“Enough Pay to Stay” – A Home Care Workforce Initiative Kicks off Monday in NUrses Hall

February 24, 2017

Three of the largest trade associations representing 56,000 agency-based home care workers in Massachusetts have joined forces in an effort to assure that there will be a sufficient supply of home care workers in the Commonwealth to meet the needs of our aging population. Home Care Aides are #2 and Home Health Aides are #3 on the US Department of Labor’s list of the Fastest Growing Occupations in our nation between 2012 and 2022.

This new workforce initiative “Enough Pay To Stay,” sponsored by Mass Home Care, the Home Care Aide Council of Massachusetts, and the Home Care Alliance of MA , seeks an investment of $10.2 million to upgrade the rates paid for home care aides, home health aides, and care managers. These workers allow the elderly and disabled citizens to successfully  ‘age in place’ at home. The home care industry has suffered  from low wage/ high worker turnover for years.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average hourly wage for a home care aide is $13.05, and the average home health aide makes $13.78  an hour. Turnover rates for these workers range from 20% to 60% annually. Rates paid by MassHealth to purchase home health aide services for some of the state’s have been frozen since 2007.These workers provide more than 2 million hours of care per year

The coalition is filing a budget request and new legislation for rate reform.

Here is the language for the budget request,  to be filed by Representative Aaron Vega (D-Holyoke):

“           9110-1635 For adjustments to rates and capitations for home and community based services provided through line items 9110-1500, 9110-1630,9110-1633, and 4000-0600; provided further that $2,766,000 shall be provided for an add on to established capitations  in the 9110-1633 and 9110-1500 accounts; provided further that $3,000,000 shall be provided for an adjustment to approved program rates issued under 1line item 9110-1630 to provide a rate add-on for wages, compensation and/or salary related costs for personnel providing homemaker and personal care homemaker services; and provided further that $4,500,000 shall be provided for adjusting rates for home health aide services funded through line item 4000-0600 for the purpose of providing Title XIX services.                                                                                   $10,266,000        

Join  us in  Nurses Hall at 11 or contact your local representative for support.


Pediatric Home Nursing Shortage Is Subject of TV News Piece

January 27, 2017

Following up on a successful rally and Lobby Day at the StateHouse in early January, the Pediatric Home Nursing Campaign was featured in a piece by John Keller on the Boston WBZ 4 evening news.   Angela Ortiz, the mother of a child with severe medical needs and one of the founders of the family coalition, was interviewed about the nursing shortage and state reimbursement rates that are far below what is needed to attract specialty nurses into home care.  See the full piece here

 

Families Fight For Nursing Care As House Approves Pay Raise For Legislative Leaders

 

To date, more than 30 representatives and senators have signed onto their family Bill of Rights – The Protection Act for the Continuous Skilled Care of Fragile Children in the Commonwealth.  Cosponsors can sign onto the bill through Feb 3.   A message about co-sponsorship can be sent through HCA’s website Advocacy Center.

Ms Ortiz, other members of the coalition, and HCA of MA,  all testified on the need for higher rates before MassHealth on January 20th.


Our Time to Shine: Innovation & Star Award, Nominations Now Open!

January 4, 2017

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The Alliance’s annual celebration of innovation and excellence will return to the Granite Links Golf Club in Quincy on June 20, 2017. As always, invitations to attend will be sent to a broad health care audience.

Together, we can celebrate our people and our pioneers and recognize what our awardees and member agencies: make life better for our thousands of patients and their families. In celebrating individual achievement, we shine a light on our collective accomplishments.

Two Opportunities to Shine:

  • Nominate a program, product, or operational change that has: A) Enhanced the well-being of patients, clients, or the community, B) Driven efficiency in operations or the health care system, or C) Enhanced the productivity or satisfaction of agency staff.
  • Nominate an employee or homecare supporter for a STAR Award. These awards celebrate the exceptional accomplishments of the everyday heroes in our midst who make incredible differences in the lives of their patients/clients and their families. Though there are too few opportunities to recognize all who deserve one, a STAR award brings with it some well-deserved recognition for both the agency and the individual.

