Home Health & Hospice

Weeky Roundup

Homecare Insider, February 1, 2016

CMS finalizes Medicaid face to face rule
CMS has issued a final rule requiring physicians or authorized non-physician practitioners (NPP) conduct and document face-to-face visits with patients in order to receive Medicaid coverage for home health services and medical equipment. similar to regulations already in place for Medicare. The rule was released January 27 in the Federal Register and will go into effect July 1.

Under the rule, physicians must meet with Medicaid-eligible beneficiaries, and document the encounter, which must relate to the patient’s need for home health services. The meetings must occur no more than 90 days before or 30 days after the start of services—these timeframes align with similar regulatory requirements for Medicare home health services, CMS states.

Source: CMS 

First ‘stars’ come out on Home Health Compare
CMS last week posted the first Medicare Home Health Care Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HHCAHPS) Survey star ratings. The HHCAHPS measures, which evaluate patients’ experiences with home health agencies, were posted on the Home Health Compare website.

Home Health Compare provides information on how well Medicare-certified agencies provide care to their patients. Using data collected from patients, family, or friends of patients who have been treated by an agency, The HHCAHPS Survey reports patients’ experiences of care ranging from one star to five stars. Five stars is the highest rating and reflects the best patient experience.

Source: CMS

The Joint Commission launches palliative care certification
The Joint Commission has introduced a certification program for accredited homecare organizations that provide palliative care services. The new Community-Based Palliative Care (CBPC) add-on certification will be implemented July 1, according to the accreditor.

The CBPC certification is an optional program that will be evaluated at the time of an organization’s homecare accreditation survey. Organizations interested in pursuing CBPC certification must comply with both the existing Joint Commission home care requirements and additional CBPC-specific requirements.

The prepublication standards can be viewed on The Joint Commission’s website.

Source: The Joint Commission

Exercise can reduce need for ADL assistance in dementia patients
Regular exercise improves balance for people with some types of dementia and reduces their need for assistance with activities of daily living (ADL), according to research published recently in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

Investigators in Sweden studied 186 residents of 16 residential care facilities who were over 65, had dementia, and needed ADL assistance. Study participants were randomly assigned to one of two groups. Members of one group participated in an exercise program that aimed to improve leg strength, balance and walking, and was led by physiotherapists. Members of the other group participated in stimulating activities such as group conversations, singing and reading out loud. Sessions ran for 45 minutes each, two to three times per week, for four months.

All participants were tested before the study began as well as four and seven months after completion of the program. The researchers found that performing regular functional exercise can lead to an improved quality of life. Due to the progressive course of dementia, all participants’ abilities to independently manage everyday activities deteriorated over the course of the study, but the deterioration occurred at a slower pace in the exercise group, and members of that group had improved balance.

Source: McKnight’s Senior Living 

NHS will keep a remote eye on British dementia patients
As part of a National Health Service (NHS) pilot to allow dementia patients to stay in their own homes for a longer period of time, their refrigerators, teakettles, and curtains will be wired-up with remote monitors to make sure they are eating properly and getting out of bed. The remote monitoring program is one of six initiatives launched last week to revolutionize the health service through modern technology.

Seven areas across Britain have been chosen to take part in the pilots, which will issue state-of-the-art wearable technology to patients so their long term conditions can be monitored remotely without the need for visits to clinics or hospitals.

Source: The Telegraph