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Let ElevatingHOME connect you with the resources, stories and newsworthy data you need for a variety of home-based care topics.
 
ElevatingHOME is a valuable media asset connecting journalists with the right industry contact to meet the needs of a developing story. Home-based care providers have been delivering care to patients in the comfort of their own home for more than century. This rich history, along with the vast array of services provided and emotional patient experiences are just a few reasons why home-based care agencies can provide a unique story angle for your publication. Home-based care agencies also have a strong drive to influence legislative and regulatory changes in home health care and hospice policies to ensure their patients receive high-quality care.

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2020  |  2019  |  2018  |  2017


2020

Mar. 3, 2020
Coronavirus: The Time For Calm Preparedness Is Now
COVID-19 (also referred to as the coronavirus) poses a significant threat to those who become infected. Should the virus spread within the U.S., as it has in other countries, the older people you support will be disproportionately impacted because of age and, in some cases, close living conditions.

Feb. 19, 2020
HOSPICE Act
On February 10, Congressman Jimmy Panetta (D-CA) and Congressman Tom Reed (R-NY) introduced the Helping Our Senior Population in Comfort Environments Act or HOSPICE Act (H.R. 5821). The HOSPICE Act was developed in response to the July 2019 Office of Inspector General (OIG) reports that identified several concerns in the hospice program related to the survey process and quality of care.

Feb. 5, 2020
Policy Priorities 2020 Are Live
We are excited to announce the VNAA/ElevatingHOME Policy Priorities for 2020. "The priorities we announce today will guide us in the coming months as we fight for adequate financing, responsive and responsible legislation, and thoughtful regulation that supports the best high-value, high-quality home-based care," said Katie Smith Sloan, Acting Executive Director, VNAA/ElevatingHOME. 

Jan. 21, 2020
January 23 Capitol Hill Insights Call Features U.S. Senate Staffer

Join our next members-only Capitol Hill Insights Call on Thursday, January 23, at 2pm ET. Conor Sheehey, lead health staff person for U.S. Senator Tim Scott (R-SC), will share his perspective on the CNA Lockout legislation cosponsored by his office. LeadingAge's experts on aging services policy in Congress will also provide an update on current legislative changes.

2019

Dec. 10, 2019 | MedPAC recommends no Hospice Payment Update
MedPAC had their December meeting last week. MedPAC recommended that the hospice payment rate get no update from FY2020 in FY2021 (as it stands in current law, hospices would get a 2.8% update) and that the hospice aggregate cap be cut by 20% and be wage adjusted. MedPAC estimates that no update + the changes to the cap would have the overall impact of a -3% cut but feel that recommending the adjustment in this manner is more targeted. MedPAC Commissioners had a robust conversation on differences in length of stay related to diagnosis and the potential impact of proposed changes on rural hospice providers.

Nov. 26, 2019 | VNAA and ElevatingHOME Launches Two Best Practice Modules on Blueprint for Excellence
VNAA & ElevatingHOME work groups have just completed two new modules of the award-winning Blueprint for Excellence, 'Home Healthcare Worker Safety' and 'Registered Nurse Orientation Pathway.' The Blueprint for Excellence is a widely recognized online tool created by leaders in home health and hospice to guide adoption of clinical and operational best practices. Visit the Blueprint for Excellence here and sign up for introductory webinars here.

Nov. 12, 2019 | MA Supplemental Benefit Toolkit Now Available
LeadingAge has created a new Medicare Advantage Supplemental Benefits toolkit to help guide aging services organizations, including home health and hospice agencies, identify and act upon opportunities to partner with Medicare Advantage (MA) plans. The toolkit includes information for understanding how supplemental benefits work, assessing activity for each market, evaluating the opportunity, and which plans to approach. It also provides a template for telling your story to MA plans about the benefits of the services you provide in terms the plans understand. The toolkit also highlights existing Center for Managed Care Solutions resources helpful to all members, including an updated Glossary of Terms and Acronyms, and other contracting resources. ElevatingHOME and VNAA members can access the toolkit through our partnership with LeadingAge, but must have a member login.

Apr. 8, 2019 | The Nurse Workforce Challenge In Home Health
HomeCare Magazine recently published an editorial by Danielle Pierotti, RN, PhD, CENP, Vice President of Quality and Research at ElevatingHOME and VNAA, entitled, “The Nurse Workforce Challenge in Home Health.” The editorial, available here, focuses on the RN workforce and the growing vacancy rates and recruitment challenges home-based care faces today. The HomeCare Magazine piece follows a study commissioned by ElevatingHOME and VNAA and subsequent white paper report examining the state of new graduate RNs in home-based care. The report, “New Graduates in Home-Based Care,” summarizes expert opinions from nurse leaders in home-based care and nurse academics.

Apr. 2, 2019 | Get To Know LeadingAge Leadership
As new members of LeadingAge, VNAA and ElevatingHOME members may be curious about the organization’s leadership team. Below is a brief introduction to LeadingAge’s CEO and the subject matter experts in advocacy, education, applied research, and technology.

Mar. 5, 2019 | LeadingAge Resources
As noted in last week’s Member Update, VNAA and ElevatingHOME members are now LeadingAge members and will have access to LeadingAge resources and benefits. We are excited to share with you an overview of the LeadingAge resources offered via its centers -- dedicated areas of focus devoted to providing the latest information, tools, guidance, and community for members.

Feb. 26, 2019 | LeadingAge Affiliation
Last week, we told you about an exciting step forward for our organization: we have entered into an agreement with the intent to affiliate with LeadingAge. This is a strategic opportunity for both organizations to increase our impact and influence across the continuum of services and supports for people as they age. Our organizations have shared visions, similar missions, and a deep commitment to service. 

Feb. 19, 2019​ | A Brighter Future Together with LeadingAge 
Today, VNAA and ElevatingHOME take an important step towards increasing our impact and influence across the full continuum of services and supports for people as they age. We have entered into an agreement with the intent to affiliate with LeadingAge. Our organizations have shared visions, similar missions, and a deep commitment to service. Together, we are committed to high quality, person-centered care for individuals in any setting they call home.

2018

Dec. 18, 2018 | Bill To Protect Health Care Workers From Workplace Violence Reintroduced In Congress
On February 19, 2019, Rep. Joe Courtney (D-CT) reintroduced the “Workplace Violence Prevention for Health Care and Social Service Workers Act” (H.R. 1309). The legislation would require certain employers in the health care and social service sectors to develop and implement a comprehensive workplace violence prevention plan. 

Dec. 11, 2018 | Congressional Update And Outlook
Since Congress returned to Washington post-election, the key legislative focus has been finishing up seven outstanding FY2019 federal funding appropriations bills. Funding for these bills was set to expire Friday, December 7. 

Dec. 11, 2018 | Wyden Recognizes Bipartisan Health Care Accomplishments, Charts Next Steps On Chronic Care
Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Ron Wyden (D-Oregon) spoke this week at the Bipartisan Policy Center to honor the leadership of retiring Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) on the passage of the CHRONIC Care Act, and to offer ideas on additional improvements that could be made to update the Medicare guarantee for seniors now and into the future. The event focused on the CHRONIC Care Act, which passed earlier this year and has entered the implementation phase. 

Nov. 14, 2018 | Update To VNAA And ElevatingHOME Policy Team
It is with appreciation for all her contributions that I announce the resignation of Joy Cameron. I know you share my gratitude for everything she has brought to VNAA and ElevatingHOME.  

Oct. 30, 2018 | Medicare Advantage Paid For Telehealth For Seniors
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released a proposed Medicare Advantage on Friday, October 26 that would allow MA plans to cover more telehealth services and would streamline benefits and appeals for dually enrolled beneficiaries. The proposed rule also would change how star ratings are calculated for MA plans, and the agency says proposed tweaks to CMS’ audits of risk-adjusted payments would save the Medicare Trust Fund $4.5 billion over 10 years.

Oct. 30, 2018 | Opioid Law Signed
Last week, H.R. 6, the Substance Use-Disorder Prevention that Promotes Opioid Recovery and Treatment for Patients and Communities Act (SUPPORT) was signed into law. The Act includes a section which amends the Controlled Substances Act and allows a hospice employee to handle lawfully dispensed controlled substances of deceased hospice patients to assist with disposal of the controlled substances, so long as the disposal occurs onsite in accordance with applicable law. 

Oct. 22, 2018 | VNAA and ElevatingHOME Announce MedBridge Partnership
VNAA and ElevatingHOME are pleased to announce an exciting new partnership with MedBridge, an industry leader in online clinical education. MedBridge offers clinicians and health care organizations an all-in-one online education platform that provides access to unlimited CEUs, patient education tools, and home exercise programs that enhance clinical excellence, engage patients, and improve outcomes.

Oct. 16, 2018 | Review Choice Demonstration FAQ, Comment Opportunity And Latest Revision
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has stated that the Review Choice Demonstration will “offer more flexibility and choice for providers, as well as risk-based changes to reward providers who show compliance with Medicare home health policies.” Participation is not mandatory. However, home health agencies that choose not to participate will be penalized through a 25% reduction to payments.

Sept. 25, 2018 | Homecare For Seniors Act Introduced In The House Of Representatives
A new bill introduced in the House of Representatives would make it possible for patients to use a health savings account (HSA) for home care services. The bill, H.R. 6813 or the Homecare for Seniors Act, was introduced on September 13 and is sponsored by U.S. Representatives Sam Johnson (R-Texas) and John Larson (D-Connecticut). It would amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to allow tax-free distributions from HSAs to cover qualified home care services.

Sept. 25, 2018 | Legislation Eliminates 6.4% Negative Impact Of Behavioral Adjustments In PDGM
Republican Sen. John Kennedy of Louisiana introduced S. 3458 seeking to remove the controversial behavioral adjustments. The bill is co-sponsored by Sen. Bill Cassidy, also a Republican from Louisiana. The legislation takes aim at the behavioral adjustment of Patient Directed Groupings Model (PDGM), which have been opposed by many home health stakeholders including VNAA and ElevatingHOME. 

Sept. 18, 2018 | CMS Proposes “Patients Over Paperwork” Regulatory Changes, Comment By Nov. 19
On Monday, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced its latest proposed rule focused on minimizing burdens on home health agencies, hospice providers, hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, and other health care entities. The proposed rule would save health care providers an estimated $1.12 billion a year, according to CMS.

Aug. 21, 2018 | Medicare Easing Prohibition For New Home Health Providers In Moratorium Areas
Medicare has eased a prohibition on new home health and non-emergency ambulance providers and will consider enrolling new providers on a case-by-case basis. Because of a temporary moratorium based on fraud and abuse concerns, new home health providers are currently barred from enrolling in Medicare in Florida, Illinois, Michigan, and Texas.

Aug. 7, 2018 | 2019 Hospice Rule Finalized
On August 1, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) finalized regulations first proposed in late April regarding the FY2019 Hospice Wage Index and Payment Rate Update and Hospice Quality Reporting Requirements. 

Aug. 7, 2018 | Electronic Visit Verification Legislation Signed Into Law
H.R. 6042, a widely supported bill to delay the nationwide deadline for electronic visit verification (EVV) in Medicaid-reimbursed personal care services, was signed into law. The 21st Century Cures Act originally required home care providers and state agencies to begin adopting EVV systems by January 1, 2019. H.R. 6042, sponsored by Rep. Brett Guthrie (R-Kentucky), pushes that deadline back to January 1, 2020. The bill passed through both the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate without opposition.

July 30, 2018 | Review Choice Demonstration Comment Letter
ElevatingHOME and VNAA submitted comments to CMS on the Review Choice Demonstration. We are very concerned about the potential implication of such a demonstration on patient access, the focus on paperwork over patients and the burden on providers. We shared those concerns and a series of questions for CMS to answer to ensure a better implementation.

July 24, 2018 | Palliative Care And Hospice Education Training Act (PCHETA) Passes The House
The U.S. House of Representatives on Monday passed the Palliative Care and Hospice Education Training Act (PCHETA) -  H.R. 1676, a bipartisan piece of legislation designed to expand and strengthen end-of-life care through outreach and training programs, by a voice vote. The Senate version of this legislation is S. 693.

July 24, 2018 | Electronic Visit Verification Delay Legislation Passes Through Both Houses Of Congress
The U.S. Senate unanimously approved legislation to delay the requirement of electronic visit verification (EVV) to document when personal care services are provided until 2020. An identical bill passed the House of Representatives, sending the legislation to President Trump to sign into law.

July 17, 2018 | Intersection Of The CMS Proposed Physician PPS “Virtual Interactions” And Proposed Home Health PPS’ “Remote Patient Monitoring”
CMS’ physician payment proposal would reimburse physicians for certain virtual interactions, a move that some see as a significant first step in overcoming the telehealth payment obstacle. Buried in the 1,473-page proposed rule released last week by CMS are several new proposals to pay physicians for virtual check-ins and reviewing patient photos or videos using asynchronous or “store-and-forward” transmission.

June 26, 2018 | Significant Opioid Legislation Passes The House Of Representatives
H.R. 6, the Substance Use-Disorder Prevention that Promotes Opioid Recovery and Treatment (SUPPORT) for Patients and Communities Act, is a bipartisan bill that will help in overall efforts to combat the opioid crisis by advancing treatment and recovery initiatives, improving prevention, protecting communities, and bolstering efforts to fight deadly illicit synthetic drugs like fentanyl.