Ways to Nominate:

Email/Fax/Mail: Fill out our hard-copy nomination form and submit to:

Tim Burgers
75 Kneeland St., Ste. 709
Boston, MA 02111
Fx: (617) 426-05109
tburgers@thinkhomecare.org

Nominations may be made by Alliance agencies, their patients, or their partner organizations and are due by April 14, 2017.

Final selections will be made by the Alliance’s Membership & Awards Ceremony Committee. Each winner will be invited to attend the ceremony as guest of the Alliance, along with the person who nominated him/her, as well as three additional guests.

Please join us in this opportunity to celebrate and honor our industry innovators and our “STARs.”

The 2017 Aide and Clinician of the Year will be honored on the covers of our 2018 directories.

Innovations Awards

The Innovations Awards recognize programs, products, or operational changes that enhance patient, client, or community, well-being; drive efficiency in operations or the health care system’; enhance staff productivity or satisfaction.

Star Awards

The Star Awards celebrate the exceptional accomplishments of the everyday heroes in our midst who make incredible differences in the lives of their patients/clients and their families. Though there are too few opportunities to recognize all who deserve one, a STAR award brings well-deserved recognition for both the agency and the individual.

For more information on Our Time to Shine go to www.thinkhomecare.org/shine

 

 


2017 New England Home Care & Hospice Conference and Trade Show Speaker Proposal Deadline Approaching!

December 28, 2016

NEHCC SPEAKER PROPOSAL SUBMISSIONS NOW DUE BY DECEMBER 31st!

With the holidays around usNEHCC-2015-Logosm, the NEHCC committee wanted to provide the gift of a deadline extension! To date there have been many qualified and appealing submissions but it is no longer too late to submit your own presentation!

The NEHHC welcomes Speaker Presentation applications from a diverse audience of home health and healthcare experts.

SUBMIT YOUR PROPOSAL HERE!

The New England Home Care & Hospice Conference and Trade Show is designed for senior and mid-level administrative and clinical staff. The conference features multiple keynote sessions, workshops, and intensive programs. Topics are designed to meet the needs of all agencies, including Medicare-certified, private duty, and hospices. The New England Home Care & Hospice Conference and Trade Show is the region’s premier event for home care and hospice agencies. It’s hosted by the six New England state home care Associations, which collectively represent nearly 400 organizations. This coming year, the conference returns to the Radisson Hotel Manchester May 16 – 18, 2017.

Go to www.NEHCC.com for more information about the conference!

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Everything You Want to Know About eLearning Partnership with Corridor Group in One Place

November 30, 2016

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The Home Care Alliance of Massachusetts has partnered with the Corridor Group to provide an exciting new membership benefit. Corridor Campus eLearning is an online program that provides orientation and ongoing education for all levels of staff, allowing you to streamline training across your organization while providing Continuing Education Credits. Topics of the 150+ courses offered include ICD-10, Sexual Harassment, Alzheimer’s, HIPAA, Infection Control, and much more!

Home Care Alliance member agencies receive a discounted rate on Corridor Campus, paying the lowest per user fee they offer. Along with this great offer, our members will also have the opportunity to receive a 15% discount on any other Corridor products they purchase.

After the partnership was announce this summer, the Home Care Alliance held an informative webinar that introduced the software and did a brief demo. All information about this partnership including the recording of the webinar is available at www.thinkhomecare.org/Corridor. Take a look at this great opportunity to save your agency money while receiving great education for your staff!

If you have any questions about this partnership you can contact Megan Fournier at mfournier@thinkhomecare.org

Click Here to go to eLearning Partnership Page to Learn More!


