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Keep Thinking Ahead of the Curve

FutureFocus, an executive resource, helps our healthcare leaders to see around corners, navigate disruption, build futures, broaden their views of the industry, and embrace change.

FutureFocus cuts through the “white noise,” while making sure we are connecting you to meet the future of healthcare.

Smarter Ideas    •     Strategy     •    Vision    •   Innovation

As a barometer of change, we monitor complex key trends and forces of change to roadmap the future to de-risk decision-making and drive opportunity innovation.

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FutureFocus is offered complimentary.

FutureFocus December 12, 2018: Quality Measures Under Consideration 2019

Meaningful measures are a key focus of our communications. Meaningful measures are a window into the future of how quality measures will align providers across the healthcare continuum. In this FutureFocus, we provide insights and resources for your organization.

Future Focus December 5, 2018: Discharge Planning New Rules Delayed

We have been keeping a close eye on discharge planning.  In this week’s FutureFocus, we provide more details about CMS delaying new discharge planning rules. This is important for your organization to know because it provides insight into the future and the considerations for discharge planning, the IMPACT act, and the new roles for hospitals and post-acute providers.

FutureFocus November 28, 2018: Seven and Thirty Day Readmission Patterns by Payor

In this week’s FutureFocus we provide 7-day and 30-day readmission patterns by payer. We continue to focus on this topic for a number of reasons. First, the data is analysis for your organization to examine internally. Secondly, your organization can work more closely with other stakeholders to compare and partner on diagnosis.

FutureFocus November 14, 2018: MarketWatch: Medicare Advantage Contracting and Supplemental Benefits

In this FutureFocus, is our MarketWatch on Medicare Advantage contracting and supplemental benefits. We are learning that beneficiaries choosing MA plans are not advised on each plan’s supplemental benefits and benefits may be restricted on eligibility criteria. We discuss what providers should do about denials from Medicare Advantage plans, and the four ways MA plans manage post-acute providers.

FutureFocus November 7, 2018: Functional Status Not Accounted For In Medicare Advantage Plans

In this week’s FutureFocus we provide our readers with information about how functional status is incorporated into Medicare Advantage (MA) Plans. While there is a risk adjustment model, the model does not account for a beneficiary’s functional status. This will see changes starting in 2019 and 2020.

FutureFocus October 31, 2018: Medicare Advantage Plans 2019: Testing New Payment Models and Care Delivery

This week’s FutureFocus, provides the insight into Medicare Advantage Plans in 2019. An increase in the number of plans, geographic reach and widening supplemental benefits increase the need for a continuum of care model. What are the key supplemental benefits offered in 2019? How do MA plans manage post-acute providers to lower the cost of care and better outcomes? We examine answers to these questions.

FutureFocus October 24, 2018: Medicare Advantage and the IMPACT Act: Social Risk Factors Best Practice

This week’s FutureFocus insight is a window into your future. All payers are focusing on social risk factors. Strong market signals are brewing.  Social risk factors become a readmission penalty in 2019, the IMPACT Act is required to conduct studies on socioeconomic status, and Medicare Advantage Plans are incorporating supplemental benefits to address social determinants. Social risk factors will become a common quality measure across the continuum. Get a head of the curve to learn what this means for your organization.

FutureFocus October 17, 2018 Episode-Based Payments And Outcome Measures Under A Unified Payment System For Post-Acute Care: Refinement on the Way

In this week's FutureFocus, is discussion about MedPAC diving deeper into the future of PAC PPS. An episode-based payment design and two uniformly defined outcomes-based measures for discharge to community and avoidable admissions and readmissions are in planning development. Analysis we provide ties this advancement back to ACOs, PAC value-based purchasing, and the IMPACT Act. A must read.

FutureFocus October 3, 2018: Six Ways PAC Providers Can Partner With Physicians Under Alternative Payment Models (APMs)

In this week’s FutureFocus, we discuss the impact of alternative payment models (APMs). To mitigate risk under APMs, PAC partnerships will be key. Under the new physician reimbursement model MACRA, APMs are providing greater financial incentives, and moving payment models into more risk-bearing arrangements. We explain in layman’s terms, MACRA, MIPS, APMs, and new partnership strategies for PAC providers.  

