HCA Partners with Other State Associations to Offer Valuable Webinars

March 1, 2018

HCA prides itself in providing the most current, important, and in demand educational topics for our members. To do this, we sometimes partner with sister state associations who are willing to offer their programs at member rates. Below you will find some upcoming webinars that are being made available to all HCA of MA members!

Operational Lessons Learned from a Disaster Plan That Didn’t Work
March 7: 1:00-2:30PM

This case study will help your agency better prepare for the unthinkable. Hear the experience of an agency that worked with local and regional groups to develop a comprehensive disaster plan only to discover IT DIDN’T WORK!! Emergency preparedness will be a top priority in upcoming surveys. Failure to comply can result in serious financial penalties, or even loss of your agency’s license. Take the steps necessary to create a plan that works.

Learn More and Register

The Aide’s Role in Confidentiality and HIPAA
March 8: 3:00-4:00PM
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.

Learn More and Register

Re-Imagining the Plan of Care: A Pyramid Model
March 22: 1:00-2:30PM
There are many ways to build a plan of care – but how do you know that the one you are using is effective, comprehensive and will support strong clinical care in the home?

The “Pyramid of Care” uses the comprehensive OASIS assessment you already have as the foundation. Explore the process of identifying critical areas that become the goals of the plan of care, and transform these into skilled interventions. This process will be easy for your clinicians to grasp and implement, will enable them to clearly support skill in each visit, and achieve measurable improvement in the outcome goals attached to each plan.

Learn More and Register

Understand PT & OT Functional Tests: Selecting & Interpreting the Best Assessment Tools
April 5: 1:00-2:30PM
There are so many assessment tool options available to home care, but so little time to research them all! Home care physical therapist and educator Ernest Roy has taken the deep dive to provide webinar participants with an evidenced-based review of tests suitable for field use by Physical and Occupational Therapists. Roy will focus on data norms for specific populations, as well as highlight minimal clinically important differences as well as specificity and sensitivity. Utilize the data you collect from intake to discharge, and improve your functional testing efficacy.

Learn More and Register

The Aide’s Role in Assisting a Patient with Chronic Pain
April 12: 3:00-4:00PM
Our world is aging. The elder population may falsely believe that because they are aging that pain is a normal part of living and is therefore not reported or managed. Since the majority of our patients seen in the home are elderly, this webinar will provide an overview of symptoms the aide may observe and the aide’s role in providing care to those patients experiencing pain.

Learn More and Register


Podcast – Are You Listening?

February 28, 2018

Yesterday, on this blog we announced our latest podcast, featuring a conversation with Barbra Citarella on Emergency Preparedness in our industry. See post below for the links to listen and find the referenced resources. Today, I thought it fun to stray a bit from the home care topics normally covered here to reflect a bit on the whole notion of podcasting. Hope you enjoy. — Pat Kelleher

In 1978, a little known and now little remembered musical group the Buggles put out the song “Video Killed the Radio Star,” a self-explanatory lyric that about the perceived loss of imagination inherent in the move to turn music into pictures (i.e., videos). The song — for all you trivia buffs — was the first video aired on August 1, 1981 at 12:01 on a little upstart channel known as MTV.

Well, in 2018, audio is back and in a big way. The phenomenon known as “podcasting” is exploding, with walkers, long-distance travelers, and insomniacs finding there’s a lot out there to listen to no matter your taste, politics, or hobbies. Surprisingly, healthcare seems one of the least fertile areas – hard to make regulatory updates engaging!

If you haven’t jumped on the bandwagon, be forewarned: There is a lot of junk out there from so-called subject matter experts who quickly reveal a paucity of knowledge on their chosen topic and aren’t quite as clever as they think they are. If you aren’t yet a “podhead,” to get started, it’s often good to look to some of the “OGs” – the originals that paved the way with content and high-production quality, such as This American Life and the TED Radio Hour. For techie type stuff, Reply All is good fun and, for those who like language and word play, the British import The Allusionist is on many “best of” lists. Note: these links are all websites, but all of these can be found on iTunes or the podcast app on your smart phone.

