Posts by Robert Holly:

  • M&A and Financing Newsflash: PE Firm Invests in Arosa+LivHOME, MBF Healthcare Partners to Acquire Stake in Affinity

    Oct 18 2018

    MBF Healthcare Partners Makes Play for Affinity Hospice Coral Gables, Florida-based MBF Healthcare Partners, a middle-market health care private equity fund, has executed a definitive agreement to acquire a majority interest in Affinity Hospice. Financial terms were not disclosed. Affinity Hospice provides end-of-life services throughout Alabama and Georgia. The hospice provider is based in Birmingham, Read More

  • CareLinx Partners with Lacuna Health, Connects Caregivers to Insurance Options

    Oct 18 2018

    National online home care service platform CareLinx and care management powerhouse Lacuna Health are teaming up in a new model that their top executives see as a boon for both businesses. CareLinx, which AARP recently named as a preferred provider for in-home care, connects seniors across the U.S. to its network of technology-enabled and thoroughly Read More

  • FirstLight CEO: New Brain Health Program Reflects ‘Home Care of the Future’

    Oct 18 2018

    FirstLight Home Care, a provider of non-medical home care with a recent history of innovative care initiatives, has added yet another specialized program to its business mix. Its newest offering, Ageless Grace, is designed to foster neuroplasticity and overall brain health. The Cincinnati-based home care franchisor announced the new program earlier this month. Brain fitness Read More

  • Best Buy’s GreatCall Teams Up with Insurer to Provide Remote Patient Monitoring

    Oct 17 2018

    GreatCall, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Best Buy (NYSE: BBY) that makes technology for seniors hoping to age in place, has signed a five-year deal with a Massachusetts health insurer to provide in-home, passive monitoring devices to its high-risk members. As part of the newly announced deal, San Diego-based GreatCall will bring its Lively Home monitoring Read More

  • ‘Payvidor’ Devoted Health Raises $300M, Touts Value of Home-Based Care

    Oct 17 2018

    Devoted Health, a health care startup trying to carve out a dual role as Medicare Advantage (MA) plan and home-based provider, launched earlier this week with a bang. The Waltham, Massachusetts-based company officially launched Tuesday by enrolling eligible MA members across eight counties in south and central Florida. In addition to launching, Devoted Health also Read More

  • Secrets for Striking Successful Relationships Between Hospice Providers, SNFs

    Oct 16 2018

    For hospice providers, a skilled nursing facility (SNF) can be a reservoir of possible patients and a potential boost to business. Managing those working relationships, though, can often be complicated, messy and filled with challenges. Hospice legal experts, association officials and executives discussed the secrets to maintaining successful relationships between SNFs and hospices during an Read More

  • Worker Shortages, Dementia Prevalence Driving Rising Cost for In-Home Care

    Oct 16 2018

    A shortage of skilled workers, higher minimum wages, confusing regulations and a greater incidence of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia are all causing the cost of in-home care to rise, though not as fast as those in other long-term care sectors. Between 2017 and 2018, the annual median cost for a home health aide increased 2.33% Read More

  • Improving Patient Prioritization During Care Transitions Could Halve Re-Hospitalization Rates

    Oct 16 2018

    Being able to better prioritize patients based on their medical needs and health status upon their hospital discharge can improve home care timing, halve readmission rates and offset staffing challenges. Those are the main takeaways from a study published last month in the journal Research in Nursing & Health. “The idea is that if you Read More

  • HHS: Medicare Advantage Plans Improperly Denying Claims

    Oct 15 2018

    Roughly one-third of Medicare beneficiaries are currently signed up for Medicare Advantage (MA) plans, the private-insurance alternative to the traditional Medicare program. That figure is growing rapidly, too, especially as more Americans become aware of the non-medical, at-home care services available through MA plans as supplemental benefits starting in 2019. While popular, the MA program Read More