FutureFocus September 26, 2018: Five Trends Focused On Social Determinants

In this week’s FutureFocus, we discuss new developments focused on social determinants. Emerging trends and policy are integrating social determinants into readmission policies, Medicare Advantage Plans, expanded government oversight, payor plan benefits, and Medicaid Managed care. This is a market signal that social determinants are coming to the forefront of care. Stakeholders will be teaming-up with PAC providers, community-based organizations and using big data to identify patients at higher risk.

FutureFocus September 19, 2018: Post-Acute Payment Model Emerging: How This May Impact Your Future

In this week’s FutureFocus, is important new information about how a unified Medicare PAC payment will work for home health agencies, skilled nursing facilities, inpatient rehabilitation facilities and long-term care hospitals. What does a unified PAC payment system look like? Discussions are flushing out the similarities and gaps among the four settings. New approaches could establish tiers based on levels of care. Policy considerations are being explored. Are possible timeframes nearing the future? This is a must read. Your future could be impacted sooner than once thought.

FutureFocus September 12, 2018 Home Health Payment Reform Insights

In this week’s FutureFocus, is a letter from the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) to CMS Administrator, Seema Verma. The letter is commenting on the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) proposed rule entitled “Medicare and Medicaid Programs; CY2019 home health prospective payment system rate update and 2020 case-mix adjustment methodology refinements; home health value-based purchasing model; home health quality reporting requirements; home infusion therapy requirements; and training requirements for surveyors of national accrediting organizations,” Federal Register, vol. 83, no. 134, p. 32340 (July 12, 2018). We provide the in-depth comments. This is a must read for all providers. Will MedPAC's comments influence the final rule?

FutureFocus September 5, 2018 Paradigm Shift For Hospice Begins

In this week’s FutureFocus, we discuss the paradigm shift for hospice provders. There are a number of key trends impacting the future of hospice providers. Our analysis and insight will help the industry have a better understanding of how this change is taking place, how it shifts the industry and why it is important for all providers to understand the paradigm shift. A reminder: when there are major shifts to one healthcare provider, it means it also can impact your organization.

FutureFocus August 8, 2018

In this week’s FutureFocus, palliative care and hospice are in the spotlight. A bill called the Palliative Care & Hospice Education Training Act passed the House at the end of July. It establishes greater palliative care workforce training programs for doctors, nurses and other health professionals. In another story, the OIG is taking a closer look at hospice and finding vulnerabilities. We provide the report that has some eye-opening findings. 

FutureFocus July 25, 2018 Physician Self-Referral Laws Are Antiquated

In this week’s FutureFocus, we discuss the Physician Self-Referral Law affecting all post-acute providers. Enacted in 1989, the Stark Law have turned into an outdated set of legal requirements inhibiting and blocking the ability to move into value-based care. This is important to learn about as it will change our future healthcare delivery system. We also take a look at anti-kickback issues in palliative care, and a report by the OIG examining home health agency low utilization claims and hospice benefit charges.

FutureFocus July 11, 2018: Policy Reshaping Telehealth Reimbursement

In this week’s FutureFocus, are new discussions and trending insights about how policy is supporting the use of telehealth for all providers. This is a big breakthrough for patient care management and oversight. Threaded into the new announcement about 2019/2020 Medicare reimbursement updates for home health agencies is a glimpse of the future of telehealth. Be sure to read how telehealth can broaden your organization’s internal and external growth and partnerships.

FutureFocus June 27, 2018 Discharge Planning: CMS Guidance Needed

In this week's FutureFocus, are new discussions about discharge planning practices. The June MedPAC report urges CMS to provide more guidance.  CMS’s current regulatory guidance, reflects “the prohibitions” of a law more than two decades old, the Balanced Budget Act (BBA) of 1997, which states “a hospital ‘may not specify or otherwise limit the PAC providers made available to beneficiaries. (Medicare Advantage allows plans to establish their own networks; these plans’ enrollees must select a provider that is in their plan’s network.)” The BBA also requires “that hospitals provide a list of HHAs or SNFs that are near the beneficiary’s residence for patients identified as needing these services.” We provide updates and insights.

FutureFocus June 20, 2018 Patient Choice Hitting Other Areas of Healthcare

We have been keeping you informed about patient choice and discharge planning options. This started back in October 2017 with MedPAC's recommendation for discharge planning options. It appears from a recent lawsuit, patient choice is also affecting physician referrals. We provide the details.

