Home Health Care

[Updated] CMS Finalizes 1.9% Home Health Rate Increase for 2021, Keeps PDGM’s Behavioral Adjustment

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The U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued its final 2021 home health payment rule Thursday. In doing so, it changed very little from what it first proposed in June. The final rule adds an estimated $390 million home health payment boost for… Read More »[Updated] CMS Finalizes 1.9% Home Health Rate Increase for 2021, Keeps PDGM’s Behavioral Adjustment

Encompass Health Gaining Ground with ACOs, But Still Facing Assisted Living ‘Lockdowns’

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Hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of monthly personal protective equipment (PPE) costs. Nationwide lockdowns of assisted living communities. Continued restrictions on elective surgeries in most markets. These remain just a few of the major pain points that Encompass Health Corp. (NYSE: EHC) and its… Read More »Encompass Health Gaining Ground with ACOs, But Still Facing Assisted Living ‘Lockdowns’

Amedisys Makes Progress on SNF-at-Home Model, Anticipates Positive 2021 Operating Environment

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When there are challenges in any industry, the organizations that hurdle them quickly and efficiently end up gaining an advantage. Amedisys Inc. (Nasdaq:AMED) feels like it has done that. After a census bounce-back from COVID-19, a successful transition to the Patient-Driven Groupings Model (PDGM) and… Read More »Amedisys Makes Progress on SNF-at-Home Model, Anticipates Positive 2021 Operating Environment

HHS Loosens Provider Relief Fund Restrictions, Allows Agencies to Cover Lost Revenue

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In response to ongoing opposition from both lawmakers and providers, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recently announced it has made changes to its rules surrounding COVID-19 relief funding. The department’s amended rules now allow providers to use Provider Relief Fund (PRF) money… Read More »HHS Loosens Provider Relief Fund Restrictions, Allows Agencies to Cover Lost Revenue

HHS Prioritizing ‘Largest’ Home Health Agencies for Federally Distributed COVID-19 Tests

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The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has offered further clarification on its COVID-19 testing strategy for home health agencies. According to an online “index” of its distribution efforts, HHS is sending tests to the “largest 100+” home health and hospice agencies, with… Read More »HHS Prioritizing ‘Largest’ Home Health Agencies for Federally Distributed COVID-19 Tests

[Updated] Lawmakers Introduce New Bill Paving the Way for Home Health Telehealth Reimbursement

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Home health providers are one step closer to getting the No. 1 thing they’ve been asking for since the COVID-19 pandemic began: reimbursement for telehealth-driven visits. On Friday, U.S. Senators Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Ben Cardin (D-Md.) introduced the Home Health Emergency Access to Telehealth… Read More »[Updated] Lawmakers Introduce New Bill Paving the Way for Home Health Telehealth Reimbursement

Varsity-Backed Angels of Care Announces Strategic Partnerships, Expands into Three New States

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Angels of Care, a home health provider that specializes in caring for pediatric patients with complex medical conditions, announced Thursday that it has entered into a strategic partnership with Nursing Solutions and Mission Medstaff. Under terms of the strategic partnership, Nursing Solutions and Mission Medstaff… Read More »Varsity-Backed Angels of Care Announces Strategic Partnerships, Expands into Three New States

Wildfires, COVID-19 and PDGM: Growing a Home Health Business During Moments of Crisis

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Home health agencies are used to operating during moments of crisis. That’s especially true for California-based Medical Home Care Professionals, which has had to overcome several over the past few years. In 2018, for example, Medical Home Care Professionals operated during the historic Carr Fire… Read More »Wildfires, COVID-19 and PDGM: Growing a Home Health Business During Moments of Crisis

M&A Experts ‘Can’t Recall a Time When Demand Has Been Higher’ in Sizzling In-Home Care Market

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M&A activity across home health, hospice and in-home care appeared to be “business as usual” at the start of 2020. COVID-19 froze the market in March, however, causing both buyers and sellers to bide their time. But dealmaking action is finally starting to heat up… Read More »M&A Experts ‘Can’t Recall a Time When Demand Has Been Higher’ in Sizzling In-Home Care Market

As Malpractice Claims Against Home-Based Care Nurses Rise, Providers Must Focus on Risk Management