  • ‘Grandkids On-Demand’ Startup Raises $2.4M, Building MA Partnerships

    Oct 15 2018

    Care providers are closely watching the Medicare Advantage (MA) market to see how insurers carve in home care services under the expanded supplemental benefits that are coming in 2019. Traditional providers aren’t the only groups paying attention, though, as companies operating on the fringes of home-based care are also eyeing MA opportunities. The latest: Papa, Read More

  • [Updated] Inside Amedisys’ Industry-Shaping Play for Compassionate Care Hospice

    Oct 14 2018

    Any anxieties investors had over external growth activity for Amedisys, Inc. (Nasdaq: AMED) were likely alleviated last week when the Baton Rouge, Louisiana-based home health giant announced its $340 million agreement to acquire Compassionate Care Hospice. Indeed, after acquiring the Parsipanny, New Jersey-based company, Amedisys is expected to become the hospice industry’s third-largest provider, operating Read More

  • Home Health Industry Can’t Fight CMS’ New Pre-Claim Review Initiative

    Oct 14 2018

    To combat improper billing, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) in 2016 rolled out the controversial pre-claim review demonstration in Illinois, an initiative that required home health providers to send in their claims earlier in the care process. With the help of Congress, however, stakeholders were able to seemingly stop pre-claim review dead in its tracks. Read More

  • Rumors Swirl Around Possible BrightSpring, Civitas Sales

    Oct 11 2018

    Persistent rumors are swirling around a potential sale of home care services provider BrightSpring Health, formerly known as ResCare, by private equity ownership group Onex Corp. Civitas Solutions Inc. (NYSE: CIVI), another large home- and community-based service provider to individuals with disabilities, has now become subject to sale speculation as well. Louisville, Kentucky-based BrightSpring and Read More

  • Starbucks Offers Subsidized Senior Care, Membership to Workers

    Oct 11 2018

    Starbucks (Nasdaq: SBUX), the multibillion-dollar coffee company with more than 14,000 locations across the United States, has added a few big senior care services to its employee benefits package. Moving forward, Seattle-based Starbucks will heavily subsidize up to 10 backup care days each year to help workers juggle their jobs and caregiving responsibilities, the company Read More

  • Amedisys Buys Compassionate Care for $340M, Will Become Third-Largest US Hospice Provider

    Oct 10 2018

    Amedisys Inc. (Nasdaq: AMED) is executing an industry-shaping deal with one of the country’s largest hospice providers, adding further fuel to a white-hot M&A market. Home health, hospice and personal care powerhouse Amedisys announced Wednesday that is has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Parsippany, New Jersey-based Compassionate Care Hospice for a fixed price of Read More

  • Online Home Care Network CareLinx Lands ‘Massive’ AARP Partnership

    Oct 09 2018

    CareLinx has landed a new AARP partnership with “massive” business upside, according to Sherwin Sheik, the online home care network’s CEO. Founded in 2011, San Francisco-based CareLinx connects individuals across the country in need of home care services to its pool of more than 300,000 vetted, licensed and technology-enabled caregivers. The company — purchased in Read More

  • Home Health Providers Can Still Break into Markets with Narrow Networks

    Oct 07 2018

    Breaking into a hospital or health system’s narrow network of preferred providers can sometimes feel like an impossible task for small- to mid-sized home health agencies. But home health sales teams shouldn’t stop trying to make inroads altogether, as plenty of opportunities still exist even in the most restricted networks. Industry executives discussed success strategies Read More

  • CMS Proposes Pre-Claim Start Date, EVV Implementation Survey

    Oct 07 2018

    The Patient-Driven Groupings Model (PDGM) has dominated the home health industry’s regulatory conversations of late, which is understandable, as it’s likely the biggest policy shift from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) in the past few decades. There are several other regulatory items flying under the radar, however, including the potential reincarnation of Read More

  • 3 Ways Home Care Providers Can Win Health Plan Attention

    Oct 04 2018

    Health plans big and small have recognized the value home-based care providers bring to the table in terms of avoiding costly hospital readmissions and supporting America’s seniors as they age in place. But forging initial relationships with insurers — especially top Medicare Advantage (MA) players, such as UnitedHealthcare (NYSE: UNH), Humana Inc. (NYSE: HUM) and Read More

  • Amazon’s $15 Minimum Wage Turns Up the Heat on Home Care Providers

    Oct 03 2018

    Online retail giant Amazon (Nasdaq: AMZN) has turned up the heat on U.S. home care agencies in the battle to attract and retain workers. Amazon has pledged to increase its minimum wage to $15 for all full-time, part-time, temporary and seasonal employees, regardless of where they work or what their position is, starting next month. Read More

  • Landmark, Blue Shield of CA Expand Home Care Program

    Oct 02 2018

    Landmark Health and Blue Shield of California are expanding a tag-team home care program launched earlier this year for patients with complex health issues and multiple chronic conditions. Blue Shield of California and subsidiary Care1st Health Plan have been collaborating since April with Landmark Health, an in-home medical company with private equity backing, as part Read More

  • Anthem Adds Home Care Benefits Under Relaxed Medicare Advantage Rule

    Oct 01 2018

    Home care providers have been wondering how insurers will capitalize on the allowance of non-skilled in-home care services under the Medicare Advantage (MA) program since policymakers initially opened that door in early spring. They’re now starting to get some clarity, thanks to Anthem, Inc. (NYSE: ANTM), one of the top players in the MA market. Read More

  • As Insurers Unveil Expanded MA Offerings, CMS Touts Program’s Success

    Oct 01 2018

    Hundreds of Medicare Advantage plans (MA) are expected to make use of newfound leeway given to them on supplemental benefits by federal policymakers earlier this year. That added elbow room includes potential opportunities for home care providers as well. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) touted the growth and evolution of the MA Read More

  • Legislation Targeting Home Health Reforms Gaining Ground on Capitol Hill

    Sep 30 2018

    Industry-backed legislative efforts to take the teeth out of proposed home health payment reform are gaining ground on Capitol Hill. On Thursday, Rep. Ralph Abraham (R-La.) introduced H.R. 6932, a new bill that amends several provisions of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 to thwart widely opposed behavioral adjustment aspects of the Patient-Driven Groupings Model Read More

  • Humana, Amedisys, Homewatch CareGivers Strategize for New Home Health Paradigm

    Sep 30 2018

    Home health agencies have traditionally staked their claims within the continuum of care as post-acute service providers, serving patients who are discharged from hospitals, often after experiencing traumatic medical events. Advances in predictive modeling, data analytics and overall care delivery — coupled with a chronically ill patient population — are now prompting the home health Read More

  • Care Indeed, Great Lakes Caring Among ‘Best Workplaces’ in Aging Services Sector

    Sep 27 2018

    Fortune’s first-ever list of the top 50 workplaces in the aging services sector officially dropped on Thursday, giving several home-based care providers a chance to shine and flaunt their company culture. Care Indeed, Cherished Companions Home Care and 24Hr HomeCare are among the non-medical home care companies to make 2018’s top workplaces list, compiled by Read More

  • M&A and Financing Newsflash: Regent Completes Loving Touch Deal, Sonas Acquires Advanced Nursing Solutions

    Sep 26 2018

    Regent Acquires Loving Touch Home Care Regent Healthcare — one of the largest, non-franchised home care agencies in central Maryland — has completed its acquisition of Loving Touch Home Care. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. Odenton, Maryland-based Regent Healthcare is a Joint Commission-accredited home care agency that provides in-home companionship, personal care Read More

  • Home Health, Hospice Admissions Rise as Americans Age into Medicare at Historic Pace