FutureFocus June 6, 2018: Pre-Claim Review Demo Re-Start - What You Need to Know

News permeated the industry as notice of the pre-claim review demonstration is restarting and expanding. The demonstration will impact 1.3 million claims each year. Of interest to our readers is the report issued by the congressional watchdog agency, the General Accounting Office (GAO). CMS wants to identify new opportunities for expanding prior authorizations for additional items and services with high unnecessary utilization and high improper payment rates. The CMS asked for public input on how it can ensure the new experiment doesn't harm access to care. Comments are due July 31.

FutureFocus May 23, 2018: Medicare Advantage Plans and PAC Providers - New Insights

In this week’s FutureFocus, we continue our discussions on Medicare Advantage Plans and new insights for PAC providers and patients. Our first article explores the differences in Medicare Advantage plans and fee-for-service and why Medicare Advantage plans should coordinate with PAC providers. Attorney Elizabeth Hogue explores the new Medicare Advantage Plans allowable supplemental benefits for home-based palliative care, in-home support services and caregivers. In our Washington Report, we look at the next overhaul of the private sector care program for the VA.

FutureFocus May 16, 2018: Patient’s Right to Freedom of Choice: Key Findings

In this week’s FutureFocus, we continue our discussions on patient's rights and their preferences to where they want to be cared for. A review of 57 studies provide key findings. The focus on palliative care consultations comes to the forefront in a study of 130,000 adults with serious illness. The study analyzed adults receiving palliative care consultants, and those that did not and the impact to hospital savings. A new rule protecting DME, expanding telehealth and focusing on improved care was announced giving emphasis to rural healthcare.

FutureFocus May 9, 2018: Revising Conditions Of Participation To Increase Data Sharing

In this week’s FutureFocus, is the announcement of CMS discussing a Request for Information (RFI) for feedback on solutions to achieve better data sharing between providers. A similar RFI was announced recently in FY 2019 PPS updates. There is a possibility of revising Conditions of Participations. Another merger between three home care companies will form one of the largest providers of home-based care in the U.S. In another announcement, Humana and Landmark announce an in-home care program for chronic conditions.

FutureFocus May 2, 2018: Multi-Mega Deals Change Post-Acute Future

In this week’s FutureFocus, we discuss the announcement of the recent mega-mergers reshaping the future of post-acute services. The transactions position Humana to become the largest hospice provider, and ProMedica Health System as the second largest post-acute and long-term care provider. In our Washington Report, CMS's Center for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) is changing its direction. We share their 8 new focus areas.

FutureFocus April 25, 2018: Readmission Insight for Post-Acute Providers

In this week’s FutureFocus, we provide a recent study related to readmissions and implications for post-acute providers. In another article, we address recommendations being considered for new performance measures for Home Health and Hospice.  This is a must read. There is new legislation to allow hospice to dispose of unused medications in the home after a patient expired. This legislation is supported by NAHC. 

FutureFocus April 18, 2018 CMS Expands Benefits For Medicare Advantage: Impact To PAC Providers

In this week’s FutureFocus, we provide insights about Medicare Advantage Plans and the recent announcement of expanding primary health-related benefits. Attorney, Elizabeth Hogue, warns providers to be cognizant of the experience levels of private duty companies working with the government or commercial insurers. In our Washington Report, we call attention to the Annual Anti-Fraud Report and the findings about home health providers. We remind providers that the low volume appeals settlements deadline have been extended.

FutureFocus April 11, 2018 MarketScan: Payors Expanding Into Palliative Care

In this week’s FutureFocus, we explore the changing landscape of palliative care. More payors are entering the market and recent announcements are advancing two alternative payment models (APMs). In our Industry News section, are major announcements shifting the landscape of the home health market and information technology. In our Legal section, Attorney, Elizabeth Hogue, talks about guidelines for home health agencies with regard to refusal of services and/or non-compliance. 

FutureFocus April 4, 2018 Redistribute Post-Acute Payments Based on Patient Condition

In this week’s FutureFocus, is important information about the future of post-acute payments. MedPAC, the committee that reports to Congress on Medicare, is recommending prior to the implementation of the PAC PPS in 2019, that blending the relative weights of the setting-specific payment systems and the unified PAC PPS be considered. We provide the details. This is a must read. In our Washington Report, we provide insight into two alternative payment models for advanced illness recommended by HHS.