May 29, 2018 | GAO Report Recommends Resumption Of The Pre-Claim Review Demonstration
In a recent report focusing on the potential cost savings from prior authorization for medical services and devices, the GAO recommends the resumption of the highly criticized Pre-Claim Review Demonstration (PCRD).  

May 25, 2018 | Home Health Infection Prevention Toolkit: Now Available
Infections in the home care setting are not uncommon, yet there are few tools and resources specifically designed for the home care professional. To help address this need and make care safer, the Great Plains Quality Innovation Network Home Health Infection Prevention and Control Initiative was established.

May 24, 2018 | Sepsis Alliance Launches Network To Improve Treatment For Sepsis, The Leading Cause Of Death In U.S. Hospitals
Sepsis Alliance, the nation’s leading sepsis patient advocacy non-profit organization, launched the Sepsis Coordinator Network today, a first of its kind online network that provides healthcare professionals with evidence-based best-practice resources and guidance to improve outcomes for patients with sepsis. In the United States, sepsis affects more than 1.7 million people and takes 270,000 lives each year. Sepsis is the body’s overwhelming response to infection, which can lead to tissue damage, organ failure, amputations, and death.

May 1, 2018 | National Quality Forum Seeking Nominations For Board Of Directors
The National Quality Forum (NQF) announces a call for nominations to join its Board of Directors. There are currently three vacancies and new Board members will begin their terms in January 2019. Two of the three vacancies must be filled with a purchaser or consumer stakeholder pursuant to NQF's By-Laws.

Apr. 10, 2018 | Medicaid Face-To-Face Compliance
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) Medicaid Home Health final rule was published on February 2, 2016 with an effective date of July 1, 2016. States are required to comply with these provisions, however, as indicated in the final rule, CMS recognizes that states may experience operational and budgetary implications that states need to consider as they plan to implement certain provisions of the final rule. Therefore, CMS delayed compliance with the final rule for up to two years from the effective date, based on state legislative cycles. 

Apr. 10, 2018 | New Center For Medicare And Medicaid Innovation Director Appointed
Adam Boehler, who started home-based care company Landmark Health, has been tapped as the new director of the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI). The appointment puts an individual with home care expertise in charge of the office spearheading new Medicare payment and delivery models, such as bundled payment programs, and accountable care organizations (ACOs).

Apr. 3, 2018 | Managing The Nation's Pain: NQF Issues Essential Guidance On Opioid Stewardship
The opioid epidemic in America is an urgent public health crisis with devastating consequences. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly two million Americans have a prescription-related opioid use disorder (OUD) and more than 46 Americans die each day from a prescription opioid-related overdose—a more than four-fold increase since 1999. 

Mar. 20, 2018 | MedPAC Recommends Five Percent Rate Reduction For Home Health In 2019
The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) submitted its Medicare payment policy report to Congress on March 15, recommending a 5 percent payment rate reduction to the home health care industry for 2019. The recommendation is in line with prior reports from MedPAC, which is tasked with advising Congress on the administration of the Medicare program. MedPAC also recommended a 5 percent cut in 2017.

Mar. 8, 2018 | ElevatingHOME Welcomes New Board Members
ElevatingHOME today announced that Ray Darcey, Aurora Health at Home; Michael Monson, Long Term Service and Supports and Dual Eligibles with Centene Corporation; Steve Rodgers, AccentCare, Inc.; and Faith Scott, VNA of Northern New Jersey have been named to the ElevatingHOME Board of Directors. ElevatingHOME membership voted to appoint the four new Board members at the annual National Leadership Conference in Washington, DC.

Mar. 7, 2018 | ElevatingHOME Honors Leaders in Home-Based Care at 2018 National Leadership Conference 
ElevatingHOME today honored recipients of the 2018 ElevatingHOME Outstanding Leadership Awards at the National Leadership Conference in Washington, DC. The annual ElevatingHOME Awards program recognizes the contributions of innovative organizations and leaders in the home-based care industry.

Feb. 28, 2018 | The Safe Disposal Of Unused Medication Act Introduced In The U.S. House Of Representatives
On February 15, Representative Tim Walberg (MI-07) introduced H.R. 5041, the Safe Disposal of Unused Medication Act, in response to America’s opioid crisis. Representatives Debbie Dingell (MI-12) and Richard Hudson (NC-08) joined Representative Walberg as original cosponsors of the bill. This legislation would help prevent the misuse or diversion of unused medications by equipping hospice professionals with the legal authority to safely dispose of unused drugs after a hospice patient’s death.

