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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  • 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.

  • My question is specific to nursing delegation to ALF staff who are not part of our agency or organization. Is this a common or known practice?

    Thanks for your question and commitment to compliance. Your agency staff routinely educates and trains non-skilled caregivers to care for your patients when the patient lives at home, and this includes family members. The ALF staff is viewed in the same manner, in that they are training the “caregivers” of the patient. There are assisted living laws that limit staff function, and the ALF must adhere to their scope. These laws vary from state to state.

  • Second year of home health utilization and payment data released

    The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) posted the second annual release of the home health agency Public Use File (PUF) on the Home Health Agencies Data webpage with data for 2014.

    The data is useful for home health agencies to understand the home health industry, but CMS does warn that there are limitations to the data, including a lack of quality data and the fact that the information is not risk-adjusted.

    Read more at Post-Acute Advisor.

  • Phase 2 of face-to-face probe to begin

    The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced Phase 2 of their initiative to “probe and educate” on face-to-face will begin mid-January 2017 for records that start on or after October 1, 2016.

    This means, like the first phase, contractors can ask for medical records from home health agency’s to begin their review. Five records will be selected, and a summary of the review will be sent. Providers will also have the opportunity with the medical review contractor for one-on-one education on the records.

    Read more at CMS.

  • CMS will select providers for national test of standardized patient assessment data in 2017

    On December 8, The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) hosted a special open door forum during which the agency explained the goals and timelines of the RAND contract, a project piloted as part of the IMPACT Act to create standardized patient assessment data that will serve as a common language across post-acute care settings.

    The RAND project has completed its first two phases – information gathering from September 2015 to April 2016 and pilot testing, which ran from August 2016 to June 2017 – and is now preparing for the third phase: National Beta testing of the standardized data. This national test is scheduled to occur in the Fall of 2017.

    Read more at Post-Acute Advisor.


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