News and Market Developments
AMA: How This Physician Leader Helps Bring Hospital Care to the Home (1/5) - Narayana Murali, MD, remembers joining Marshfield Clinic in 2006 and meeting a 67-year-old woman with diabetes who traveled 200 miles four times a year just to titrate her medications and optimize her heath. He figured there was a better alternative. The following year, Dr. Murali was given the opportunity to provide her with virtual care, do exams over video, review vital signs and laboratory tests, and arrange for diuretic infusions—all while allowing the patient to stay in the comfort of her home. Dr. Murali spoke about the differences between hospital-at-home care and home health care, the successes he saw in Wisconsin, and his current role at Geisinger in a recent episode of “AMA Update.”
McKnights Home Care: New Senate Health Committee Chair Sanders Could be Boon to Home Care (1/4) - Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) could prove to be a strong ally to the home care industry as he takes over the chairmanship of the Senate’s Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee next month. In 2022, Senator Sanders joined 38 other sponsors of the Better Care Better Jobs Act, which would have significantly strengthened Medicaid home- and community-based services nationally with $150 billion in increased support for HCBS patients and caregivers. Sanders, who recently chaired the Senate Budget Committee, has been a vocal critic of the U.S. health care system and has called for reform.
McKnights Home Care: Acquisition offers Help at Home Entry into Delaware (1/4) - National home care services provider Help at Home started off the New Year with an acquisition that will expand its services in two states. Chicago-based Help at Home announced that it will acquire Pennsylvania-based Open Systems, which provides home care services in 68 counties across Pennsylvania and two counties in neighboring Delaware. The acquisition will provide Help at Home enter into Delaware. Help at Home provides home care services across a dozen states to more than 65,000 patients. The company recently launched a new program which helps capture patients’ social determinants of health and connects them with additional services. For additional coverage, see Home Health Care News.
MobiHealth News: Best Buy's Resources are Expanding Current Health's Reach (1/3) - Home care and remote patient monitoring platform Current Health offers a technology platform that uses biosensors to monitor a patient's condition at home and identify when they might need help from a clinician. Best Buy acquired the Boston-based company in 2021, adding to the retail giant's portfolio of remote patient monitoring and senior care companies. Adam Wolfberg, Current Health's chief medical officer, joined MobiHealthNews to discuss how the acquisition has expanded Current Health's reach and what he's most excited about in 2023.
McKnight Home Care: NY Home Care Advocates Resurrect Fair Pay for Home Care (1/3) - A bipartisan group of New York legislators and local officials spent their holiday break lobbying for higher wages for home care workers in that state. The nine-member team, which included State Sen. Rob Rolinson and State Sen. James Skoufis fanned out across the state last week to promote the Fair Pay for Home Care bill which would raise the wages of home care workers to 150 percent of the minimum wage. Both the New York State Senate and Assembly introduced the Fair Pay for Home Care bill early last year.
Business Wire: Wellvii and Care Daily Partner for Health at Home (1/3) - Wellvii, manufacturer of connected smart devices for health and wellbeing, today announced a partnership with Care Daily, a software technology company with AI-based Caregiver services for senior care, to bring integrated solutions for aging-in-place experiences. The partnership between Wellvii and Care Daily will let users take control of their wellbeing with self-monitoring and give them an enhanced view into their overall health. Both companies are in discussions with major providers to trial the combined technology in homes. Top use cases include senior care and chronic care management.
McKnights Home Care: HHVBP, EVV Rules Greet Home Health Providers in New Year (1/3) - The launch of the Home Health Value-Based Purchasing (HHVBP) model. A major change to the Outcome and Assessment Information Set (OASIS). New rules going into effect for Electronic Visit Verification (EVV). The beginning of a new calendar year typically triggers the start of new or amended regulatory initiatives.
McKnights Home Care: Connect With Employees to Address Burnout (12/21) - Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, MD, sounded an urgent alarm to the health care industry last spring as the COVID-19 pandemic was ebbing. Burnout, he said, had become a crisis among overworked, stressed-out health care workers. And that could exacerbate the direct caregiver crisis. Home care providers can mitigate burnout among staff in a number of ways, through employee assistance programs, creating a culture of belonging, among others.
Home Health Care News: To Stay On Right Side Of Referral Relationships, Here’s What Home-Based Care Providers Should Know (12/20) - Strong referrals can be the lifeblood of a thriving home-based care business. However, providers need to be sure they’re not running afoul of the federal laws, or the state law equivalents, that regulate the financial relationships between agencies and their referral sources. If a provider receives funding under the Medicare, Medicaid, TRICARE, Veterans Health Administration or Indian Health Services, they are subject to the federal Anti-Kickback Statute, the Stark Law and the Civil Monetary Penalties Statutes.
SEIU Health Care: CMS Funding Approval for PCAs a Boost for Health Care and Paid Time Off (12/20) - CMS approved federal funding for the home care Personal Care Attendant (PCA) contract in Connecticut. This approval marks the first time that PCAs will have access to a stipend to offset the cost of purchasing health insurance, which thousands of PCAs do not currently have as they earn more than the limit to qualify for HUSKY or Covered CT. This approval also will provide the first-ever paid time off benefits, and will allow for the disbursement of a long-awaited bonus. For additional coverage, see McKnights Home Care.
