Upcoming One Care Shared Learning Conference

May 29, 2014

MassHealth and UMass Medical School are hosting a One Care Shared Learning Conference at three different locations across the state in early June.

June 3, 2014 June 10, 2014 June 18, 2014
7:30 A.M. – 1:00 P.M.
Springfield Marriott
2 Boland Way,
Springfield, MA 01103Register for the
Springfield Conference
Before May 23, 2014
7:30 A.M. – 1:00 P.M.
Best Western Royal
Plaza – Marlborough
181 Boston Post Rd. W,
Marlborough, MA 01752Register for the
Marlborough Conference
Before May 27, 2014
7:30 A.M. – 1:00 P.M.
Four Points by
Sheraton – Norwood
1125 Boston Providence Turnpike,
Norwood, MA 02062Register for the
Norwood Conference
Before June 4, 2014

This conference will focus on “Integration of Primary Care, Behavioral Health and Community Supports in Real Life Cases: Developing and Implementing Person-Centered Care for People with Complex Health Care Needs.”

Who should attend?

This conference is primarily for primary care providers (PCPs), behavioral health clinicians, long term services and supports (LTSS) providers – including home care agencies – and other community based organizations involved in One Care.

This conference will focus on the collaboration among the members of an integrated care team, focusing on each of their roles in developing and implementing person-centered care for people with complex health care needs. There are a limited number of spots available, and One Care plan staff and their contracted providers will be given priority.

To register for one of these conferences or for more information, visit www.mass.gov/masshealth/onecare/learning

Download the Conference Agenda(https://onecarelearning.ehs.state.ma.us/pdf/One-Care-Conference-Flyer-Agenda.pdf

Return to www.thinkhomecare.org.


Summary of Conference Call WIth Senior CMS Officials on the Face-to-Face Rule

May 23, 2014

On May 20th, the Home Care Alliance of MA, along with several member agencies, physicians and a representative from the MA Medical Society had the opportunity to speak to a number of officials at CMS regarding problems with the face to face rule.  Among those on the call from CMS were: Laurence Wilson, Director, Chronic Care Policy Group;  Carol Blackford, Deputy Director, Chronic Care Policy Group and Randy Throndset, Director, Division of Home Health and Hospice.

Below is the summary of the meeting and our suggested fixes as sent to the CMS officials in a follow-up email.  Thank you to members Judy Flynn and Dr Mark Yurkofsky, Partners Health Care at Home; Robin Seidman, Metrowest Home Care & Hospice; Dr Richard Lopez and Keren Diamond, Atrius Health/VNA Care Network/VNAB,  Jeanne Ryan, VNA & Hospice of Cooley Dickinson, and Alex Calcagno, Mass Medical Society for participating and making such a strong presentation. Read the rest of this entry »


Advocacy Alert: Call and Email Your State Senator TODAY!

May 22, 2014

The budget amendments important to home care are up for debate today in the MA-State-HouseMassachusetts Senate.

The Home Care Alliance’s priority amendments include restoring the 20-percent rate cut for MassHealth home health visits past 60 days, creating a commission to study home health services and recommend oversight measures, and allowing MassHealth to continue their work to establish telehealth services provided by home care agencies.

We need calls and emails to be made NOW to senators to get support for the following amendments:

  • #684 – Senator Patricia D. Jehlen: Study Commission for Home Health Care Services and Oversight

Purpose: The Commonwealth is one of only five states without either licensure or a “determination of need” process for oversight of home health care. In recent years the Commonwealth has experienced rapid growth in the number of certified home health agencies. This proposal is in response to that growth and would help to identify the current number of home health agencies, services provided and available by region, and create recommendations for state oversight and quality standards.

  • #839 – Senator Kathleen O’Connor-Ives: Restoring Home Nursing Rates

Purpose: This budget language seeks to restore the MassHealth rate for home health nursing visits past 60 days of care to the payment level prior to the rate cut of December 1, 2008 so that patients with the most severe conditions can have their care continued and remain independent at home. This amendment creates a consistent rate for as long as an individual on MassHealth requires home health care.