FutureFocus March 28, 2018 Surveys and Compliance 10 Things To Know

In this week’s FutureFocus, we discuss an OIG report and its findings that sixty-one percent of Medicare claims for outpatient therapy did not comply. We provide the 10 reasons. Attorney, Elizabeth Hogue, discusses how to contest survey deficiencies. Our Washington Report provides insight into Trump's opioid initiative and responses from NAHC and NHPCO.

FutureFocus March 21, 2018 Trending Industry News

In this week’s FutureFocus, Attorney Elizabeth Hogue provides additional insights about hospital discharge planners and their recommendations of post-acute providers. Elizabeth ties into the discussion Conditions of Participations (CoPs) and standards of care. In our Washington Report, we discuss an OIG report and the vulnerability to fraud in unverified home health agency patient lists. Don't miss the CMS Special Open Door Forum on the IMPACT Act and improving care coordination. We provide details and additional reading for that call.

FutureFocus March 14, 2018 - Quality Data And Discharge Planning: Changes Ahead

In this week’s FutureFocus, we provide insights into how quality data influences discharge planning. Ongoing discussions at MedPAC are evaluating current discharge planning procedures and the future of the IMPACT Act for PAC providers. In another article, we focus on  Medicare reimbursement changing for physicians and new opportunities for post-acute providers to integrate chronic care management solutions. We provide resources and insights to tackle the topic. In the news, is talk about social determinants and the responsibility of providers. Learn how health systems, ACOs and payors are looking at different solutions.

FutureFocus March 8, 2018: Paying for Sequential Stays in a Unified PPS Payment System

In this week's FutureFocus, we provide insights into how MedPAC (The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission that reports to Congress) is discussing different ways to pay for sequential stays in a unified payment system for post-acute. In the report, MedPAC provides recommendations for 2018 and beyond. In another article, we explore how ACOs are managing high-risk patients. The insights provide ways post-acute providers can provide value. Our last article lends perspectives on how much Medicare households spend on health-related expenses.

FutureFocus March 7, 2018: New Discharge Planning Protocols For Post-Acute Providers Under Discussion

In this week’s FutureFocus, we provide detailed insights into discussions MedPAC is having on changing protocols for current discharge planning practices. This could be a game changer for post-acute providers and patient choice. This is a must read. In our Washington Report, we call attention to the Trump Administration proposal for a Medicare post-acute payment system.

FutureFocus February 28, 2018: TrendTracking New Telehealth Reimbursement and Future Services

In this week’s FutureFocus, we TrendTrack new telehealth reimbursement and future services. In 2017, there were 210 telehealth related bills. Telehealth is finally finding its place in the healthcare delivery system. In another article, we provide insights into health care spending.  In 2020, home health is projected to be the fastest growing sector at 6.7 percent annually, from 5.1 percent in 2017.

FutureFocus February 21, 2018: Reforms Ahead: Hospital Discharges, Telehealth, Hospice, and Payment Systems

In this week’s FutureFocus, we discuss four reforms coming to your organization. Key topics will impact home health payment reform, hospice, a new hospital discharge penalty, and the expansion of telehealth. We provide insights to each reform.

FutureFocus February 7, 2018 Post-Acute Cost By Care Settings For The Dual Eligible: Eight Things To Know

In this week’s FutureFocus, we explore post-acute costs by care settings for the dual eligible. Important data helps to understand why costs are higher within the entire post-acute discharge period and in particular areas of post-acute. This important data ties back to Medicare Spending per Beneficiary. In another article, we discuss medication non-adherence solutions for Medicare patients. Our Washington Report addresses how CMS is launching a low volume appeals initiative.

FutureFocus January 31, 2018 Preventable Hospitalizations for Home Health

In this week’s FutureFocus, is an important development to the future of home health. CMS is developing potentially preventable hospitalizations for the home health setting. This is an indicator of a future quality measure. In another move, CMS is continuing its moratoria on enrollment of new Medicare home health agencies in certain states. We provide the details. In an effort to detect fraud, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and CMS are partnering to share data, data analytics and best practices.

FutureFocus January 24, 2018 Policy Insights

In this week’s FutureFocus, we discuss recommendations for future Medicare payments for home health, hospice and SNF. It is recommended that therapy payments be eliminated in home health. In another article, we provide key findings related to ACOs and the importance of discharge planning. In a related article, improper discharges from SNFs may start receiving civil penalties. Don’t miss the most common reasons for discharges from SNFs.