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When it comes to malpractice claims, home-based care nurses are often more susceptible compared to their counterparts in other nursing specialties. That’s a fact that has held true for a while, too. Home-based care nurses — including home health, hospice and palliative care professionals —… Read More »As Malpractice Claims Against Home-Based Care Nurses Rise, Providers Must Focus on Risk Management

ProMedica Home Health Care, Banner Health Home Care Share Best Practices for Virtual Visits

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The COVID-19 emergency has triggered a rise in the use of telehealth strategies to deliver care, especially virtual visits. In fee-for-service Medicare alone, the number of virtual visits delivered each week in the U.S. skyrocketed from 14,000 pre-coronavirus to more than 1.7 million during the… Read More »ProMedica Home Health Care, Banner Health Home Care Share Best Practices for Virtual Visits

Home Health Value-Based Purchasing Model Set for Nationwide Expansion in ‘Next Year or So’

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The Center for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) is in need of a “course correction,” top U.S. health care officials believe. And part of that may include a national expansion of the Home Health Value-Based Purchasing Model. Created under the Affordable Care Act, CMMI —… Read More »Home Health Value-Based Purchasing Model Set for Nationwide Expansion in ‘Next Year or So’

Hospital Admissions Remain Down, But That Isn’t Bad News for Home Health Providers

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Hospital admissions across the U.S. fell dramatically in spring with the onset of the COVID-19 virus. That sudden drop, in turn, caused patient volumes to plummet for home health providers that work primarily with acute referral sources. While hospital admissions rebounded in summer, they remain… Read More »Hospital Admissions Remain Down, But That Isn’t Bad News for Home Health Providers

Half of Patients Referred to Home Health Don’t Receive Services — But Providers Can Change That

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Home health is often utilized as a recovery tool when patients transition out of the hospital because of its ability to improve outcomes. But many of the Medicare beneficiaries who receive referrals after being discharged aren’t actually receiving these services. Overall, the past several decades… Read More »Half of Patients Referred to Home Health Don’t Receive Services — But Providers Can Change That

‘Talent Acquisition Is Critical’: Inside PopHealthCare’s Home-Based Primary Care Model

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After steadily gaining steam over the last decade, in-home primary care models have reached a critical turning point in 2020. A handful of in-home primary care businesses have received multimillion-dollar investments to expand across the U.S., for example. At the same time, the U.S. Centers… Read More »‘Talent Acquisition Is Critical’: Inside PopHealthCare’s Home-Based Primary Care Model

Confessions of a Home Health Agency Owner: ‘CMS Is Trying to Put Agencies Like Mine Out of Business’

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For decades, home health agencies have learned to operate — and often thrive — in the midst of massive change. But since the start of 2019, that change has felt overwhelming for some agency owners, particularly those who run mom-and-pop businesses with razor-thin margins. Above… Read More »Confessions of a Home Health Agency Owner: ‘CMS Is Trying to Put Agencies Like Mine Out of Business’

Health Care Bankruptcies Hit Record High, But Home Health Care’s Financial Future Remains Murky

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An increase in bankruptcy filings in the second quarter of 2020 paints a bleak picture for the health care world, both on near- and long-term bases. But the impact of that financial distress on home health providers remains difficult to gauge. In part, it’s challenging… Read More »Health Care Bankruptcies Hit Record High, But Home Health Care’s Financial Future Remains Murky

Home Health Care’s ‘Pandemic Pioneer’ Grows Patient Census to All-Time High

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EvergreenHealth Home Care — one of the largest home health and hospice providers in the Pacific Northwest — is the home health industry’s “pandemic pioneer.” Affiliated with a local hospital based just outside of Seattle, EvergreenHealth Home Care began caring for its first COVID-19 patients… Read More »Home Health Care’s ‘Pandemic Pioneer’ Grows Patient Census to All-Time High

Amedisys Expands Personal Care Network Through New Partnership with BrightStar Care

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One of the largest home care franchises in the country is teaming up with one of the nation’s largest home health providers. Chicago-based BrightStar Care signed a care coordination agreement with Baton Rouge, Louisiana-based Amedisys Inc. (Nasdaq: AMED), adding BrightStar’s agencies to Amedisys’ personal care… Read More »Amedisys Expands Personal Care Network Through New Partnership with BrightStar Care

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand Pushes for Increased PPE, Telehealth Payment for In-Home Care Providers

