In The News

Present at the 2023 HHAC Conference in Beaver Creek!

The HHAC conference is known for offering up to date education on relevant topics within Home Care, Hospice, Private Duty and general topics that cover all three of these tracks. Do you have a hot topic that you would like to submit to present at the 2023 Conference in Beaver Creek, CO, May 17-19, 2023? Take a look at what you will need during the submission process and submit your proposal before December 9, 2022 in order to be considered during the review process.

DEADLINES:

Submission Deadline: December 9, 2022
Review Period: December 10, 2022 – January 5, 2023
Accepted Presenters Notified By: January 18, 2023

Submission Materials:

  • Lead presenter information (Name, Contact Information, Bio and Headshot)
  • Any Fees that are charged for the presentation
  • Presentation title
  • Presentation description
  • 3 learning objectives
  • Applicable track the the presentation would fall under
  • Level of the content
  • Target Audience

Other Information

  • For the annual conference, the primary presenter will receive a 50% discount on conference registration.  A second presenter will receive a 25% discount on conference registration.  Additional presenters must pay applicable conference registration fees in full. Speakers are required to register for conference if they plan on attending any sessions outside of their presentation.
     
  • If selected to speak at the annual conference, you will be contacted by the Meeting Planner for the conference to complete the Speaker Agreement and provide all of the required information.  

CLICK HERE for more information & to submit proposal.

 

Home Health Care Among Settings Where Masks No Longer Required, CDC Says

Home Health Care News | By Patrick Filbin

Workers in home health care, nursing homes, hospitals and other health care settings are no longer required to wear masks indoors.

Late Friday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued guidance that ended a blanket indoor mask requirement that had been in effect for the last two and a half years.

The guidance was part of the CDC’s revisions to the agency’s COVID-19 recommendations, one of the final sets of changes that began in August.

The CDC recently reported that just over 73% of counties in the U.S. have “high” COVID transmission levels. About 27% of counties meet the substantial, moderate or low categories.

Since early in the pandemic, the CDC has urged people in the U.S. to wear masks – what the agency calls “source control” – while in health care settings.

The new guidelines apply to nursing homes, home health facilities and hospitals. The guidelines do not apply to restaurants and other non-health care environments.

“Updates were made to reflect the high levels of vaccine- and infection-induced immunity and the availability of effective treatments and prevention tools,” the CDC’s new guidance reads.

Even though masks are no longer required in facilities where transmission is not high, the CDC still recommends they be worn:

  • If someone has a suspected or confirmed COVID-19 or other respiratory infection
  • If someone has close contact or a higher-risk exposure with someone who had COVID-19 for 10 days after their exposure
  • If someone lives or works somewhere that is experiencing a COVID-19 outbreak (in this case, universal mask wearing can stop once no new cases have been identified for 14 days)
  • If mask wearing is recommended by local public health authorities

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URGENT: Ask Congress to Support Legislation to Stop Home Health Cuts

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has proposed an alarming, permanent 7.69% cut to Medicare home health services. This cut equates to a $1.33 billion cut from home healthcare in 2023 alone. Further, Medicare forecasts additional cuts of more than $2 billion in 2024 and the years beyond. In total, these cuts could reach $18 billion over the next ten years.

This summer, Senators Debbie Stabenow and Susan Collins and Representatives Terri Sewell and Vern Buchanan introduced the Preserving Access to Home Health Act of 2022 (S. 4605/H.R. 8581) to prevent the proposed cuts to home health from taking effect prior to 2026. 

Now that Congress is back in Washington D.C., we need them to take action to stop these cuts. 

Lawmakers must hear from their home health community constituents about the need to pass this legislation before the end of the year. Voices like yours are highly influential to lawmakers, which is why we need you to ask your Members of Congress to support this important piece of legislation.

Send an email to your federal lawmakers now asking them to support the Preserving Access to Home Health Act and submit a letter to the editor of your local newspaper to raise awareness.

Even if you have contacted your lawmakers about this legislation in the past, we encourage you to reach out again now that they have returned from summer recess. 

 

Important Updates on the Hospice Quality Reporting Program (HQRP)

Swingtech sends informational messages to hospices related to the Quality Reporting Program (QRP) on a quarterly basis. Their latest outreach communication can be found on the HQRP Requirements and Best Practices webpage. If you want to receive Swingtech’s quarterly emails, then add or update the email addresses to which these messages are sent by sending an email to [email protected]. Be sure to include the name of your facility and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Certification Number (CCN) along with any requested updates.

 

Telehealth Better Than In-Person Visits on Some Quality Measures: Study

Modern Healthcare | By Mari Devereaux
 
Telehealth visits for primary care can be comparable in quality to in-person visits, suggesting remote testing and screenings are valuable tools to augment patient care.
 
The finding follows a study of more than 500,000 patients across 200 outpatient care sites in Pennsylvania and Maryland who either had exposure to telemedicine or only had in-person visits between March 1, 2020, and November 30, 2021.
 
The report examines the care quality performance of telemedicine and in-person patient groups for 16 Health Care Effectiveness Data and Information Set measures selected across five domains of primary care: cardiovascular, diabetes, prevention and wellness, behavioral health and pulmonary. 
 
In 13 of 16 medication, testing and counseling-based measures, exposure to telemedicine was associated with similar or significantly better quality performance. The study was published in JAMA Network Open.
 
Higher quality scores for telemedicine prove that remote care is worth the cost of reimbursement just like in-office care, said Dr. Derek Baughman, an author of the study and medical director at Barksdale Air Force Base and Medical Clinic. 
 
“This isn't just one or two measures, it's showing that for most of the measures, we're providing at least comparable quality,” he said. “We're not making these measures worse.”
 
For all counseling and testing-based measures—including vaccinations, cardiovascular disease and diabetes testing and screenings for depression and cancer—telehealth care encounters were more likely to meet HEDIS quality benchmarks than solely in-person patients. 
 
The results are examples of clinical domains where telemedicine could be used as an alternative to in-office care, Baughman said. Prioritizing telehealth visits for chronic disease management and preventive care could lead to better quality outcomes as well as more affordable care.

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