Educational Calendar Updates

November 15, 2016

As you probably know, the Home Care Alliance of MA is constantly adding new programs in our calendar, especially with all that is changes in our industry. Please see below some new (and old) programs that we have to offer over the next few weeks:

Thursday, November 17th: “Coping with Chaos: Compliance Climate 2016”

Home Health and Hospice agencies must continue to navigate a chaotic environment with no end in sight.  Get clarity on what the government enforcement agencies and contractors are focusing on in 2016-2017.  Learn how to formalize processes and systems to capture key payment and clinical documentation concerns to avoid overpayment requirements and disclosures, including use of PEPPER data.  Understand how to approach communications and requests from the MACs, ZPICS, the OIG and the DOJ. Finally, take control of your agency’s health and survival by committing to a sound ethics and compliance program framework and evolving ethics and compliance activities.

 *NEW*Tuesday, November 29th: “Medicare B Home Nurse Practitioner Program”

Certain outpatient therapy and other Medicare services may be furnished by a home health agency (HHA) to individuals who are not homebound or otherwise are not receiving services under a home health plan of care (POC) using Medicare Part B billing. As of January 1, 2016, Medicare expanded this list to include advance care planning as a billable service provided by either a physician or a nurse practitioners.  Hear how one agency has developed and successfully used Part B Billing to expand the scope of their community services.

 *NEW*Wednesday, November 30th,, and Wednesday, December 7th: “Riding the Wave: OASIS C-2 Changes”
Oasis-C-2 is just over a month away; are your clinicians aware of all the changes? Come join the HCA for training on the structure and content changes in the OASIS-C2 data set that are effective January 1, 2017. These new items can impact your quality scores and re-imbursement; so be sure your clinicians are familiar with the changes.

*Western MA date and location TBD*

 *DATE CHANGE*Monday, December 5th: “The Gold Standard: Understanding the Background and Importance of Compression for Wound Care Patients”

Compression plays a vital role in both wound healing and reduction of wound recurrence.  Participants will increase their understanding of lower extremity ulcer presentation, compression types, options, dosage and how each can ultimately impact success and outcomes. In the home health arena, it is vital to clearly understand current options available to maximize clinical effectiveness and cost-efficiency.

 Tuesday, December 6th: “Financial Management Conference” *NOTE AGENDA ADDITION: Medicare PPS Changes for 2017*

Agency CFOs and CEOs will be well served by joining HCA on December 6 in Norwood for the Annual Financial Managers Conference. This year’s event features a stellar line-up of expert panels including speakers on Value-Based Purchasing, Revenue Cycle Management, Bundled Payments, and HIPAA/ Cyber Security

 Thursday, December 8th: “The Aide’s Role in Understanding Mental Health Disorders”

This presentation will explore some mental health disorders that may create challenges for the Nurse Aide in the home setting. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness approximately 43.8 million adults or 1 in 5 adults in the U.S experiences mental illness annually.  Chances are that some of the patients we care for in the home may be experiencing some sort of mental illness.  Learn strategies that can help you when caring for these patients.

 *NEW*Tuesday, December 13th: “A Team Approach to Medication Management”

It takes the entire home health team working together to ad- dress this vital aspect of health care to make a difference and improve the quality of care for those we serve every day. This 90-minute webinar is devoted to promoting a Team Approach to Medication Management in home health.

 

To learn more about any of our programs go to our calendar:  http://www.thinkhomecare.org/events


2016-2017 Aides Teleconference Series Upcoming Schedule

October 3, 2016

Every month the Home Care Alliance of Ma shares the opportunity for Aides to gain their education hours needed by promoting teleconferences put on by the North Carolina Association. Why Participate? An investment in staff education is an investment in quality customer service for all types of agencies. For home health and hospice agencies, these hour-long teleconferences can be used to help meet the 12 hours per year educational requirements under the Medicare Conditions of Participation. For all providers, an educational investment in your staff pays off in quality care!

See below for the upcoming teleconferences available for purchase:

October 13, 2016
TOPIC: No Tricks & No Treats – What Aides Need to Know to Protect Themselves from Negative Accusations & Investigations
Speaker: Sherry Thomas, BSN, MPH
Description: It’s no treat to be investigated by the Federal Office of Inspector General (OIG) … scary sounding…yes? Have you ever heard of the OIG Exclusions List? That is a list you do not want to be on!! Are you aware that federal regulations can prohibit you ever working again in an agency such as a certified home health, hospice, Personal Care Services or a waiver program for seniors that receive federal funding like Medicare and Medicaid? Come join me as we talk about how you can land on this list and an aide’s responsibility to be above reproach. Don’t let the words fraud, abuse, neglect, misappropriation of property or drugs come near your good name. Handouts will include an Aide’s Code of Ethics!