    Sep 26 2018

    Americans are aging into the Medicare system faster than ever, contributing to the continued rise of home health and hospice admissions in 2018. Increased admissions come despite the fact hospitals are still discharging more of their patients to skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) or home without any post-acute care services. That’s according to Excel Health’s latest Read More

  • Cypress HomeCare Achieves High Margins, Quality Outcomes with Dementia Program

    Sep 25 2018

    The number of people living in the U.S. with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia is expected to double over the next four decades, new research from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has found. To prepare for that rising wave, many home care agencies have started investing in specialized business lines entirely devoted to Read More

  • Home Health, Hospice Experiencing Unprecedented M&A Action

    Sep 24 2018

    Thanks to heightened interest from private equity buyers and companies’ efforts to diversify business operations, 2018 has seen an acceleration in the number and size of home health, hospice and personal care transactions. The hot market should continue going forward, although the new home health payment model and sky-high valuations raise some questions about what Read More

  • Tech Beat: PointClickCare Partners with Bridge Connector, Bowes In Home Care Joins enTouch Network

    Sep 24 2018

    PointClickCare Enters into Strategic Partnership, Opens New Office Location PointClickCare Technologies and Bridge Connector have formed a strategic partnership aimed at strengthening the transferring of patient data across different systems. Mississauga, Ontario-based PointClickCare is a cloud-based software vendor for the long-term and post-acute care sectors. As a company, PointClickCare’s solutions help providers optimize financial performance, Read More

  • Movers & Shakers: LHC Group’s New Strategy Exec, Compassus Adds Chief Growth Officer

    Sep 23 2018

    LHC Group Promotes Bruce Greenstein to Chief Strategy Officer Just a few months after announcing his hire, LHC Group (Nasdaq: LHCG) has promoted Bruce Greenstein to executive vice president and chief strategy and innovation officer. Greenstein — who previously served as chief technology officer for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services — first Read More

  • Amedisys CEO: New Senate Bill Aims to Take the Teeth Out of PDGM

    Sep 20 2018

    The home health industry — with the help of at least two members of Congress — has fired a salvo against the proposed Patient-Driven Groupings Model (PDGM) through a new federal bill introduced earlier this week. The legislation takes aim at the aspect of PDGM known as behavioral adjustments, which have been fervently opposed by Read More

  • Home Health Investors Undaunted, Stocks Continue Upward March

    Sep 20 2018

    Not much has shaken home health stocks so far in 2018 — not even the proposed Patient-Driven Groupings Model (PDGM) or the potential introduction of an updated pre-claim review initiative. Home health stocks appear to be continuing their upward march, according to the most recent update to Stoneridge Partners’ Home Health Index (HHI), updated monthly. Read More

  • Fitbit, Humana Tackling Chronic Conditions with New Platform

    Sep 19 2018

    Wearable-technology company Fitbit (NYSE: FIT) and insurance giant Humana Inc. (NYSE: HUM) are turning their partnership up a notch to better prevent and manage chronic conditions. San Francisco-based Fitbit announced Wednesday that Louisville, Kentucky-based Humana has chosen the tech company’s new Fitbit Care platform as a preferred health coaching solution for more than 5 million Read More

  • Aliviado Teams with Home Health Providers to Slash Dementia-Related Readmissions

    Sep 18 2018

    Roughly one out of every three patients receiving home health care services has some form of dementia. The numbers are similar, though slightly smaller, for hospice. Despite this prevalence, many home-based caregivers lack the training and educational expertise to provide care that’s truly effective. Aliviado Health, a new initiative run out of the Hartford Institute Read More

  • LHC Group CEO: New Payment Model Could Be ‘Penny Wise and Pound Foolish’

    Sep 17 2018

    The Patient-Driven Groupings Model (PDGM) is a once-in-a-generation type of change to the home health landscape, yet there is little data to back it up, according to Keith Myers, CEO and chairman of LHC Group (Nasdaq: LHCG). Myers is also chairman of the Partnership for Quality Home Healthcare, among the groups that together submitted more Read More

