Delta Connect Blog

Approved Hospice CAHPS Vendors Released

Posted by Crystal Parks on Oct 24, 2014 9:19:23 AM

On October 17, 2014, CMS posted the list of approved Hospice CAHPS vendors. In order to be approved to administer the CAHPS Hospice Survey by CMS, the listed organizations had to meet the CAHPS Hospice Survey requirements.

Additionally, two more information pieces of information relative to Hospice CAHPS - updates to the Q & A and some technical corrections and clarifications to the quality assurance guidelines document that was previously posted  are also now available.

The Hospice Payment Final Rule reminds hospices that national implementation of the Hospice CAHPS survey begins January 1, 2015. Hospices must participate for at least one month during first quarter of 2015 and begin continuous monthly participation April 1, 2015.

Participation during CY2015 will impact hospice payment rates during FY2017.

If a hospice is eligible to participate, the Hospice will be required to select and contract with an approved vendor and the Hospice will be required to authorize the vendor to collect and submit data on the Hospice’s behalf. These actions must be taken prior to the beginning of participation in the “dry run” period, which runs for the first quarter of CY2015.

Once monthly participation begins (April 1, 2015), hospices will submit contact information for relatives of patients that died that month to the vendor of their choosing. After a short time lag (a few months) vendors will distribute the Hospice CAHPS survey to the family members of the patients. CMS advises that hospices develop a policy that will help ensure compliance with the requirement for monthly data submission to the vendor.

Read more in the NAHC Report


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Topics: Hospice CAHPS

2014 Home Care & Hospice Nurse of the Year Honored at NAHC Annual Meeting

Posted by Crystal Parks on Oct 22, 2014 10:59:39 AM

For the third year, NAHC has honored a Home Care & Hospice Nurse of the Year. 

The Home Care and Hospice Nurse of the Year is determined based on a national vote that includes nurses from all 50 states. Those 50 nurses are chosen by a selection committee that reviews all of the submissions across the country and chooses the top nurse from each state.

During NAHC's 2014 Annual Meeting & Exposition, Denise R. Schrader, Chair, Home Healthcare Nurses Association introduced Mary Pistulka, RN, BSN, CHPN, Hospice Coordinator, Avera@Home, Yankton, South Dakota as this year’s winner. Ms. Pistulka has over 26 years experience as a hospice nurse at Avera@Home.

This year's Nurse of the Year was highly praised by her employer, Avera@Home. The organization's President and CEO Sandy Dieleman said that, “Mary has set the bar high for nearly three decades in home health and hospice care. Her unwavering love for her patients, their families, and the mission of Avera, is evident in all that Mary does. We at Avera@Home are so proud of her for receiving this honor. Mary exemplifies everything that’s great about patient-centered health care. This honor is well deserved.” 

Ms. Pistulka recalls working with one particularly memorable patient - a seasoned truck driver with end stage COPD. “He always knew exactly what he wanted, whether it was driving a riding motor or smoking. Often it was not something the hospice team thought would be best, but we did support his wish to avoid going to a nursing home,” said this year’s Nurse of the Year. “By gradually gaining his trust, and mediating several team/patient meetings, I was able to convince my patient to make some compromises. As a result, he was able to remain home with his beloved wife and spend his last days there with the continued support of hospice.”

Congratulations to Mary Pistulka!

Read more in the NAHC Report.


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Topics: home care, Hospice, Nurse of the Year

Free Webinar on Leveraging the New IOM Report

Posted by Crystal Parks on Oct 21, 2014 1:29:48 PM

In this FREE event, Dr. Meier, Director for the Center to Advance Palliative Care, will discuss the Institute of Medicine's latest report in depth as well as ask participants to weigh in on how best to leverage its recommendations. The report - released on September 17, 2014 - focuses extensively on people with serious and chronic illness of indeterminate prognoses and why the current health care system has largely failed to meet their needs.Dr. Meier was a member of the panel responsible for the report. She recently released a message to the field on its significance and what it means for the future of palliative care.  

Attendees will will learn to:

  • Identify the key IOM report recommendations
  • Leverage the report recommendations to make an effective case for local change in care of the seriously ill
  • Understand the relationship between prognosis and healthcare spending (not what you think!)
  • Access ideas from the field on how best to implement report recommendations

Who Should Attend:

  • Palliative care and hospice clinicians
  • Palliative care and hospice leadership
  • Health system leadership
  • ACO leadership
  • Clinicians caring for high risk populations including dementia, frailty, multimorbidity, organ system failure, and cancer
  • Home care leaders
  • Long term care leaders


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Topics: home care, Hospice, palliative care

Providers Asked to Participate in NAHC ACA Employer Mandate Survey

Posted by Rachel Alden on Oct 15, 2014 3:36:24 PM

According to the recent NAHC Report, NAHC is encouraging every company that provides home care to complete a new survey on the ACA Employer Mandate and its impact on your business.

From the article, "NAHC has prepared a new survey to get a “real-time” understanding of the likely impact of the ACA employer mandate. Home care businesses have made a number of adjustments to prepare for the start of the mandate. This new survey will create the opportunity for further evidence-based advocacy."

We encourage you to participate in the survey found here.


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Topics: Affordable Care Act

DoL Delays Enforcement of Removal of Companionship Exemption

Posted by Rachel Alden on Oct 8, 2014 8:15:45 AM

The US Department of Labor has announced a delay in enforcement of the rule which removed the companionship exemption for home care workers. Read the full DOL document.

The rule, which extends Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) protection to most home care workers, will still be effective on January 1, 2015, but the DoL will not enforce the rule for six months (January 1 to June 30, 2015). After the initial non-enforcement period, the DoL will consider whether affected parties have been making "good faith efforts" to come into compliance prior to prosecution.

The DoL announcement does not affect states whose laws had already eliminated the exemptions.


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Topics: Companionship Exemption

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