November 10, 2016
TOPIC: The Aide’s Role in Patient Centered Care
Speaker: Kathie Smith, RN
Description: Patient Centered Care focuses on the patient as an individual and takes into account the individual person’s likes, dislikes and what makes for a “good day” along with the tasks necessary to carry out the assigned plan of care. This teleconference will focus on how to see the patient as a unique individual in providing patient centered care.

December 8, 2016
TOPIC: The Aide’s Role in Understanding Mental Health Disorders
Speaker: Cindy Morgan, RN, MSN, CHC, CHPN
Description: This presentation will explore some mental health disorders that may create challenges for the Nurse Aide in the home setting. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness approximately 43.8 million adults or 1 in 5 adults in the U.S experiences mental illness annually. Chances are that some of the patients we care for in the home may be experiencing some sort of mental illness. Learn strategies that can help you when caring for these patients.

January 12, 2017
TOPIC: Who Can Sleep Tight…When Bed Bugs Bite!
Speaker: Kathie Smith, RN
Description: Bed bugs have been common in U.S. history. Although bed bug populations dropped dramatically during the mid-20th century, the United States is one of many countries now experiencing an alarming resurgence in the population of bed bugs. According to the US Environmental Protection Agency bed bugs are a public health pest. While bed bugs have not been shown to transmit disease, they do cause a variety of negative physical health, mental health and economic consequences. This teleconference will cover the negative effects of bed bugs, how to identify bed bugs and tips in preventing and treating bed bugs.

February 9, 2017
TOPIC: The Aide’s Role in Working with the Immobile Patient
Speaker: John Conrad
Description: Immobility and long periods of inactivity are harmful to elderly patients and can lead to a further loss of ambulation and strength as well as the increased risk of falls. Patients suffering a loss of mobility can also become depressed. Immobility can impact and cause serious health complications – including blood clots, urinary tract infection and respiratory complications. In-home aides play a vital role in helping to increase/maintain patient mobility and in preventing serious negative impacts.

March 9, 2017
TOPIC: The Aide’s Role in Confidentiality and HIPAA
Speaker: Michelle White, MSN, RN
Description: This workshop will focus on assisting your In-Home Aides in understanding HIPAA and confidentiality guidelines. This workshop will offer practical tips to ensure that the para-professional adheres to the required privacy standards. Also included: the impact of social media such as Facebook, My Space, YouTube and cell phones, text messages, etc.

April 13, 2017
TOPIC: The Aide’s Role in Working with a Terminal Client & Their Family
Speaker: Cindy Morgan, RN, MSN, CHC, CHPN
Description: What does it mean to be terminally ill? This presentation will define terminally ill as well as some of the different aspects of care that are so important to the patients and families facing a terminal illness. Learn about the trajectory of terminal illness and what to expect when the patient is nearing the end of life.

May 11, 2017
TOPIC: The Aide’s Role in Infection Control in Home Care & Hospice
Speaker: Michelle White, MSN, RN
Description: This workshop will focus on understanding the basic principles of infection prevention and control. This workshop will also focus on Blood Borne Pathogens and the principles surrounding transmission and methods in which the aide can protect themselves and the patient.

June 8, 2017
TOPIC: Eagle Eye Aides – Recognizing Key Patient Abnormalities
Speaker: Sherry Thomas, BSN, MPH
Description: You are in the first line of patient defense! You are the boots on the ground as far as helping to identify that something is “wrong” with your patient. You are the Eagle Eye Aide! Join this teleconference to learn how to recognize the subtle and not so subtle changes in your patient that is the first clue that something is amiss patient wise and what then to report to your supervisor!

Click Here to go to our Events Calendar to register for one or more of these great programs!


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