Delta Connect Blog

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

Home Health Recognized for Low Costs and Value

Posted by Rachel Alden on Oct 3, 2014 9:38:54 AM

This week, U.S. News published an article by Kimberly Leonard entitled "Is Home Health a Solution to Rising Health Costs?"  Spoiler alert: Yes.

Leonard wrote, "For participants at a workshop held Tuesday by the Institute of Medicine and the National Research Council the answer was clear: Home health for seniors and people with disabilities can not only rein in costs, but can give people better health outcomes and the kind of care they want."

The article shares research about Americans' preferences to stay in their home, cost comparisons from home care to a skilled nursing facility and home health's impact on Medicare spending.

Check out the article and let us know what you think.



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Topics: Home Health

National Home Care and Hospice State of the Industry Study – What should home care and hospice providers do for the future?

Posted by Crystal Parks on Oct 2, 2014 9:00:00 AM

“The Affordable Care Act is real and the new models will dominate in the future, stated Bob Fazzi, Ed. D, President and CEO of Fazzi Associates, t Delta’s 2014 National Customer Forum.”  Bob continued to say “Your strategy must position you for the new models as well as maximizing referrals from traditional models.”

Of those surveyed, 49.2% are not currently involved in a healthcare reform model.  18.3% are involved in an ACO, 11.5% patient centered medical home, 6.0% bundled partnerships and 18.9% transitional care programs.

There are two ways you can be involved in strategies that work:

  1. Agency Centric Approach: Strengthen your agency in the areas that are valued by the various new models and negotiate to become a preferred provider.
  2. Community Centric Approach: Create a value-based total community care system with the community health system being the community partner in all new models.

You can add valued services.  Do you have a hospice program?   Currently 31% of for profit and 69% of nonprofit agencies have a hospice program.  77.2% of the studies respondents feel their hospice program will grow.

Move to Lean.  During his presentation Bob stated “Every practice, workflow and staffing directly impacts your outcomes. Agencies lost when cost of practice, workflow and staffing increase costs, increase time, reduce quality and do not provide value. More agencies are moving to lean efforts to streamline their entire organization.”

Download the free National Home Care and Hospice State of the Industry Study to have the trend and best practices you need to manage your agency.


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Topics: ACO, homecare software, hospice software, medical home, transitional care, bundled partnership

Home Health Conditions of Participation Proposed Rule to be Released

Posted by Crystal Parks on Sep 30, 2014 1:56:40 PM

According to the National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC)the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) completed their work on a proposed rule that revises the home health Conditions of Participation (HH CoPs). The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) may now send the proposed rule to the Office of the Federal Register for publication. Once published, interested parties will have 60 days to submit comments.

Although CMS has made several significant revisions to the HH CoPs through out the years, many of the current CoPs have remained unchanged since their inception in 1973. In 1997, CMS attempted to revise the HH CoPs with a proposed rule that focused on patient-centered outcome oriented quality standards. However, since CMS did not publish a final rule within the required three years time frame, the proposed rule was rescinded and CMS must issued anther proposed rule.

CMS informed the NAHC that they are actively working on a roll-out plan, but do not have an exact time for when they will publish the proposed rule.

Do you think CMS will publish a final rule that will revise the HH CoPs?  




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Topics: Home Health, Conditions of Participation

National Home Care and Hospice State of the Industry Study – What is the rest of the home care and hospice industry doing?

Posted by Crystal Parks on Sep 30, 2014 9:00:00 AM

Agencies are looking at their systems as a way to achieve the goal of becoming a partner in newly emerging health systems and be the most competitive agency.  

Below are some of the findings Bob Fazzi, Ed. D, President and CEO of Fazzi Associates presented at Delta’s 2014 National Customer Forum earlier this month.

Flawless and accurate management of data, billing, finances and HR is critical to the success of an agency. You need backroom and point of care technology, electronic health record, and telehealth.