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U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) is asking the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to ensure that in-home care providers have access to essential resources amid the coronavirus. Throughout the public health emergency, home health… Read More »Senator Kirsten Gillibrand Pushes for Increased PPE, Telehealth Payment for In-Home Care Providers

Home Health Agencies Aren’t ‘Upcoding’ to Maximize PDGM Reimbursement

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In designing the Patient-Driven Groupings Model (PDGM), officials from the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) made a handful of assumptions about how Medicare-certified home health operators would respond once the overhaul went live. Among those assumptions, CMS believed home health agencies would… Read More »Home Health Agencies Aren’t ‘Upcoding’ to Maximize PDGM Reimbursement

With 40% of Nursing Homes Close to Shutting Down, the ‘Shift to Home’ Is Likely to Accelerate

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Across the country, home health nurses and therapists continue to struggle with restrictions around seeing their patients in nursing homes, assisted living communities and other long-term care facilities. Unfortunately, those restrictions aren’t likely to go away anytime soon, especially when it comes to facilities located… Read More »With 40% of Nursing Homes Close to Shutting Down, the ‘Shift to Home’ Is Likely to Accelerate

The Pennant Group CEO: It’s Too Early to Draw Conclusions About PDGM’s Long-Term Impact

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So far, the transition to the Patient-Driven Groupings Model (PDGM) has gone smoothly for many home health agencies, with a majority successfully avoiding questionable encounters and achieving staffing efficiencies across their operations. Eagle, Idaho-based The Pennant Group Inc. (Nasdaq: PNTG) has seen positive results on… Read More »The Pennant Group CEO: It’s Too Early to Draw Conclusions About PDGM’s Long-Term Impact

Highmark Health, Contessa Expand Joint Venture Delivering Hospital-Level Care in the Home

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Highmark Health has announced it is expanding its joint venture relationship with Contessa, a company that helps organizations provide hospital-level care in the home through its Home Recovery Care model. The expansion comes at a time when more health systems and hospitals are looking to… Read More »Highmark Health, Contessa Expand Joint Venture Delivering Hospital-Level Care in the Home

Mission Healthcare Keeps Patients Out of ‘No Man’s Land’ with New Palliative Care Program

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Today, just a fraction of community-based palliative care programs are operated by home health providers. But the Patient-Driven Groupings Model (PDGM) and a shift away from fee-for-service Medicare will likely change that moving forward. Throughout the health care world, the term “palliative care” often carries… Read More »Mission Healthcare Keeps Patients Out of ‘No Man’s Land’ with New Palliative Care Program

OIG: Medicare Overpaid $267M for Hospital In-Patient Claims with Post-Acute Transfers to Home Health Services

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Hospitals improperly coding for post-discharge services contribute to hundreds of millions of dollars in Medicare overpayments. And the majority of incorrect payments are often related to home health services. That’s according to a new audit report from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)… Read More »OIG: Medicare Overpaid $267M for Hospital In-Patient Claims with Post-Acute Transfers to Home Health Services

LHC Group CFO: Historic Home Health Consolidation Opportunity Remains ‘Compelling as Ever’

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Since the worst stretch of the public health emergency, LHC Group Inc. (Nasdaq: LHCG) has seen a decrease in weekly COVID-related missed visits and improved its average daily census. It has also added thousands of new physician referral sources, a win for the company considering… Read More »LHC Group CFO: Historic Home Health Consolidation Opportunity Remains ‘Compelling as Ever’

Humana’s Bruce Broussard: Consumer Demand for Home-Based Care Models Will Continue to Increase

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Humana’s (NYSE: HUM) long-standing home- and community-based focus served the insurer well in Q2 2020 — a quarter dominated by the COVID-19 emergency. The coronavirus pushed more senior care into the home, boosting business for Louisville, Kentucky-based health insurance giant. As a result, the insurer… Read More »Humana’s Bruce Broussard: Consumer Demand for Home-Based Care Models Will Continue to Increase

Elara Caring Targets Physicians as Home Health Providers Rethink Referrals

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In the build-up to 2020 and the Patient-Driven Groupings Model (PDGM), many home health providers began shifting their referral strategies to focus more on hospitals, skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) and other institutional sources. Generally, providers realized that patients coming from such settings likely meant more… Read More »Elara Caring Targets Physicians as Home Health Providers Rethink Referrals

Budgeting for the Future: Kindred at Home, Johns Hopkins Home Care and Always Best Care Look Ahead to 2022