  • New CMS Proposal Would Save Home Health, Hospice $137M Annually

    Sep 17 2018

    Federal policymakers are again taking aim at costly administrative and paperwork burdens for the home health and hospice industries in order to help providers save tens of millions of dollars annually. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) on Monday announced its latest proposed rule focused on minimizing burdens on home health agencies, hospice Read More

  • What Assisted Living Providers Want From Home Care Partnerships

    Sep 16 2018

    Assisted living and home care providers frequently form close partnerships to help seniors age in place. Working within an assisted living community presents significant business upside for home care agencies, but successfully establishing and maintaining those connections can often be difficult. Leaders from two Midwestern assisted living communities provided insight into how and when they Read More

  • MA Risk Adjustment Fails to Account for Beneficiaries’ Functional Limitations

    Sep 16 2018

    Due to current risk adjustment methods, Medicare Advantage (MA) plans may be underestimating annual fee-for-service spending for beneficiaries with functional limitations and overestimating spending for those without them. If true, that could mean an even greater MA role for home health providers, who routinely gather, store and analyze data related to the functional ability of Read More

  • How Apple’s New Smartwatch Could Help Home-Based Care Providers

    Sep 13 2018

    Technology powerhouse Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) on Wednesday gave tech lovers a peek at its redesigned and re-engineered Apple Watch product. By touting the device’s updated health capabilities, such as a new fall-detection feature and heart rate sensor, Cupertino, California-based Apple likely caught the attention of home-based care providers, too. Curbing re-hospitalizations and emergency department visits Read More

  • TPG-Backed Mediware Rebrands as WellSky, Hits $260M in Revenue

    Sep 12 2018

    One of the biggest and most active home health and hospice technology partners is taking its rapidly growing business in a new direction. Lenexa, Kansas-based Mediware Information Systems, Inc., a portfolio company of TPG Capital, announced Tuesday it’s rebranding as WellSky. In doing so, the company is effectively merging more than 30 unique health care Read More

  • Tech Beat: Capitol Home Health Pursuing Telehealth, Emails Hacked at Ohio Provider

    Sep 11 2018

    Capitol Home Health Launches Telehealth Partnership  Capitol Home Health is partnering with telehealth company Health Recovery Solutions (HRS) on an effort to bring remote care capabilities to Medicare patients with congestive heart failure. Austin-based Capitol Home Health, recently recognized by Inc. as one of the fastest-growing privately held companies in the United states, provides skilled Read More

  • Eliminating LTACs Could Save Medicare Billions, Boost Home Health

    Sep 11 2018

    Each year, Medicare spends billions of taxpayer dollars to help pay for long-term care hospitals (LTCHs), also commonly referred to as long-term acute care hospitals (LTACs). Doing so is incredibly wasteful, critics argue, especially when equal or better care can likely be achieved for far less by skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) and home health care Read More

  • With 3-Year Growth of 2,017%, HealthFlex Leads List of Up-and-Coming Home Health Businesses

    Sep 10 2018

    Fueled by astronomical three-year growth levels, several privately held home health companies are again among the fastest-growing and most inspiring U.S. businesses in 2018. That’s at least according to the latest rankings from Inc. The magazine puts together annual “Inc. 500” and “Inc. 5000” lists for its readers. Released in August, this year’s Inc. 5000 Read More

  • Interim HealthCare Names Tracy Clark as COO

    Sep 09 2018

    To help navigate the wave of consolidation in home-based care and strengthen its retention efforts, Interim HealthCare Inc. announced Thursday that Tracy Clark will serve as the international home care and hospice franchisor’s newest COO. Founded in 1966 and currently part of Caring Brands International, Sunrise, Florida-based Interim oversees more than 530 franchise locations in Read More

