MHA, ONL & HCA Publish Latest Quality Measures for Hospitals, Home Health Agencies

February 18, 2016

The Massachusetts Hospital Association (MHA), Organization of Nurse Leaders of MA, RI, NH & CT (ONL) and Home Care Alliance of Massachusetts have publicly posted the latest available key national care quality performance measures for both hospitals and home healthcare agencies in Massachusetts. Data from Medicare’s Hospital Compare and Home Health Compare are now available on the PatientCareLink website for 77 Bay State hospitals and 89 Bay State home health agencies.Patientcarelink logo

Reported measures for hospitals include best practices for heart attack or chest pain, heart failure, pneumonia care, influenza prevention, surgical care improvement, stroke care and blood clot prevention and treatment. For home care agencies, the reported measures include timely initiation of care, patient/family medication education, depression assessment, and more.

To view the updated reports, visit www.patientcarelink.org and click on the “Healthcare Provider Data” tab and then either the “Hospital Data” or “Home Health Agency Data” link, then “Individual Hospital Performance Measures” or “Select an Agency.”

The home health agency reports now incorporate data for the period June 2014 – July 2015 for all measures, and the hospital reports cover April 2014 – March 2015. In addition to each facility’s individual performance, the PCL pages also provide a comparison to state and U.S. “peer” facility averages.

“Providing high quality, safe patient care is a top priority for Massachusetts hospitals,” said Pat Noga, PhD, RN, Vice President of Clinical Affairs for MHA. “Our hospitals are also committed to publicly posting important quality and staffing information to provide patients and caregivers alike additional confidence in their care.”

Patricia Kelleher, Executive Director of the Home Care Alliance of MA, added that the partnership between hospitals and home health agencies on PCL furthers positive working relationships along the entire continuum of care, which can only improve patient safety and quality overall.

“Choosing in-home services can be a daunting task and that’s why we’re proud that PatientCare Link (PCL) website allows patients and their families to find high-quality care in the home setting that fits their needs,” Kelleher said. “PCL includes Medicare-approved agencies that meet certain federal health and safety requirements, and provides patients, caregivers, and families the tool to easily access home health agency quality data to take control of their care and their health.”

Massachusetts was the first state to voluntarily make hospital staffing and nursing-sensitive quality information public starting in 2006. Home Care Alliance of Massachusetts joined the PCL quality and patient safety transparency effort in 2013. The PatientCareLink website is a great resource and gives patients an open and transparent view of the hospitals providing them care.

Hospitals and home care agencies welcome transparency about their performance when performance measures are grounded in good science and are designed to make fair comparisons across institutions. Publicly reported performance data can offer several benefits, including:

  • Offering useful information for making decisions about where to obtain healthcare
  • Helping healthcare professionals and institutions improve the care they deliver; and
  • Providing extra motivation to improve performance.

Return to www.thinkhomecare.org.


Prior Authorization Demo Proposed by CMS

February 8, 2016

Piling on top of existing pilots and demonstrations, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services have released another proposed program that would establish Medicare prior authorizations and a fraud measurement pilot.

Massachusetts is one of five states – along with Florida, Texas, Illinois and Michigan – selected for the prior authorization demonstration. There are no details on what the authorizations would entail in the proposed demonstration aside from CMS stating that it would be similar to “Prior Authorization of Power Mobility Device (PMD) Demonstration, which was implemented by CMS in 2012.” The rule continues that “this demonstration would also follow and adopt prior authorization processes that currently exist in other health care programs such as TRICARE, certain state Medicaid programs, and in private insurance.”

CMS’ reasoning for implementing such a program a belief that it will help assist in “developing improved procedures for the identification, investigation, and prosecution of Medicare fraud occurring among HHAs providing services to Medicare beneficiaries.”

According to CMS, Medicare contractors will request the information from home health agency providers submitting claims for payment from the Medicare program in advance to determine appropriate payment.

The second piece of the CMS’ proposal is titled the “Medicare Probable Fraud Measurement Pilot.” The pilot would establish a baseline estimate of probable fraud in Medicare fee-for-service payments for home health care.

CMS purports that this would be accomplished using, at least in part, a summary of the service history of the HHA, the referring provider, and the beneficiary to estimate the percentage of total payments that are associated with probable fraud and the percentage of all claims that are associated with probable fraud for Medicare fee-for-service home health.

HCA is currently working to get more details on this demonstration so as to devise an advocacy strategy.

Comments on the proposed demonstration are due by April 5th and details are available here on the Federal Register.

Return to www.thinkhomecare.org.


Leadership Summit: Mission Possible Theme Song Released

February 4, 2016

For those of you that attended the 2016 Northeast Home Health Leadership Summit, you know that the closing keynote, Angus Clark with Song Division, worked with everyone to create a theme song for the conference.

Angus used this engaging session to utilize the songwriting process to demonstrate the qualities your people need to cultivate collectively to innovate, succeed and create as a cohesive unit. The practical takeaways that could be immediately applied in the workplace included:

  • A refresher on active listening
  • The experience of a safe, fun environment where people can express ideas to solve workplace challenges without fear of criticism
  • A ‘yes’ mentality where the focus is on the solution, not the problem
  • And Collectively achieving something together that the group previously didn’t think was possible (writing an original song), improving group cohesiveness and productivity back in the workplace.

Without further ado, the official recording of the original theme song: Mission Possible

To see the live version done at the conference see below:

We are healthcare in the home.

You don’t have to be alone.

Together we’re unstoppable.

It’s ALL… Mission Possible!


2016 NEHCC Registration Now Open!

February 2, 2016

NEHCC-2015-Logosm

It’s that time of the year again when the New England Home Care & Hospice Conference and Trade Show comes around. Representing more than 375 agencies, the six home care associations of New England are pleased to announce that the 2016 NEHCC will return to Foxwoods Resort & Casino for its 6th annual conference, this time at the the Grand Pequot Tower from May 16-18, 2016.

The line-up will cover keynote speakers such as:

  • Dan Marshall, Author of “Home is Burning: A Memoir”
  • Ellen Breslin, Senior Consultant, Health Management Consultants
  • Andrew Reed, President and CEO, Multi-View Incorporated
  • Peter Ross, CEO and Co-Founder of Senior Helpers

There will also be 10 break-out sessions as well as, new this year, 5 intensives that cover topics on hospice, private duty, HR/nursing, leadership and reform and more!

A special pre-conference training will also be available on Monday, May 16th with Amy Matthews on “Meeting the Dementia Challenge in Home Care”.

Registration is now open and can be done by clicking HERE

For more information on the conference you can go to the website at www.NEHCC.com. New information on speakers will be posted soon! Check regularly for the most up to date information! Hope to see you there


%d bloggers like this: