Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Who do recommend for Insurance for our Home Health Agency??

Over the past few years we have received countless requests from our readers asking for recommendations for an insurance company that specializes in the home health industry.
Here is one of those requests:

"We are a small Home Health Care business in Maryland.  We are state licensed and just recently received ACHC accreditation.  Are you aware of any Insurance Companies that specialize in HHC Business Insurance? We're getting raked over the coals with a 20% increase from our local insurance company and that with 0 claims ever made!


Beth H., Operations Manager"

We responded with a suggestion that she contact David Dickie at The Solutions Group.  We have received tremendous feedback over the years from individuals who have purchased insurance through The Solutions Group, so we invited them to become a Resource Associate for The Academy for Private Duty Home Care and Selling Home Health Care to Physicians programs.

Resource Associates are companies that we highly recommend to our readers and our workshop participants because we have great confidence in their products, and we know that the owners of these companies are high integrity people who provide exceptional value to their customers. 

Several months later, we received this note back from Beth.

"Thank you so much for recommending David Dickie for our insurance needs.  We will save 62% this year on our liability policy and we have more coverage than our original policy!

Thank you again!


It is customer feedback like this that makes us very comfortable in recommending companies like The Solutions Group and David Dickie.  If you are interested in saving money and increasing profits for your home care company, click on the link below and check out the information on The Solutions Group.  

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

US Senators Support Home Health and Hospice

By Stephen Tweed

When  was the last time you visited Washington DC and the US Capitol?  When was the last time you walked into the office of your US Senator?  When was the last time you sat in a Senate conference room to hear eight members of the Senate speak about home care and hospice?

I'm writing to you today from the Russell Senate Office Building in Washington DC where the National Association for Home Care and Hospice has gathered for their March on Washington and Private Duty Home Care Association meeting.  We just heard eight US Senators speak to the group, and each one of them described their own experience with home care or hospice with a family member or constituent, and their support for the services we provide. 

Today, we heard from:

Senator Kay Hagan (D-NC)
Senator Mary Landrieu (D-LA)
Senator Jerry Moran (R-KS)
Senator Pat Roberts (R-KS)
Senator Susan Collins (R-ME)
Senator Mark Warner (D-VA)
Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD)

Each one of them thanked us for what we do in caring for patients and saving money for the government.

And yet, as Senator Pat Roberts from Kansas said, "And how do we thank you?  With cuts in Medicare reimbursement."  Go figure.

After our opportunity to hear from these Senators, I went down the hall to the office of the senior Senator from Kentucky, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.  While I was not able to meet with the Senator, I spent some significant time with my friend, Karl Magnuson, who is an intern in the Senator's office.  Karl talked with me about the workings of the office and his role in preparing daily press briefings for the senator and his staff.  Then we had lunch in the small take out grill in the underbelly of the US Capitol, and Karl showed me some of his own secret spots as we toured the Capitol building.

In a bit of serendipity, we also bumped into Kentucky Senator Rand Paul on the tram that runs under ground from the Russell Senate Office Building over to the Capitol.  We had an opportunity to listen in as Senator Paul talked with some constituents about immigration reform. 

NAHC Legislative and Regulatory Priorities

By Stephen Tweed

What's most important to you in terms of legislation and regulation regarding home health care and hospice?  What's the impact of new laws and regulations be on your home health agency or hospice?
What do you need to do to get ready for the future?

As I visited with agency owners, CEOs, and senior leaders during the NAHC March on Washington and Private Duty Home Care meeting this past week, the biggest issue I was hearing was the impact of The Accountable Care Act on the business operations and finances of home health, hospice, and private duty home care.  Monday evening I participated in a series of stand-up round table conversations about the biggest strategic issues in Private Duty.

On Tuesday, we went over to the Russell Senate Office Building to hear from eight senators who support home care and hospice (See previous post).  Then we spent some time reviewing the legislative and regulatory priorities from the National Association for Home Care and Hospice.

Here's what's on top of the list for NAHC:
  • Ensure home care and hospice participation in transitions of care, Accountable Care Organizations, Chronic Care Management, Heath Information Exchanges, and other health care delivery reforms.
  • Allow Nurse Practitioners and Physician Assistance to sign home health plans of care.
  • Recognize Telehomecare interactions as bona fide Medicare and Medicaid services.
  • Enact a comprehensive home and community based long term care program for all age groups
  • Ensure the availability of home care and hospice personnel to meet the growing needs of the baby boom generation.
  • Ensure appropriate and adequate reimbursement for and access to Medicare home health services.
  • Oppose a "sick tax" - a fee paid by patients to access Medicare Home Health services.
  • Establish reasonable standards for rebasing Medicare home health service payment rates.
  • Reform the home health face-to-face encounter requirement.
  • Require Medicare Advantage plans to provide a home health benefit fully equivalent to original Medicare
  • Ensure full market basket updates to Medicare home health.
  • Establish transparent and accurate processes for modification of PPS payment rates and case-mix adjustments
  • Ensure full market basket updates for the Medicare hospice benefit.
  • Revise the requirements for Hospice face-to-face encounters.
  • Oppose expansion of co-payments for Medicare hospice benefit.
  • Ensure access to hospice care for rural patients.
  • Protect and expand access to home and community based care under Medicaid.
  • Protect access to home care and hospice services, including care paid for directly by individuals.
This is an ambitious agenda, and we encourage you to get involved in your state home care association, and to actively support the legislative and regulatory agenda of your state and the National Association.