  1. Backroom IT and Data System
  • 75.7% have a financial billing or back office software system that they purchased or leased
  1. Point of Care and Data Systems
  • 57.5% use point of care devices to collect patient information
  • 41.4% say their clinicians’ document via a point of care system while physically in the patient’s home
  • 31.2% of those using point of care systems are in the highest 25% in quality; 18.6% are in the lowest in quality
  1. Electronic Health Record (integrated)
  • An integrated EHR will ultimately be a requirement to participate in health care
  • 78.1% presently have an HER; 36.6% say they will purchase one in the next twelve months
  1. Telehealth System
  • Ultimately telehealth will be a core service in the new health care environment
  • 28.8% currently have a telehealth system;  19.4% say they are planning on implementing one in the next twelve months

Learn more about what those surveyed are doing and about operational practices by downloading the free National Home Care and Hospice State of the Industry Study.


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Topics: Home Care Software, electronic health record, homecare software, hospice software, telehealth

Reminder of the Completion and Submission Timeframes for Hospice Item Set Records

Posted by Crystal Parks on Sep 26, 2014 12:52:57 PM

As has been previously communicated by CMS, all Medicare-certified hospices are required to complete and submit a Hospice Item Set (HIS)-Admission record and HIS-Discharge record for patient admissions on or after July 1, 2014. 

Hospices should complete and submit each record according to the timeliness criteria outlined below:

  • HIS Record Completion: The Completion Date is defined as the date all required information has been collected and recorded and staff have signed and dated that the record is complete. Hospices have 14 days from admission to complete HIS-Admission records and 7 days from discharge to complete HIS-Discharge records.
  • HIS Record Submission: The Submission Date is defined as the date on which the completed record is submitted and accepted to the QIES ASAP System. Hospices have 30 days from a patient admission or discharge to submit the appropriate HIS record for that patient to the QIES ASAP System.

Find out who to contact with questions regarding completing and submitting HIS and resources available in the NAHC Report article


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Topics: Hospice Item Set

National Home Care and Hospice State of the Industry Study – What should you do about the home care and hospice industry changes?

Posted by Crystal Parks on Sep 25, 2014 9:00:00 AM

Bob Fazzi, Ed. D, President and CEO of Fazzi Associates, your goal needs to be to position your agency to become a partner in newly emerging health systems. Home care providers need to be the most competitive agency in your area.  How are you going to do this?

  • Be in the top third of patient satisfaction
  • Be in the top third of composite Home Health Compare scores
  • Be in at least the lowest third of rehospitalizations
  • Be in the lowest third in cost

If you put the right people in charge of one of the above goals, you will find yourself in a much stronger position. These people don’t need to be in the highest positions.  They need to be people who can get excited about the goal, who can’t sleep at night because they’re coming up with ideas and someone whose colleagues will buy into the ideas.

Learn more about what you need to do by downloading the free National Home Care and Hospice State of the Industry Study.


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Topics: Healthcare IT, home care industry, hospice industry, healthcare technology, homecare industry Releases 2014 Senior Care Cost Index Report

Posted by Rachel Alden on Sep 24, 2014 11:11:40 AM

This month, released a report from its annual Usage and Attitudes Survey of family caregivers of older adults in the United States. The survey asks questions about the financial impact of caring for a loved one.

We have included a few of the survey's key findings about the cost of caregiving, and we highly recommend reviewing the report in its entirety. We hope that this information helps you market to your potential home care clients and their families.

Nearly half (46%) of family caregivers spent more than $5,000 annually in caregiving costs (e.g., medications, medical bills, in-home care and nursing homes).
One-third of family caregivers (33%) spend more than 30 hours per week on caregiving, making it almost the equivalent of a full-time job.
For 43% of family caregivers, deciding on a senior care or senior housing option took only one month.
For 21% of family caregivers, the decision process took six months or more.

Source: Caring.Com, Family Caregiver Usage & Attitudes Survey, 2014




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Topics: home care industry

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