Home Health & Hospice

Weekly Roundup

Homecare Insider, December 14, 2015

Investors put faith in large home health agencies
According to the Stoneridge Partners Home Health Index,which tracks monthly changes in the share price of three NASDAQ-listed publicly traded home health companies—Almost Family, Amedisys, and LHC Group—the agencies are on a dramatic uptick. Overall, the Index surged 5.5% over October and November, hitting a new record-high of $43.17. On a monthly basis, LHC Group led with a 3.3% uptick in November. Amedisys was up 2.6% and Almost Family 2.1%.

Source: Stoneridge Partners 

MedPAC not recommending update to hospice for FY 2017
The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission, or MedPAC, held a meeting on December 10 to discuss the Medicare hospice benefit and review payment adequacy and benefit utilization. The talks are part of an overall discussion on payment recommendations MedPAC will include in its annual March Report to Congress.
Following consideration of these factors, the panel gave preliminary approval to a recommendation that Congress eliminate the hospice payment update for fiscal year (FY) 2017.

The Commission will meet in January to finalize its recommendations. MedPAC plans to monitor the redistributional impact of the payment reform changes, scheduled to go into effect on January 1, as part of future discussions of payment adequacy.

Source: NAHC  

Understanding value-based purchasing in the final rule

The final rule contains several notable changes to the proposed value-based purchasing (VBP) pilot set to launch on January 1, but one aspect has remained constant: the nine states whose entire populations of Medicare-certified home health agencies have been tapped for mandatory participation in the initial rollout. These states are Arizona, Florida, Iowa, Massachusetts, Maryland, North Carolina, Nebraska, Tennessee, and Washington.

J'non Griffin, RN, MHA, WCC, HCD-10, COS-C, owner and senior consultant at Home Health Solutions, LLC, in Carbon Hill, Alabama, says many of the implicated providers she's encountered are less than thrilled to be trailblazers. On the other hand, Peter Notarstefano, director of home-and community-based services at LeadingAge, a trade organization for nonprofit aging services providers in Washington, D.C., has gotten a more mixed reaction from the LeadingAge members gearing for the pilot.

Source: December 2015 issue of Homecare DIRECTION