At HCA of MA, we have just gotten started podcasting, and interesting guests are welcome! If you have a home care story to tell, email me: pkelleher@thinkhomecare.org and we will have you on!

We also welcome hearing in comments what are some of your favorite health care or non-health care podcast series or episodes. Here are links to a few of mine – two are stories that, like all great stories, are of loss and love. One is on technology’s infiltration in our lives. All three are infinitely listenable. They are:

Happy Listening!

Return to www.thinkhomecare.org.


Something for everyone at NEHCC!

February 27, 2018

Location is everything. 

From the pre-conference programs, to national keynote speakers and the largest trade show in the region, there is just so much to take in at the 8th annual New England Home Care & Hospice Conference and Trade Show. Be part of the action, or take the scenic route to networking, learning and relaxing.  There truly is something for everyone. Join us!

See our detailed brochure and register today. Keep up with all the conference news by subscribing to our blog, following us on Facebook or on Twitter.

 


Talking Home Care Episode 5: Barbara Citarella on Emergency Preparedness

February 27, 2018
Barbara Citarella

Barbara Citarella

For the fifth episode of Talking Home Care, Pat Kelleher talks emergency and disaster preparedness with Barbara Citarella, president of RBC Limited Healthcare & Management Consultants. Topics include:

  • CMS’s 2016 preparedness operations requirements;
  • The unique challenges home care agencies face during emergencies (as well as their unique capabilities);
  • Lessons agencies can learn from recent natural disasters;
  • Home care’s ability to provide surge capacity for other health providers;
  • The biggest obstacles agencies face in implementing a disaster plan; and
  • Resources for agencies who wish to become better prepared.

You may listen to the podcast by clicking the play button above, downloading it directly, or subscribing through iTunes or Google Play. (Length: 32’45”; Size: 17 MB).

Links/Action:

Talking Home Care LogoHost: Patricia Kelleher is the Executive Director of the Home Care Alliance of Massachusetts.

Guest: Barbara Citarella is the president and founder of RBC Limited Healthcare and Management Consultants, a national leader in the home health and hospice industry in addition to disaster planning. As the only recognized expert in the area of home care and hospice disaster planning, she specializes in emergency disaster planning, bioterrorism, health care development and operations.  She provides education to law enforcement and government agencies, health care providers, private sector, first responders, national and state associations in all aspects of disaster preparedness.

Don’t want to miss the next episode of Talking Home Care? Subscribe through iTunes, Google Play, or enter the following in your podcast app: https://thinkhomecare.wordpress.com/category/talking-home-care-podcast/feed/

Return to www.thinkhomecare.org.


MassHealth Initiative will Transform Payment and Care Delivery: Are you Ready?

January 24, 2018

As has been announced by MassHealth in numerous webinars, bulletins and most recently member mailings, effective March 1, 2018 MassHealth will begin enrolling the majority on their non dual,  under 65 years of age eligible members into one of three types of Accountable Care Organizations, or one of two Managed Care Organizations .  As outlined in this provider bulletin, there are  12 different Accountable Care Plan Partnerships, and  three Primary Care ACO Plans.

Member should all have been noticed about which plan they have been assigned  as of November 2017, and their enrollments are all effective March 1, 2018. Members will have between March 1 and May 31 2018 to switch plans.  After June 1 they will remain in a fixed enrollment until Feb 2019.

MassHealth is hosting series of important webinars and live trainings for providers between Jan and March, see dates and sites in the same Provider Bulletin.

It is imperative that agencies serving MassHealth patients attend one of these trainings.  At these training Masshealth we will covering issues around eligibility verification and how to establish if a patient’s insurer has changed, as well as what plans are required to do to ensure continuity of care for patients who may be switching plans.  Most of training information will also be posted to the Delivery Reform Provider resource website.

All patients who are switching to an ACO or an MCO should have received written notice already.  These patients are being directed to www.masshealthchoices.com if they need to verify plan information or want to switch their plans.

The large number of patients facing a change in the management of their care promises to cause confusion especially for home health patients for whom continuity of service is particularly critical.  HCA of MA asks members to keep HCA informed about the transition  process.