  • CJR Quickly Steered Patients Toward Home Health, Reduced Medicare Spending

    Sep 09 2018

    To achieve cost savings, hospitals participating in the Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement (CJR) program started discharging more patients to home health agencies instead of institutional post-acute care settings in the first year of the bundled payment model, a new report confirms. CJR encourages hospitals, physicians and post-acute care providers to work together in order Read More

  • Honor Touts Employee Loyalty, Preps to Cast Wider Net for Talent

    Sep 06 2018

    Home care agencies throughout the United States often face difficulties in finding and keeping their caregivers, which are tasks sometimes made even more challenging by providers’ inability to offer competitive wages and steady hours. Honor, buoyed by scale and a technology platform, says it’s succeeding in cracking the retention code. The San Francisco-based home care Read More

  • Dozens of NYC Home Care Agencies Investigated, Fined for Labor Violations

    Sep 05 2018

    Throughout the past several months, New York City officials have been investigating area home care agencies following reports of widespread noncompliance with labor laws and regulations. Findings from the major enforcement initiative — which has already resulted in tens of thousands of dollars in restitution and fines — were formally announced Tuesday by the New York Read More

  • LHC Group, Addus Discuss Growth and Payer Partnerships

    Sep 05 2018

    Executives from LHC Group (Nasdaq: LHCG) and Addus HomeCare Corporation (Nasdaq: ADUS) highlighted the growth of their respective companies on Wednesday, while also providing updates on key acquisitions and prospective partnerships with payer sources. Keith Myers, chairman and CEO of LHC Group, and Dirk Allison, president and CEO of Addus, provided insight into their companies’ Read More

  • Home Care Industry Strives to Stay Off ‘Regulatory Menu’

    Sep 04 2018

    Throughout the past few years, home-based care — especially the private-duty industry — has gained greater recognition as a key part of the overall health care continuum. With that increased prominence, though, has come greater scrutiny. As part of an increase in attention, home health and hospice providers alike have made strategic moves to add Read More

  • M&A and Financing Newsflash: Homewatch CareGivers Expands, CorLife Adds Home Health Company

    Sep 04 2018

    Homewatch CareGivers has made a string of new business announcements related to location ownership and franchise expansion. Greenwood  Village, Colorado-based Homewatch Caregivers provides home-based care services for seniors, individuals with developmental and physical disabilities, and those who recently underwent surgeries. Homewatch Caregivers has more than 200 franchised units across 34 U.S. states, as well as Read More

  • Baby Boomers Shake Off ‘Seniors,’ ‘Perennials’ and Other Aging Labels

    Sep 03 2018

    Home-based care providers may need to rethink how they refer to their baby boomer clients, as many have rejected traditional labels describing older adults in favor of more inventive alternatives. Indeed, the widely accepted tag of “senior” seems to be on its way out, along with other labels such as “aged” or “elderly,” which never Read More

  • Heart Failure Patients Likelier to Be Re-Hospitalized if Receiving Home Health

    Sep 03 2018

    Home health providers throughout the industry often tout their success in curbing hospital readmissions. Exactly how well providers hit on that mission, though, is being called into question. Medicare patients hospitalized for heart failure and referred to a home health agency for care after discharge may be at “a significantly higher risk” of 30-day all-cause Read More

  • Amedisys Invests in Predictive Analytics Firm Medalogix to Drive Value-Based Strategy

    Aug 30 2018

    Amedisys, Inc. (Nasdaq: AMED) has landed a minority stake in predictive analytics firm Medalogix. As one of the largest independent home health, hospice and personal care companies in the country, Amedisys has been actively striving to establish arrangements and partnerships with managed care organizations. Its Medalogix investment, announced on Wednesday, will advance that goal by Read More

  • Trinity, VNA Home Care Forge Collaboration to Overcome State Regulatory Hurdles

    Aug 30 2018

    With state regulations limiting access to home health for people living on the border of Indiana and Michigan, two agencies managed to find a creative solution to deliver care in those markets. The collaboration involves a Trinity Health At Home agency in west Michigan and Saint Joseph Health System’s VNA Home Care in Indiana. The Read More

