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October 9, 2018

Education at Day 2 of the NAHC Conference Provides Insight Everyone in Home Health and Hospice Needs

A major reason why so many industry professionals came to the 2018 Home Health and Hospice Conference and Expo in Grapevine, Texas is the world-class education that can be found nowhere else.

Home Health Updates from Your MAC, CGS addressed recent and future changes in Medicare that have or will impact processing and payment of Medicare claims to home health agencies. We will also discuss common billing errors and resources for preventing and resolving these mistakes. This class was a must-attend for anyone whose home health agency is in Colorado, Delaware, Iowa, Kansas, Maryland, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, Wyoming, or the District of Columbia, or other states where CGS might be your Medicare Administrative Contractor (Jurisdiction 15).

Hospice Updates from Your MAC, CGS did the same for those in palliative care. This session, presented by Medicare Administrative Contractor CGS Administrators, LLC, addressed recent and future changes in Medicare that have or will impact processing and payment of Medicare claims to hospice agencies. The class also discussed common billing errors and resources for preventing and resolving these mistakes.

Katie Wehri, CHPC, Director of Operations Consulting for Healthcare Provider Solutions, Inc., who is coming to work for NAHC very soon, taught the Hospice Quality Reporting class, which focused on quality reporting and how it ties into all of PAC quality reporting, the anticipated changes and what they mean. Attendees got the latest information for the hospice quality reporting program from the FY2019 final rule and share predictions of the future including HEART and payment tied to quality.

One of the most important topics in home health today is the Home Health Groupings Model  (HHGM) and what it means for the industry. HHGM and Payment models in Home Health: What’s Next? focused on one provider’s efforts to proactively prepare for Medicare home health payment reform. The session shared specific data results from analysis of estimated financial and operational impacts of the next version of HHGM and specific strategies on how the provider is preparing for such changes. The class was taught by BKD Managing Director M. Aaron Little and Well Care Home Health President and COO Wanda Coley, two experts in the field.

Private duty providers had plenty of choice of education at the conference. For example, Making Your Private Duty Agency the First Choice of Caregivers delved deeply into the problems facing this unique group of providers. Do you have the same challenge facing most home care agencies? Are your home health aides working for multiple agencies? Are you not always the first pick when you are trying to staff cases? Do you find yourself asking: How do I get a home health aide to pick my company as a new employee versus another agency? How do I decrease turnover? If you have any of these challenges, this interactive session, where you got expert and crowd-sourced solutions, was perfect for you.

What’s ahead for hospice providers in 2019 and beyond? That’s a great question, but answers are not easy to find. Fortunately, NAHC’s Vice President of Hospice Affairs, Theresa Forster, is one of the few human beings on the planet who can answer it and she was on hand to teach the session What’s in Store: A Hospice Regulatory and Policy Update.

Over recent years, hospice has undergone rapid transformation as the result of numerous regulatory changes and intensified oversight efforts. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) ongoing monitoring of hospice utilization and practice patterns are expected to produce additional regulatory and policy changes over the coming years. This session provided an overview of pending hospice regulatory and policy considerations in the hospice world, with a special focus on the fiscal year 2019 payment rule and other recent developments.

That’s just a sampling of the best-in-class education available on only one day of the conference. For those who were here, they have a leg up on the competition because knowledge and insight is a big advantage. For those who were not here, you should probably make plans to join NAHC in October 2019 in Seattle, so, in the future; you will be the one with a leg up on the competition.