MA Legislative/Regulatory Preview for 2018

January 11, 2018
On Wednesday January 3rd , the Massachusetts Legislature returned for the second year of its two-year session. After a seven-week recess, the body is looking at a traditionally busier second half than the first. The nearly 170 bills that passed in 2017 marked the lowest total in twenty years.

Lawmakers have until July 31 to complete all substantial legislative debate. In addition, all 200 members are up for election in 2018, which is expected to be a distraction from normal legislative work as a result of a polarized political landscape. Here’s what the Alliance will be focused on in 2018:

Workforce Issues:

Prior to the Holiday break, the Alliance met with its ‘Enough Pay to Stay’ partners to strategize coordinated efforts to attain wage relief for direct care workers and ASAP case managers. The coalition has pending legislation which would take steps toward this initiative, but we will pursue other legislative vehicles to fight for our workforce.

Worker Registry:

In November, Governor Baker signed into law the Home Care Worker Registry. This law will establish a worker registry that requires agencies contracting with ASAPs to submit workers’ private information to the state. The law is enacted and subject to regulations. The Alliance and its partners are in active communication regarding next steps toward protecting our members and their workers’ rights.

Licensure:

The FY 2018 State Budget included language that will establish a licensure process for home health agencies providing skilled services. It is unclear at this point when the process to promulgate regulations will begin, but the Alliance will be providing input to the Department of Public Health as these parameters are developed. In addition, Alliance-sponsored legislation that would license private care agencies is still making its way through the legislative process. Under procedural rules, the legislature has until February to report legislation out of committee. The Alliance will continue to advocate for passage of this legislation.

Continuous Skilled Nursing:

In late 2017, MassHealth announced two rate increases for the Continuous Skilled Nursing (CSN) program that totaled nearly 11 million. This was welcomed news, but there remains work to be done. The CSN provider/parent coalition will continue to advocate for the CSN Bill of Rights legislation that would mandate bi-annual reviews of the workforce to ensure safeguards against future crises.

MassHealth Rates:

The Alliance has been informed that MassHealth will conduct a long-overdue review of rates for per-visit nursing, therapies, and home health aide services.  The Alliance will be working to gather data to demonstrate that the current low rates are interfering with agencies’ ability to attract and retain enough workers to meet the demand for services.

MassHealth Reorganization:

MassHealth’s initiative to enroll the majority of members into managed care programs this coming spring will dramatically change the way MassHealth members access home health services, and disrupt many existing provider referral relationships.  The Alliance will continue to work to ensure that MassHealth members retain access to needed home health services, and that agencies are adequately reimbursed for those services.

House of Representative Health Care Bill:

Late last year the Senate passed a health care cost containment bill aimed at curbing costs while maintaining access. It has long been rumored that the House will be embarking on similar initiatives. Though the details are scarce, this legislation could be a vehicle for many of the Alliances priorities in 2018 and we will continue to advocate where necessary.

If you have any questions about the year ahead for advocacy or would like to get involved, reach out to Jake Krilovich, the Alliance’s Director of Legislative and Public Affairs.


Urge Gov. Baker to Veto Home Care Worker Registry!!

November 16, 2017
On Wednesday, the Massachusetts Senate passed H. 3821 in its current form which does not include ‘opt-out’ language for workers. The bill requires agencies contracting with ASAPs to report their name, gender, home address, mailing address, employer name, job title and training’s to the State.
Throughout this process, the Alliance and its coalition members have repeatedly raised concerns that disclosure of personal information such as home address and gender to third parties (defined as labor unions, home care agencies, and ASAPs) poses an enormous privacy violation.
In July, the Alliance asked members to request Governor Baker send this legislation back to the legislature with an opt-out provision. The Governor did just that, citing several of the same concerns that we have raised. Unfortunately, both chambers rejected the Governor’s amended language, and only added a victim of sexual assault, domestic violence and stalking amendment that requires workers to disclose these personal experiences to their prospective employer.
Governor Baker has 10 Days to act on H.3821 and we need members to email/call the Governor’s office today urging him to veto this legislation!! Use this alert to email the Governor’s office!!
We also encourage members to call the Governor’s office requesting him to veto H3821 and encouraging him to protect home care workers. To do so call: 617-725-4005 

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