FutureFocus January 17, 2018: New Voluntary Bundled Payment Model: Impact To Post-Acute Providers

In this week's FutureFocus, we address the new voluntary bundled payment model and the impact to post-acute providers. Participants may receive payments on 32 different clinical episodes. Medicare-enrolled or not Medicare enrolled providers or suppliers may participate. We provide the details. In another article, the American Hospital Association comments on MedPAC's proposal for changes to post-acute payments and their concerns with moving this forward. 

FutureFocus January 11, 2018: Five Top Payer Trends

In this week’s FutureFocus, we provide insight into the top five payers representing 43 percent of the country's total insured population. Six key findings define the five payers.  In another article, we call your attention to 2018 financial penalties for nursing homes being scaled back and what that means to the industry. With so many changes, we keep you focused on important resources you won't want to miss.


FutureFocus January 10, 2018 ACO Savings Not Related To Reduced Hospitalizations

In this week’s FutureFocus, we look at an interesting fact about MSSP ACOs and the relationship to hospitalizations. A Harvard study finds ACO preventable hospital admissions didn't decrease, but instead rose. In another article, we look at readmission penalties. Since the onset of the Readmission Reduction Program (HRRP), penalties have continued to rise. The analysis compares FY 2013-2017. In our Washington Report, we examine the Medicare Extenders Package and the impact to post-acute providers.

FutureFocus December 20, 2017: 32 Quality Measures Under Consideration For 2018

In this week’s FutureFocus, we discuss the 32 quality measures under consideration for 2018. 40 percent of the measures are outcome measures. Our next article discusses health spending by type of services. In home health, Medicare and Medicaid made-up 77 percent of home health spending. Ramping-up for value-based purchasing, the physician compare website now will include star ratings and performance information.

FutureFocus December 14, 2017: Six Ways Health Systems Are Transitioning Into Value-Based Models

In this week’s FutureFocus, learn how six health systems around the U.S. are transitioning their organizations from fee-for-service into value-based models. Each are using different strategies and models to reach their goals. Important data has been tracking how many Medicare beneficiaries are in an ACO. Learn what those numbers are in 2017. In another article, we share how CMS is addressing accuracy for the Hospice Compare website.

FutureFocus: 2019 Recommended Payment Rates Home Health and Post-Acute: Other Changes Ahead

In this week’s FutureFocus, we address 2019 recommendations for payment rates for home health and post-acute providers. There are changes ahead for Medicare payments and the unified post-acute prospective payment system. In 2018 payers are moving forward with value-based payment models. We discuss the impact to post-acute providers. Spending on Medicare beneficiaries for end-of-life accounts for approximately 25% of total spending. We provide four key trends.

FutureFocus December 6, 2017: What Is The Future Of Bundled Payment Models?

In this week’s FutureFocus, we discuss the future of bundled payment models and the opportunities for providers in the future. CMS has announced a move to reduce DME Medicaid spending. We explain the tie-back to the 21st Century Cures Act. CoPs are back in the news. We discuss the flexibilities announced for home health to meet the January 13, 2018 implementation date.

FutureFocus November 29, 2017 Key Elements Of A Successful Home-Based Palliative Care Program

In this week’s FutureFocus, we examine key elements to a successful home-based palliative care (HBPC) program. The case study at Sharp Healthcare is a pre-hospice program keeping patients out of the hospital. A new survey finds that adults age sixty-five and older have more chronic conditions compared to other nations. 

FutureFocus November 15, 2017 - ACO Performance

In this week’s FutureFocus, we provide data on how ACOs are performing. In the Washington Report, we explain how Medicaid waivers are being revamped. 2018 will be a big change year for Medicaid. This is the first announcements of change. Don’t miss our resource on the five barriers to accessing palliative care.

FutureFocus November 8, 2017 CMS Paying For Telehealth

In this week’s FutureFocus, we discuus the expansion of payment for telehealth under the final 2018 Physician Fee Schedule. In this week’s Washington Report are updates on regulations: PPS, HHGM and reforming regulations.

