Home Health & Hospice

Weekly Roundup

Homecare Insider, January 11, 2016

It was a very good year for M&As

Home health sector mergers and acquisitions jumped in 2015. However, industry professionals predicted rising property valuations may stymie deals, and big players could face new contenders and higher acquisition prices in 2016.

M&A highlights of 2015 included:
•    The acquisition of Gentiva Health Services, Inc. by Kindred Healthcare Inc. for $1.8 billion
•    Amedisys Inc.’s purchase of Infinity HomeCare for $63 million
•    HealthSouth Corp.’s $170 million acquisition of CareSouth Health System Inc.

The coming year may produce more of the same, but steep valuations have narrowed some providers’ chances at certain acquisitions, according to industry experts. New contenders in the home health market—including senior living providers and private equity firms—could make plays in M&As as well.

Source: Home Health Care News

NQF Issues Preliminary Recommendations for the HHQRP

The National Quality Forum (NQF), Measure Application Partnership (MAP) is seeking input from the public for its preliminary recommendations on the CMS quality measures under consideration. This year’s CMS roster includes six quality measures for the home health quality reporting program (HHQRP).

The MAP will encourage continued development for five of the measures: Drug regimen review, falls risk composite process measure, total estimated Medicare spending per beneficiary, potentially preventable 30-Day post-discharge readmission measure for HHQRP (required under the IMPACT Act), and discharge to community-post acute care HHQRP (required under the IMPACT Act). The MAP will not encourage continued development of the measure for improvement in dyspnea in patients with a primary diagnosis of congestive heart failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and/or asthma.

The recommendations and measures can be accessed here. Public comments will be accepted through the end of day on Tuesday, January 12.

Source: NAHCH, NQF

CMS answers stakeholders' burning questions on HHVBP

CMS recently debuted an FAQ webpage that sheds light on key aspects of the home health value-based purchasing pilot program (HHVBP), which kicked off this month in nine states. FAQ topics include implementation, performance measures, data submission, and payments.

One query the resource addresses is when participating agencies will learn more about the performance indicators that will help determine the first round of payment adjustments in 2018. In the FAQ, CMS reveals that benchmarks and achievement thresholds for the pilot’s OASIS measures will become available in April 2016. Benchmarks and thresholds for HHCAHPS measures and claims measures will become available by July 2016. Because benchmarks and thresholds are usually based on industry averages that do not vary significantly over a period of several years, CMS anticipates that preliminary, aggregate-level numbers for these indicators will be released sooner.

Source:
CMS

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For even more orientation resources, check out the Hospice Orientation for the Interdisciplinary Team training video here, call us at 800-650-6787, or email Mary Stevens, Homecare Insider editor.