Home Health & Hospice

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Home Health & Hospice

Information, education, and guidance on complex topics such as Medicare compliance, agency management, coding and documentation, billing, aide training, and clinical management to help home health and hospice clinical staff, coders, staff educators, and administrators break down confusing regulations into easy-to-understand processes and procedures.

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  • Tip: Teach your nurses prioritization for administrative tasks

    Nurses new to home health struggle with the completion of documentation related to patient care. Helping nurses understand the documentation system (either electronic or paper) is essential to success. Supports must be in place for the nurse to ask questions to obtain clarification of the medical record system. Nurses need to have guidance and support regarding completion of documentation in a timely and efficient manner. One method is to teach and reinforce with nurses how to complete documentation in the patient home at the end of the visit and not wait until the end of the day.

    Read more.

  • MedPAC seeks 5% cut in new vote

    The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) has submitted a vote that recommends an additional five percent cut in the next annual Medicare payment rates for home health agencies. Legislative action would need to be taken to put this recommendation into effect.

    Read more at Post-Acute Advisor.


  • Ask the exper: Are home health agencies putting enough focus on quality and performance improvement?

    In the new year, it’s clear with new finalized Conditions of Participation that CMS will continue its focus on quality and performance improvement, especially with the advent of the new star ratings. But it’s difficult to achieve a high star rating without having an organizationwide performance improvement and quality plan. Facilities must not only focus on clinical issues, but also organizational efficiency to ensure they’re meeting identified goals.

    Shifting from a reactive approach to a formalized and proactive quality and performance initiative takes time and money. So, we wondered, are home health agencies doing enough in these areas? We asked Kelea Nardini, RN, MSN, director of Homecare for Parkview Medical Center in Pueblo, Colorado, to weigh in on where the industry stands—and what it can do to improve. Below is a summary of our questions and her responses.

  • What is exactly is the role of preceptors in home health? How can creating this role help with new nurse orientation?

    As new hires transition through the orientation process, their assigned preceptors will be key to the application of critical thinking in the clinical practice area. Regardless of experience level, new hires will look to their preceptors as role models for critical-thinking skills.

  • How can I effectively use discussion questions when teaching my nurses?

    Throughout all discussions, pose good questions to stimulate thinking. Questions include: “How does that work?” “What does that mean?” “What is the worst-case scenario here?” “What else do you need to know to make a decision?” “What makes this presentation different from the ordinary presentation?” “What do you want to do next, and why?”

  • When teaching critical thinking as it relates to patient care, what can I instill in my patients?

    The following examples demonstrate application of the concepts and approaches of critical thinking at the point of care. Strategies and attributes of critical thinking during care include the following abilities.

    Thinks independently

    • Analyzes written information provided by other healthcare providers regarding the patient.
    • Recognizes when the caseload is becoming difficult to manage, and recognizes need for assistance with setting priorities.
    • Initiates case conferences with other members of the interdisciplinary team.


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