a provider of in-home senior services ranging from specialized care for individuals with dementia, Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s, to personal and companion care to help Read More

  • Amedisys Stock Buyback Highlights Record Prices in Home Health M&A

    Jun 06 2018

    Amedisys, Inc. (Nasdaq: AMED) doubled down on its own home health, hospice and personal care business Monday, deploying nearly all of its cash on hand to buy back $178 million worth of stock from global investment firm KKR (NYSE: KKR). The transaction signals leadership’s continued confidence in the Baton Rouge, Louisiana-based company’s growth prospects, but Read More

  • Addus CEO on Why Chick-fil-A Matters to In-Home Care Providers

    Jun 05 2018

    Hiring caregivers remains the No. 1 challenge for in-home care providers, industry executives say. It’s only getting tougher, too, as low-skilled workers outside the industry are being offered progressively higher wages—particularly within retail and fast food. Retail giant Target in March announced it was raising its minimum starting pay for workers for the second time in less Read More

  • FirstLight Eyes Risks, Rewards of Operating in Hawaii

    Jun 04 2018

    Hawaii may be a vacationer’s paradise, but it’s also, perhaps, one of the toughest states for home care franchises to take off. An unemployment rate well below the national average makes finding caregivers even more difficult than on the mainland United States, while the Aloha State’s often rural and mountainous landscape can also make it laborious just to visit Read More

  • CMS: Pre-Claim Could Cost Home Health Industry $40 Million Annually

    Jun 01 2018

    The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has—once again—identified Illinois as ground zero for its newly proposed trial run of the pre-claim review demonstration (PCRD) for home health. Other key details of the resurrected model are also starting to emerge, including the proposal’s potential $40 million annual price tag for home health agencies. Under CMS’ Read More

  • M&A and Financing Newsflash: Heal Raises $20 Million

    May 31 2018

    Heal Lands $20 Million in Venture Funding Los Angeles-based Heal has raised $20 million in venture funding, bringing the med-tech startup’s total capital raised to more than $69 million. Heal and its digital platforms assist patients in booking physician house calls, often for urgent care and routine illness visits. Heal has helped deliver more than 60,000 house calls Read More

  • Amada Tackles Home Care for Athletes with NFL Alumni Partnership

    May 31 2018

    Amada Senior Care—led by a former Chicago Bears football player—has converted on a deal to become sponsor and exclusive in-home care provider for NFL Alumni, an association of about 5,000 former National Football League players, coaches, staffers, cheerleaders and family members. For San Clemente, California-based Amada, the recently announced deal is an opportunity to further legitimize Read More

  • Home Health Ready to Fight Pre-Claim Review’s Dreaded Return

    May 30 2018

    Stakeholders throughout the home health industry are gearing up for another battle over Pre-Claim Review Demonstration (PCRD), a controversial Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) initiative aimed at reducing fraud and improper billing. PCRD asks providers to send in claims earlier in the care process to ensure they are meeting requirements. In August 2016, CMS rolled out Read More

  • Home Health Providers Excel at Keeping Patients Active

    May 29 2018

    When it comes to the performance of the health care system overall, the United States is a mixed bag, but there’s some good news on the home health front. Some states—Hawaii, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Vermont and Utah, in particular—are excelling at providing quality, affordable health care to their residents, a new report has found. Others—Louisiana, Oklahoma Read More

  • Addus, LHC Group Rev Up 2018 M&A Wins

    May 25 2018

    Top executives for Addus HomeCare Corporation (Nasdaq: ADUS) and LHC Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: LHCG) touted their recent M&A wins last week—while hinting there’s likely more to come. Addus CEO Dirk Allison and LHC Group CEO Keith Myers discussed the home health industry’s bustling M&A landscape and provided overall updates on their respective companies during the Read More

  • Insurer Anthem Strikes Deal for Palliative Care Company Aspire Health

    May 24 2018

    National health insurance giant Anthem, Inc. (NYSE: ANTM) is buying Nashville-based Aspire Health, the nation’s largest non-hospice, community-based palliative care provider. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Anthem’s play for Aspire Health, announced Wednesday, is the latest deal to further blur the lines between insurance companies and in-home care businesses. Humana (NYSE: HUM) and Read More

  • Kindred, Humana Crack Fortune 500 List for 2018

    May 24 2018

    Only two companies with strong home health ties—Kindred Healthcare (NYSE: KND) and Humana (NYSE: HUM)—graced this year’s Fortune 500 list, but the industry as a whole appears to be inching its way closer to the top. The Fortune 500 list is an annual ranking of U.S. companies, both private and public, based on total revenues Read More

  • Bills Seek to Delay EVV for Home Care

    May 23 2018

    U.S. lawmakers have introduced legislation to delay the mandated implementation of electronic visit verification (EVV) in home care by one year. Under current provisions in the 21st Century Cures Act, a $6.3 billion piece of legislation signed into law under the Obama administration, Medicaid-reimbursed home care providers must begin adopting EVV systems before Jan. 1, 2019. Read More

  • HHS Chief Technology Officer to Join LHC Group

    May 22 2018

    The current chief technology officer for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will soon leave his post in Washington D.C. to join Lafayette, Louisiana-based LHC Group (Nasdaq: LHCG) and fill a newly created position dedicated to innovation. HHS CTO Bruce Greenstein will become LHC Group’s first chief innovation and technology officer in June, Read More

  • VNSNY, Vitas Want to Fix the Racial Disparity in Hospice Care

    May 21 2018

    Hospice has been a popular target on the mergers-and-acquisitions front, but the industry faces a demographic challenge when it comes to minority patients. The sector is plagued by very low utilization rates for minority patients, and the numbers appear only to be getting worse. About 87% of hospice patients are white, according to the most recent Read More

  • Great Lakes, Jordan, National Home Health Name New CFO After Merger

    May 21 2018

    Great Lakes Caring, National Home Health Care and Jordan Health Services have named a new chief financial officer for their freshly merged enterprise. Eric Slusser is taking over as CFO of the newly combined company, it announced Monday, less than a week after Michigan-based Great Lakes Caring, Connecticut-based National Home Health Care and Texas-based Jordan Read More

  • Intermountain, Home Care Provider Team Up in New Joint Venture

    May 20 2018

    For almost two years, Intermountain Healthcare—a Utah-based health system that boasts 22 hospitals, more than 180 clinics and its own health insurance plan—has been searching for the perfect home care partner to help it proactively keep elderly patients well and away from its own facilities. It found that partner more than 1,400 miles away. Earlier Read More

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