Jan. 16, 2018 | Congress Passes Bipartisan RAISE Family Caregivers Act
The Recognize, Assist, Include, Support, and Engage (RAISE) Family Caregivers Act (S. 1028/H.R. 3759) recently passed through Congress (the House on December 18 and the Senate on January 9), and is now headed to the President for his signature. ElevatingHOME engaged in this advocacy effort as part of the overall strategy to support and advocate for family caregivers. 

Jan. 16, 2018 | MedPAC Recommends Elimination Of MIPS Program
On Thursday, January 11, the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) voted to recommend eliminating the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) under MACRA. MACRA established new payment updates, giving a 5 percent incentive payment for qualified participants in the advanced alternative payment model (APM). 

2017

Dec. 19, 2017 | Congressional Extenders Package May Impact Home Health
With the end of the year just around the corner, Congress still has numerous legislative items left to be completed. Currently, the House and Senate are working to complete the tax reform legislation. The House passed this legislation today and the Senate will begin its work later this evening. Of pressing concern is the government funding that is due to run out on Friday. Additionally, at the end of the year, important priorities like the rural add-on will expire with costs associated.  

Nov. 28, 2017 | ElevatingHOME Details End Of Year Congressional Actions
There are approximately fifteen working days Congress has left in 2017. Much of its remaining work includes ElevatingHOME priorities, such as the rural add-ons and additional legislative concerns, such as pay-fors that impact home-based care. 

Nov. 21, 2017 | CMS Delays HHA CoPs Civil Monetary Penalties For One Year
ElevatingHOME has confirmed that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ (CMS) Survey and Certification Group will instruct its Regional Offices to delay imposing Civil Monetary Penalties (CMPs) on home health agencies (HHAs) for one year beginning on the final implementation date of the new Conditions of Participation (CoPs), currently scheduled for January 13, 2018. 

Nov. 14, 2017 | Medical Expense Tax Deduction Status Update
The Senate released its version of the tax reform package late last week. The Senate proposal would keep the medical expense deduction for millions of Americans with high medical costs. ElevatingHOME joined other advocacy organizations in requesting that the medical expense tax deduction not be included in the Congressional tax reform efforts.

Nov. 7, 2017 | Remote Patient Monitoring Benefit In The Physician Fee Schedule
The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released the 2018 Physician Fee Schedule, which effectively created a remote patient monitoring benefit. CMS unbundled 99091 from the CCM code. This means that starting in 2018 this code can be billed separately allowing a physician or other qualified care professional to get paid for monitoring biometric patient data transmitted digitally by a patient or caregiver. The code allows for $57 per month per patient for a cumulative 30 minutes of monitoring. 

Nov. 2, 2017 | Nation’s Home Health Leaders Commend CMS For Not Finalizing Home Health Groupings Model In Final HHPPS Rule
The nation’s leading home health organizations, including the Partnership for Quality Home Healthcare (Partnership), the National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) and ElevatingHOME, commend the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) for not finalizing the proposed Home Health Groupings Model (HHGM) in the Home Health Prospective Payment System (HHPPS) Proposed Rule for CY 2018.

Oct. 31, 2017 | Unified Compromise Proposal To House Ways And Means Committee To Withdraw HHGM
In an unprecedented display of industry collaboration, a unified compromise proposal was offered to the House Ways and Means Committee in an effort to gain a withdrawal of the HHGM proposal from the CY2018 Home Health Prospective Payment System final rule. As we have previously advised, the final rule is with the Office of Management and Budget, but is expected to be finalized in the next few days. In order for any element of the rule to take effect by January 1, 2018, it must be finalized and released by November 1.

Sept. 11, 2017 | Home-Based Care Community Unites In Response To Hurricane Harvey Flooding
Today, ElevatingHOME launches a nationwide charitable initiative to support home-based care agencies in Texas impacted by Hurricane Harvey’s devastating floodwaters.

Sept. 11, 2017 | National Summit Report Released; Recommendations To Guide ElevatingHOME Strategic Initiatives
ElevatingHOME released today the Summary Report on the National Summit on the Future of Home-Based Care, hosted July 20-21, 2017 in Rosemont, IL. The report outlines proceedings from the National Summit and identifies recommendations developed by nearly 70 home-based care industry leaders representing agencies of all types and sizes and Corporate Partners providing an array of services.

April 19, 2017 | Introducing ElevatingHOME: A Unifying Voice for Home Health Care
ElevatingHOME Board Chair Joseph Scopelliti lays out the vision for this new nonprofit that aims to unify the voices of home-based health care and reposition home-based care as the center of health care delivery.