  • CMS Releases Latest Version of Comprehensive Home Health Data Set

    Aug 29 2018

    As part of its ongoing mission to increase transparency and better inform health care stakeholders, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has rolled out the fourth version of a massive data set highlighting utilization, payment and demographic information culled from thousands of home health providers. Released on Tuesday, the Home Health Agency Public Read More

  • Adventist Health System Prioritizing Post-Acute Services, Whole-Person Care With Rebranding

    Aug 28 2018

    One of the nation’s largest faith-based health care systems is changing its name as part of its push toward whole-person care and an ongoing commitment to home-based services. Altamonte Springs-based Adventist Health System announced earlier in August that its entire network will rebrand to AdventHealth at the start of next year. The planned name and Read More

  • With Seniors in Mind, Humana to Open Boston-Based Digital Health Center

    Aug 27 2018

    Insurance powerhouse and rising home health player Humana Inc. (NYSE: HUM) is planning to open a new center for digital health and analytics in Boston’s Seaport neighborhood. The health care company plans to complete the 40,000-square-foot center, known as Humana Studio H, in the summer of 2019. Employing a projected 250 people within the next Read More

  • M&A and Financing Newsflash: Bristol Hospice Expands, Capital One Keeps Top Spot

    Aug 27 2018

    Bristol Hospital Buys Suncrest’s Colorado Operations  Bristol Hospice has acquired the Colorado operations of Suncrest Hospice LLC, one of the largest for-profit hospice providers in Colorado. Financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed. Salt Lake City-based Bristol Hospice, a portfolio company of private equity firm Webster Capital, operates and manages hospice programs in eight Read More

  • Home Care Execs Eye Bigger Opportunity Beyond New Medicare Advantage Benefits

    Aug 26 2018

    Starting next year, Medicare Advantage (MA) plans will be able to cover a bigger slice of the in-home care pie, including non-skilled personal care. Industry execs see the expansion of home care services under MA as a potential proving ground for personal care services and a positive step toward a broader Medicare rollout down the Read More

  • CMS Reports Widespread Quality Improvement in Latest Hospice Compare Update

    Aug 26 2018

    The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) updated data on its Hospice Compare website earlier this month—and all quality measures showed overall improvement. Launched in August 2017, the Hospice Compare tool reports information on hospices across the nation and is designed to give patients, family members and health care providers a snapshot of the Read More

  • Other Providers Can Now Tap Kindred’s ‘Lacuna Health’ Care Management Capabilities

    Aug 23 2018

    A subsidiary of Kindred Healthcare is expanding to help home health providers, skilled nursing facilities and other post-acute care providers deliver on promises of patient-centered care. The subsidiary—Lacuna Health—publicly announced its name and mission on Thursday. Officially formed in January of this year, Lacuna Health is wholly-owned by Louisville, Kentucky-based Kindred Healthcare, standing as a separate Read More

  • Home Health Aides Feel Like ‘Replaceable Parts,’ Lack Agency Emotional Support

    Aug 22 2018

    Efforts to recruit and retain home health workers typically focus on improving their economic and physical well-being, such as through wage increases, safety training or medical benefits. Although these retention strategies are important, they fail to address the “emotional labor” toll on workers, which regularly leads to burnout and a negative impact on a provider’s Read More

  • M&A and Financing Newsflash: Addus Nets $59M After Public Offering, Care Advantage Acquires Two Home Care Providers

    Aug 22 2018

    Addus Closes Public Offering of Common Stock Frisco, Texas-based Addus HomeCare Corporation (Nasdaq: ADUS) has closed an underwritten public offering of 2,100,000 shares of its common stock at a public offering price of $59.00 per share. Addus is a provider of home care, home health and hospices services operating in 157 locations across 25 states. Read More

  • 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

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