In this twice-monthly newsletter, you will find updates on how health care organizations are striving to shift more health care delivery into the home – meeting patient needs where they are and expanding access to quality health care.
This newsletter recaps current events and research. Please send any news or events to firstname.lastname@example.org for future inclusion in this newsletter.
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"With advocates of this caliber, the Hospital at Home model is more likely to receive a permanently codified reimbursement solution."
In a recent industry white paper from Zeigler, Moving Health Home gets praise for our activities to move forward legislation to make Hospital at Home permanent. The landscape analysis dives deep into how actors have been expanding their reach and utilizing new flexibilities and technologies to bring hospital into the home. The paper also highlights the various approaches being taken and their impacts on patients, providers, and caregivers.
Summary of MHH News Mentions
Decoding Healthcare Innovation:Obvious Truths Our Healthcare Policy Still Doesn’t Support: Home Care and RPM (6/30) – On this podcast episode, the hosts cover the topic of moving health into the home and the innovators pushing the concept forward despite the regulatory challenges they face. They also bring up Moving Health Home as a force in driving this care movement and are looking forward to what we accomplish.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Proposes to Reward Dialysis Providers for Improving Home Dialysis Among Low-Income Beneficiaries (7/1) – The Biden administration wants to reward providers that improve rates of home dialysis and kidney transplants among low-income Medicare and dual eligible beneficiaries. CMS released a proposed rule Thursday that updates payment rates for the End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) Prospective Payment System and make changes to the quality incentive program and ESRD Treatment Choices Model. The goal of the changes is to encourage dialysis providers to decrease disparities in home dialysis and transplant rates, part of a larger effort by the Biden administration. “Today’s proposed rule is grounded in measures to ensure people with Medicare who suffer from chronic kidney disease have easy access to quality care and convenient treatment options,” said CMS Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure in a statement Thursday.
CMS Announced Director of Center for Medicaid and CHIP Services (6/28)– CMS announced that Daniel Tsai has been appointed to oversee Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP). Tsai previously served as the Assistant Secretary for MassHealth and Medicaid Director for Massachusetts, where he led the program through restructuring aimed at a shift towards value-based care. Additionally, under Tsai's leadership, MassHealth recently requested an amendment to its section 1115 waiver to expand Hospital at Home flexibility.
CMS Pitches Expanding Value-Based Payment for Home Health Agencies(6/28) – CMS released the Calendar Year (CY) 2022 Home Health Prospective Payment System proposed rule. Among other proposals, the rule would expand nationwide the Home Health Value-Based Purchasing (HHVBP) Program. CMS also proposes to make permanent selected regulatory blanket waivers related to home health aide supervision and the use of telecommunication that were issued to Medicare-participating home health agencies during the COVID-19 public health emergency (PHE). Fact sheet
Massachusetts Medicaid Seeks to Expand Hospital at Home Flexibility (6/25)– MassHealth is requesting an amendment to its section 1115 waiver with specific additions related to Hospital at Home. This amendment would authorize a Hospital at Home program, through which qualified acute inpatient hospital providers would deliver acute inpatient hospital services in a member’s home, outside of the institution, to members for whom such services are clinically appropriate. The federal comment period opened up on 6/25 for stakeholder input and will end on 7/25.
Improve how Medicare covers innovative new health care technologies, making them more available to those who need them.
Provide training and educational programs for caregivers – many of whom are often family members with no prior health care experience – to help improve the quality of care patients are provided at home, between clinical visits.
Increase access to telehealth services for patients covered under Medicare, Medicaid, or CHIP.
Research and Polling
Trilliant Health: 2021 Trends Shaping the Post-Pandemic Health Economy (June 2021) – A new report by Trilliant Health breaks down telehealth utilization rates and patient attitudes around receiving care in the home. Their findings were based on over 70 billion medical claims data representing 309 million patients across all 50 states, including private insurance and Medicare claims. They found that 80 percent of consumers say they would be willing to use home care models (like Hospital at Home) if they were covered by insurance.
News and Market Developments
Fierce Healthcare: Amedisys snaps up hospital-at-home provider Contessa Health in $250M deal (7/1)– Amedisys made a major move to expand its reach in the home healthcare market by acquiring Contessa Health. Amedisys chairman and chief executive officer Paul Kusserow called the acquisition "strategic" and a "promised milestone" for Amedisys’ growth and differentiation, as it expands its capabilities to reflect growing market demands and evolving patient preference for higher-acuity in-home settings.
Healio News:ASN, NKF, CVS Kidney Care among members of campaign to improve home dialysis (6/29) – Nine leading health care organizations have launched a campaign, referred to as Innovate Kidney Care, urging CMS to update health care provider regulations to improve home dialysis. The founding members of the campaign include the American Society of Nephrology, Anthem Inc., Cricket Health, CVS Kidney Care, Home Dialyzors United, Intermountain Healthcare, the National Kidney Foundation, Outset Medical Inc. and Strive Health.
Home Health Care News: 'Choose Home' Legislation Gaining Significant Support in Congress, Nearing Formal Introduction (6/28) – “Choose Home” is gaining momentum on Capitol Hill. According to National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) President Bill Dombi there’s even a chance a Choose Home bill is introduced before Congress’s July 4 recess. If introduced and eventually enacted, Choose Home would create a new payment pathway for providers using both medical and non-medical in-home care services to keep Medicare beneficiaries out of skilled nursing facilities.
D Magazine:Signify Health Is Moving Pediatric Cancer Trials Into the Home (6/25) – Dallas-based Signify Health is partnering with the Children’s Oncology Group in a home-based clinical trial for pediatric patients fighting leukemia. Moving the trial into the home will allow for a more diverse patient base by removing travel and time barriers.
Home Health Care News: Health Care Operators Confident CMS Hospital-at-Home Waiver Will Become Permanent (6/23) – As COVID-19 subsides and
the PHE wanes, hospital-at-home players continue to create and invest in their programs. “Even before COVID, we were
thinking about the concept of hospital-at-home. It has always had significant
value, but it just hadn’t caught on because there hasn’t really been much payer
alignment,” Dr. Colin Findlay, the hospitalist in charge of Sentara To Home,
told Home Health Care News. “We were thinking, ‘This is probably something we
need to develop as a long-term strategy, [regardless of reimbursement].’”
American Medical Association: Tech that provides high-acuity home care gets high-profile boost (6/23) – The Permanente Medical Group and Northwest Permanente are deploying the technology developed by Medically Home Group to launch its KP Advanced Care at Home virtual hospital program in its Northern California and Oregon regions. "Medically Home showed that they had developed an IT platform to manage the logistics, and they had a computer program that could translate physician orders into a supplier-vendor fulfillment request that would then direct the right services and materials into a patient's home in a timely fashion," said Stephen Parodi, MD, associate executive director of The Permanente Medical Group.
UnitedHealth Group: New Optum Mobile Clinic Brings Health Care to Utahns Where They Live and Work (6/23) –Optum Care Network Utah, a part of information and technology-enabled health services business Optum, is launching the Optum Mobile Clinic. The mobile clinic helps reduce common barriers to health care, such as scheduling challenges, lack of transportation and work obligations, which often put preventive and wellness checkups out of reach.
STAT Breakthrough Science Summit 2021 July 13 & 14 (Virtual) - The STAT Breakthrough Science Summit focuses on the newest medical innovations, examining how they're being developed, adopted, and paid for. The event also looks at the breakthroughs that haven't yet hit the market, but have the potential to redefine health and medicine in the years to come.