Article 5

October 10, 2018

Education at Day 3 of the NAHC Conference Shows You How to Keep Your Agency on the Right Side

Health care is perhaps the most-regulated industry in the United States and staying on the right side of all the laws and regulations that exist can seem like a bigger job than actually caring for patients. Fortunately for those who attended the 2018 Home Care and Hospice Conference and Expo in Grapevine, Texas, the experts who know how to keep your agency on the right side were on hand to provide guidance.

Home Health Regulatory Roundup, moderated by NAHC’s own Vice President for Regulatory Affairs Mary Carr, informed attendees about the status of the current Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) regulations and policies that are of greatest concern to home health agencies. Hot topics included the proposed home health prospective payment system (HH PPS) rate update for 2019 and the new payment model, the home health conditions of participation (HHCoPs), the Review Choice (RCD) demo, Probe and Educate and more. Attendees were also able to ask their own questions of one of the industry’s top experts on regulatory issues and get their questions answered.

Home Health CoPs Survey Deficiencies and Everything You Should Know covered almost everything you need to know about the new Conditions of Participation, which have been such a challenge for the industry. With the new G tags, it’s important to understand what can cause your agency survey deficiencies, including conditional level. While you have a reprieve from monetary sanctions the first year, home health pros must take lessons learned and apply that to their agencies.

Of course, it isn’t only home health agencies that worry about staying on the right side of regulators. Government Scrutiny and Your Hospice: Addressing Common Risk Factors Before the Government Comes Knocking examined common risk factors that can lead to scrutiny by the U.S. Department of Justice, FBI, HHS Office of the Inspector General or state authorities, including data-based risk factors, whistle-blowers, exposure based on connections with other providers, and methods for addressing and mitigating those risks.

Beyond avoiding trouble with regulators, one of the biggest issues in health care today is disaster preparedness, a subject that seems to grow in importance as severe weather becomes more common. Caring for Our Patients and Staff During Disasters…. Disaster Preparedness Lessons draws on what Amedisys has learned about disaster preparation after surviving Katrina and Joplin. Through acquisitions, they are now prepared too for earthquakes, blizzards, fires, and floods and have created a world-class emergency education and response system that takes care of patients and clinicians. The Conditions of Participation (CoP) enables them to better respond to patients involved in an emergency situation and they passed these lessons on to attendees.

Becoming familiar with your Medicare Administrative Contractor is one of the best things an agency can do. That’s why Meet Your Medicare Contractor: National Government Services (NGS) was such a popular and useful education session. This live interactive session helped attendees stay informed of changing Medicare regulations to they can avoid costly Medicare mistakes. NGS consultants provided Medicare updates on the latest regulatory and compliance changes and offered several free tools for providers to assist them in keeping current with Medicare regulations.

As the health care landscape becomes increasingly competitive and complicated, staying on the right side of regulators will become increasingly important. Fortunately, NAHC education allows providers to get the information they need quickly and efficiently, so they can spend more time taking care of their patients.