Minnesota Department of Health: Minnesota Launches New COVID-19 Telehealth Treatment Pilot Program (12/19) - The State of Minnesota launched a new telehealth test-to-treat program today to ensure Minnesotans who have tested positive for COVID-19 have easy access to clinician care and therapeutic treatments that reduce their risk of serious illness or hospitalization. Beginning immediately, Minnesotans who test positive for COVID-19, either with a home test or a positive test from a lab, can download the Cue Health app and sign up with their Minnesota address to have a virtual consultation with a licensed clinician who will evaluate them to determine if therapeutic treatment is a good option. In some areas of the state, those prescription medications can be delivered to the person’s home.
McKnights Home Care: Texas Partnership Expands In-Home Health Care, Behavioral Health to At-Risk Patients (12/19) - A new partnership in Texas will expand in-home health care services including behavioral health, to high-risk patients. The alliance between Superior HealthPlan, MedArrive and Brave Health will fill care gaps for Superior HealthPlan members with complex needs by addressing non-medical drivers of health and helping members navigate the health care system. MedArrive deploys paramedics and emergency medical technicians (EMTs) into homes to provide in-home episodic and longitudinal care to patients who have chronic conditions and may be frequent users of emergency departments. Brave Health provides virtual behavioral health visits for mostly Medicaid enrollees. For additional coverage, see Home Health Care News.
Home Health Care News: Eight Quotes That Tell The Story Of Home-Based Care In 2022 — And Beyond (12/19) - The quotes that cracked this Home Health Care News list were not only memorable, frank and informative, but they also paint a complete picture of the home-based care landscape in 2022. The words from the industry leaders highlighted here weigh in on everything from tensions with Medicare Advantage (MA) plans to staffing shortages kneecapping industry growth and more. Most importantly, the statements are indicative of what’s in store for home health and home care in 2023 and beyond.
McKnights Home Care: Newly Formed HealthRight Could Pave the Way for National Home-Based Program (12/19) - HealthRight, a new partnership between California-based Scan Group and CareOregon, could lay the foundation for a national in-home health care program for Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries. Both organizations focus on delivering in-home health care to vulnerable populations. Scan is primarily focused on delivering care to Medicare beneficiaries in California, Arizona, Nevada and Texas through its subsidiary Scan Health Plan. CareOregon has a similar business strategy, but is primarily focused on delivering care to Medicaid beneficiaries in Oregon. The combined strengths could give HealthRight an advantage in serving Medicare, Medicaid dual-eligible populations.
PR Newswire: Tampa General Hospital Teams Up with Stel Life In Offering Seamless Remote Health Care Technology (12/19) - Nearly 1,000 Tampa General Hospital (TGH) patients are proof that patient care can be provided at home by using advanced technologies that communicate with health care providers. Remote patient monitoring is a continually growing trend in health care that allows caregivers to receive important health information about patients. The updates from a patient at home allow health care experts to make real-time decisions in a virtual setting that can help patients experience the best possible health.
Medical Design and Outsourcing: Outset Medical CEO Leslie Trigg and The Beginner’s Mindset (12/19) - Eight years after becoming the CEO of Outset Medical and two years after going public, Leslie Trigg says the medtech developer is finally at the starting gate for home dialysis. Outset Medical’s Tablo console is a compact hemodialysis machine used at home, in clinics, nursing homes, hospitals and even intensive care units. Formerly known as Home Dialysis Plus, the company won its first FDA 510(k) clearance for Tablo in 2014. Home dialysis machines need to be easy for a patient to operate and small enough to fit inside a home. The Tablo console is about three feet tall to make it more approachable and less intimidating than the dialysis clinic machines that loom over patients.
Home Health Care News: 2023 Home Care Executive Forecast: Agencies Must Adapt To Rising Bill Rates, Technology Advancement (12/16) - The new year is shaping up to be another critical one for personal home care agencies. While bill and pay rates continue to rise, many agencies are figuring out how to provide long-term sustainable care plans that are both effective and affordable. Home Health Care News heard from seven industry leaders and noted their takes on the biggest thing to watch for next year, and what the focus of their organization will be moving forward.
McKnights Home Care: Home Health is Ripe for Digital Empowerment (12/14) - Higher labor, benefit and administrative costs in the wake of the pandemic are continuing, squeezing already thin operating margins. A labor cost survey of the Partnership for Quality Home Health members conducted in August 2021 concluded that wages and home health industry expenses have increased dramatically since 2019, a trend that continues to worsen as inflation hits its highest point in decades. Though the pandemic greatly expanded telehealth reimbursement including hospital-at-home programs that employ remote monitoring, the Biden administration has finalized a 0.7 percent increase for home health in 2023, which includes a 3.925 percent permanent adjustment related to Patient-Driven Groupings Model.