Archive for the ‘Industry News’ Category

Sun-Sentinel: Get Disabled Children Out of Nursing Homes

July 29, 2013

South Florida Sun-Sentinel Editorial

If Pearl Buck was right, and “the test of a civilization is the way that it cares for its helpless members,” Florida got a failing grade this week.

The U.S. Justice Department filed suit Monday against the state, accusing it of violating the federal Americans with Disabilities Act by failing to do enough to keep children with disabilities in Florida from being sent for care to nursing homes for the elderly. The department’s lawsuit called it “deliberate indifference to the suffering” of those children.

The head of the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration, Liz Dudek, called the lawsuit “disruptive” and accused Washington of wanting to take over the state’s Medicaid and disability programs. Seriously?

The Justice Department says it spent six months investigating the plight of disabled kids in Florida nursing homes before calling on the state last September to do more to give their families the option of care at home or in community-based settings. The department filed suit after concluding that it couldn’t count on the state to comply voluntarily. (more…)

CMS Imposes First Affordable Care Act Enrollment Moratoria to Combat Fraud

July 26, 2013

Building on strong anti-fraud efforts already underway, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ Administrator Marilyn Tavenner today announced temporary moratoria on the enrollment of new home health provider and ambulance supplier enrollments in Medicare, Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) in three fraud “hot spot” areas of the country, including two Florida counties. The goal of the temporary moratoria is to fight fraud and safeguard taxpayer dollars, while ensuring patient access to care. Authority to impose such moratoria was included in the Affordable Care Act, and CMS is exercising this authority for the first time.

Under the moratoria, existing providers and suppliers can continue to deliver and bill for services, but no new provider and supplier applications will be approved in these areas for all three programs. The temporary enrollment moratoria apply to newly-enrolling home health agencies in the Miami and Chicago metropolitan areas; and newly-enrolling ground ambulance suppliers in the Houston metropolitan area (see list of affected counties below). CMS announced the temporary, six-month moratoria in a notice issued today in the Federal Register. (more…)

Humana to Buy Key Player in Florida’s Medicaid Program

July 26, 2013

TALLAHASSEE — As the state prepares to move forward next month with shifting thousands of elderly Floridians into Medicaid managed-care plans, Humana Inc. is buying a major player in the program.

Humana said Wednesday it has reached an agreement to acquire American Eldercare Inc., which has received contracts to provide long-term care under Medicaid to seniors throughout the state. American Eldercare also has been the largest provider in the state’s longstanding “nursing-home diversion” program. (more…)

People on the Move: CHAP Appoints Karen Collishaw as President/CEO

July 23, 2013

Karen CollishawThe Board of Directors of the Community Health Accreditation Program – CHAP – announces the selection of Ms. Karen Collishaw as the nonprofit organization’s new President and Chief Executive Officer. Ms. Collishaw will direct CHAP – the nation’s leading organization in community-based, home care accreditation – as it embarks on a new strategic direction to advance the highest quality in community-based care. Ms. Collishaw will begin leading CHAP on July 24, 2013. (more…)

Feds Sue Florida for Keeping Kids in Nursing Homes

July 22, 2013

The Associated Press reported today that the U.S. Justice Department is suing Florida, saying the state is unnecessarily keeping hundreds of disabled children in nursing homes.

According to the lawsuit filed Monday, federal officials visited six nursing homes throughout the state and identified about 200 children who didn’t need to be there and could receive care at home. (more…)

U.S. Intervenes in False Claims Act Lawsuit Against Fla. Home Health Care Company and Its Owner

July 22, 2013

The government has intervened in a whistleblower lawsuit against A Plus Home Health Care, Inc., a home health care company in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and its owner, Tracy Nemerofsky, the Justice Department announced today. The government alleges that A Plus offered referring physicians’ spouses sham marketing positions with the company to induce the physicians to refer Medicare patients for home health care services. (more…)

HHQI National Campaign Cardiovascular Kickoff Webinar

July 19, 2013

The Home Health Quality Improvement (HHQI) National Campaign aims to improve cardiovascular health in the home health population in support of the Million Hearts® initiative.

Registration for the kick-off webinar focusing on cardiovascular health improvement featuring Million Hearts® Executive Director Dr. Janet Wright, is currently available. (more…)

U.S. Senate Says ADA Still Lagging After Olmstead Ruling

July 18, 2013

Individuals with disabilities are still being segregated in nursing homes 14 years after the Supreme Court’s Olmstead decision said the practice violated the Americans with Disabilities Act, according to a new report from Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee Chairman Tom Harkin (D-Iowa). (more…)

Industry Reps Meet with Key Congressman to Discuss CMS Proposed Rule

July 12, 2013

FL-USCong_Bilirakis-2013-07-12Home care industry representatives today met with U.S. Representative Gus Bilirakis (R-Tarpon Springs), a four-term Tampa Bay area congressman who serves on a key health care committee in Congress.

BAYADA Home Health Care’s Jeanne Barton and Carson Barnes and HCAF’s Kyle Simon met with Rep. Bilirakis to discuss the recent CMS proposed rule, which calls for a 1.5 percent cut Medicare home health reimbursement rates in 2014. The rule also includes a 3.5 percent annual cut over four years to rebase Medicare rates, as required by the Affordable Care Act. The discussion gave industry representatives the opportunity to highlight to Rep. Bilirakis the importance of home health care and the role it plays in offering high quality, cost effective care for more than 300,000 Florida seniors each year.

(more…)

AHCA Removes One-Year Home Care Experience Requirement for Therapists

July 12, 2013

The Agency for Health Care Administration has notified HCAF that the rule removing the one-year experience for physical therapists, occupational therapists and therapist assistants is now in effect. As such, providers will not be cited for PT, OT, PTA and OTA hires done on or after July 11, 2013 without the one-year experience.

Other rule changes include: (more…)