  • #929 – Senator Richard T. Moore: Establishing Reimbursement for Telehealth Services Provided by Home Health Agencies

Purpose: Maintain language from the FY2014 budget that established MassHealth reimbursement for home telehealth services provided by a home health agency, immediately providing cost savings and more efficient care. MassHealth is in the process of building corresponding rates and guidelines.

The Alliance is also supporting the Homemaker Wage Increase (#683) and increased funding for the state’s elder services programs (#687).

A full update will be available when the Senate completes debate, but HCA members and advocates can still send an email to their state senator here and follow the Alliance on Twitter (@thinkhomecare) for updates.

Return to www.thinkhomecare.org.


Six Days Until the New England Conference

May 22, 2014

NEHCC Banner

There’s just six days left to register for the New England Home Care Conference & Trade Show.

The NEHCC is the region’s biggest home care event, with hundreds of home care professionals attending, 20 workshops, three intensive programs, dozens of exhibitors, and six of the best keynote speakers in the industry.

The conference begins a week from today, and continues through May 30.  The venue this year is the Boston Park Plaza Hotel, located in downtown Boston, just a block from the historic Common.

Registration begins at just $275 for members for two days and is $345 for the full conference.  To attend, either register online or download, complete, and fax/email the brochure.

Highlights this year include:

  • Separate tracks for Home Health & Reform, Clinical Compliance, Management/HR, Finance & Technology, and Private Duty;
  • Keynote addresses from Karen Dillon, Jeannee Parker Martin, Richard Lopez, Michael Chernew, and Kathy Duckett;
  • Nearly 70 exhibitors including medical suppliers, software vendors, telephone services, and insurance providers.

Don’t forget to follow the conference’s tweet @NEHCCTS.  Besides having the latest updates on the conference — both before and during the conference, we’ll also be running contents through the account.

Return to www.thinkhomecare.org.


State Senate Proposes $36.2 billion Budget Plan with New Opportunities for Home Care

May 14, 2014

The Massachusetts Senate’s Ways & Means Committee took their turn in the state budget-crafting process with a $36.2 billion proposal that increases total state spending by almost $1.7 billion from this year.

Although some programs in the Elder Services line items took a hit, as did the MassHealth Senior Care Account, the Senate proposed other new items that pose potential opportunity.

In what is known as an “outside section,” which is a section of an appropriation bill that can create new policies, the Senate created a Home and Community-Based Services Policy Lab. According to the language, the policy lab would start with $500,000 of state funds to evaluate and analyze the outcomes and effectiveness of home and community-based services under the Secretary of Elder Affairs. This includes the state Home Care Program administered through Aging Service Access Points (ASAP’s) that contract with Home Care Alliance members.

This “policy lab,” which appears to be a program evaluation of state government-funded home and community-based services, could be the beginning of proving the effectiveness of services such as those provided by home care agencies. More information on this will be released as details are released.

Also, in another “outside section,” the Senate Ways & Means Committee created a new Community First Trust Fund, which is intended for enhanced federal financial participation (FFP) funding for the state that is tied to the Balanced Incentive Payment program (BIP), among other programs. In a previous blog post, the HCA reported on the state’s intentions around the BIP initiative that will bring more support to non-institutional long-term care services.

More budget analysis will come out in the coming days, including the Home Care Alliance’s budget amendment priorities where HCA members can help by contacting their state senators. The Alliance plans on repeating proposals to advance telehealth in home care, better MassHealth rates, and a study commission of home health care services and possible oversight recommendations.

Return to www.thinkhomecare.org.


Chance to Win Two Sox Tickets At the N.E. Home Care Conference

May 5, 2014

Red SoxThe New England Home Care Conference is just around the corner — May 28-30 — and we’re pleased to offer our members a special promotion: register before May 9, 2014 and you’ll be entered to win one of two tickets to the Red Sox’s May 29 game against the Atlanta Braves.

The NEHCC is the biggest annual home care conference in the region, with hundreds of home care professionals attending, 20 workshops, three intensive programs, more than 70 exhibitors, and six of the best keynote speakers in the industry.

All this and a chance to spend an evening at Fenway Park?  Full details here.

Return to www.thinkhomecare.org.


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