Home Health & Hospice

The Weekly Roundup

Homecare Insider, October 26, 2015

Home health sees decline in readmission rates
The Alliance for Home Health Quality and Innovation (AHHQI), a national non-profit consortium of home health care providers, released a new report that shows that although home health patients remain older, poorer, and sicker than the general Medicare population, readmission rates to hospitals are on the decline. Click here to read the AHHQI press release.
 
Reliance on NPPs in home health increasing
The National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) has conducted a survey that indicates a rise in the use of non-physician practitioners (NPP) among home health providers. More than half of the 669 respondents to the survey said that 41-100% of their patients depend on an NPP as their primary or significant “medical” practitioner, as opposed to a physician. NAHC's website states that this high percentage supports the need for the passage of the Home Health Care Planning Improvement Act of 2015, which would allow NPPs to certify Medicare home health plans. Click here to read more on the NAHC website.
 
Minnesota home care union in jeopardy
Although the new union of thousands of home health aides in Minnesota has already negotiated benefits and working conditions for its members, the fate of that union is under question by two federal appeals judges. Opponents say that the union created by Service Employees International Union, which includes 27,000 workers, was created illegally since its members aren't full-fledged public employees. However, the union is voluntary, and members aren't obligated to pay dues. Proponents argue that aides are paid under Medicare, which is public dollars. Decisions on the case are months away. Click here to read more on the story.