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As home health leaders look to the future, the lessons learned from the COVID-19 emergency will likely continue to shape their efforts for years to come. In terms of business planning, it will likely be a long while before there’s a return to a world… Read More »Budgeting for the Future: Kindred at Home, Johns Hopkins Home Care and Always Best Care Look Ahead to 2022

Encompass Health CEO Mark Tarr: It’s in Every Company’s Best Interest to Make Diversity a Priority

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Across the U.S., ongoing protests against police violence toward Black Americans and other people of color have caused many companies to take a closer look at issues pertaining to workplace diversity and inclusion. For some companies, this time has been a call to action, with… Read More »Encompass Health CEO Mark Tarr: It’s in Every Company’s Best Interest to Make Diversity a Priority

COVID-19, PDGM to Drive Home Health Deal Activity Up While Pushing Valuations Down

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The COVID-19 emergency has slowed mergers-and-acquisitions activity in the home-based care space, largely due to travel restrictions, general sector uncertainty and the shifting priorities of top leadership. However, interest in home-based care deals remains robust and valuations remain high. In fact, M&A experts expect deal… Read More »COVID-19, PDGM to Drive Home Health Deal Activity Up While Pushing Valuations Down

‘Family CNA Model’ for Pediatric Home Health Patients Gaining Momentum Amid COVID-19

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As states and cities shatter their old coronavirus records due to the current summer resurgence, health care officials and policymakers are once again shining a spotlight on high-risk populations, which include older adults in the community, individuals living in long-term care facilities and the immunocompromised.… Read More »‘Family CNA Model’ for Pediatric Home Health Patients Gaining Momentum Amid COVID-19

Humana Helps Fast-Track In-Home Primary Care Company Heal’s Growth with $100M Investment

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Health and well-being company Humana Inc. (NYSE: HUM) has spent the past few years adding to its health care services portfolio while aggressively investing around a home-based care strategy. The Louisville, Kentucky-based company has now revealed its latest step in that direction. On Wednesday, Humana… Read More »Humana Helps Fast-Track In-Home Primary Care Company Heal’s Growth with $100M Investment

Androscoggin CEO Ken Albert: COVID-19 Has Caused a Complete Shift in Our Operational Paradigm

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Founded in 1966, Androscoggin Home Healthcare+Hospice is the largest, nonprofit provider of home health and hospice services in the state of Maine. In recent years, Androscoggin has also expanded into palliative care, transitional care and more, according to CEO and President Ken Albert. The provider… Read More »Androscoggin CEO Ken Albert: COVID-19 Has Caused a Complete Shift in Our Operational Paradigm

Ambulance Crews and In-Home Care Providers Seek Collaboration — Not Competition

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As hospitals continue to experience overcapacity challenges due to the COVID-19 emergency, 911 ambulance crews and community paramedics have found themselves treating more patients at home. Historically, ambulance crews and community paramedics — both of which operate in the emergency medical services (EMS) space —… Read More »Ambulance Crews and In-Home Care Providers Seek Collaboration — Not Competition

Home Health Agencies with Recent Acquisitions Likely Still Waiting on CARES Act Funds

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In response to the COVID-19 emergency, the federal government distributed billions of dollars in CARES Act relief funding to health care providers, including Medicare-certified home health agencies. In some cases, though, the funds are being held up due to the distribution process. That’s a costly… Read More »Home Health Agencies with Recent Acquisitions Likely Still Waiting on CARES Act Funds

Despite COVID-19 Resurgence, Home Health Agencies Likely to Avoid Another Sudden Admissions Drop

Despite the resurgence of the coronavirus in the U.S., home health providers might not have to worry about another sudden drop in admissions. When the coronavirus first began its rapid spread across the country, jumping from a long-term care facility in Washington to the New… Read More »Despite COVID-19 Resurgence, Home Health Agencies Likely to Avoid Another Sudden Admissions Drop

Buyer Beware: Factors Home-Based Care Providers Should Consider Before Acquiring PPP Recipients

Pre-coronavirus, the home health and home care industries were already poised for historic consolidation, thanks to the Patient-Driven Groupings Model (PDGM), rising minimum wages and other operational pressures. Industry leaders predict that the COVID-19 emergency will only drive M&A further going forward. However, home-based care… Read More »Buyer Beware: Factors Home-Based Care Providers Should Consider Before Acquiring PPP Recipients