FutureFocus November 1, 2017 Seven Industry Insights About Hospice and Palliative Care

In this week’s FutureFocus, we explore seven industry perspectives for hospice and palliative care. We examine industry-wide solutions, and public education that can assist families and caregivers in understanding such a critical benefit.  In another topic, we discuss a new pilot program for physicians to test value-based care. In this week’s Washington Report, we report on two new bills to expand chronic care management.

FutureFocus October 25, 2017 Episode and Episode Groups

In this week’s FutureFocus, we explain what episode and episode groups mean to physicians under MACRA. How are costs triggered? What happens when there are overlapping episodes? This knowledge becomes important in understanding how physicians will be paid in the future. In this week’s Washington Report are details and findings of a recent report on DME, access and a new bill introduced.

FutureFocus October 19, 2017 Salary Statistics

In this week’s FutureFocus, RN and LPN salaries across the healthcare continuum are detailed. Over 10,000 nurses participated in this survey. In this week’s Washington Report, are the insights about the opposition building to CMS PPS Groupings Model. Senators and consumer groups weigh-in.

FutureFocus October 11, 2017 Proposed Provisions of the Home Health Value-Based Purchasing (HH VBP) Model

In this week’s FutureFocus we discuss two important industry insights related to the proposed rules on Home Health Value-Based Purchasing Model and the Proposed Updates to the Home Health Care Quality Reporting Program (HH QRP). In this week’s Washington Report, CMS comments on the OIG urging home health agencies to get surety bonds.

FutureFocus October 4, 2017 - Patient Choice and Discharge Planning Insights

In this week’s FutureFocus we discuss important industry topics related to patient choice, discharge planning and the Home Health Groupings Model (HHGM) for CY 2019. MedPAC, the committee reporting to Congress on Medicare is taking a look at short and long-term options for patient choice and discharge planning. In a letter submitted to Seema Verma, Administrator CMS Department of Health and Human Resources, MedPAC weighed-in on the proposed implementation of the Home Health Groupings Model (HHGM) for CY 2019. We learn insights that may impact the future.

FutureFocus September 27, 2017 - Expect CMS to Make Changes to MLTSS

In this week’s FutureFocus, we discuss a recent GAO report that concludes by the GAO stating, "Using managed care to deliver long-term services and supports can be a strategy for states to expand home - and community-based care, which many beneficiaries prefer, and to lower costs." The industry should expect change to come in upcoming announcements.  Also, providers should be preparing for the Medicare card changeover removing social security numbers to the new Medicare Beneficiary Identifier. This will require changes in your business processes.  

FutureFocus September 20, 2017 - Home Health Payment Model Under Scrutiny

In this week’s FutureFocus, our Washington Report discusses industry reaction to the proposed home health groupings model. Critics say the new model will redistribute payments away from medically-necessary home health services.  In our second article, the American Hospital Association (AHA) is under discussion with the Department of Heath and Human Services to question the prototype being used as the foundation for the PAC PPS model.

FutureFocus September 13, 2017 - ACO Insights and MarketScan

In this week’s FutureFocus, we provide results about how ACOs are working and which two quality measures improved the most. In a separate article, we examine ways ACOs, hospice and palliative care can partner on quality, cost and access. Our Washington Report discusses a new CMS strategy targeting home health agencies identified as possible Medicare risks.

FutureFocus August 30, 2017 - Physician Value-Based Payments and High-Risk Patients

In this week’s FutureFocus, we provide details and insights to understanding physician value-based payments. Our Washington Report discusses how a recent OIG report is investigating hospice duplicate drug payments.

FutureFocus August 23, 2017 - Mandatory Bundled Payment Cancelled and CJR Model Is Scaling Back: What It Means To Post-Acute Providers

In this week’s FutureFocus, we discuss important developments affecting PAC providers. The launching of the Hospice Compare Website, the cancellation of cardiac bundles, and the scaling back of the CJR model. Our Washington Report provides insights and details about the decision to cancel and scale back these models.

FutureFocus August 16, 2017 - Hospitals Get Hit With 30-Day Readmission Penalties

In this week’s FutureFocus, are details about 30-day readmission penalties and what is ahead for the future. Our Washington Report provides insights you will want to know about the longstanding Competitive Bidding program and a recent report detailing findings.

FutureFocus August 09, 2017 - 9 Things to Know About 2018 Payment and Policy Changes

In this week’s FutureFocus, are details of 9 recent payment and policy changes impacting hospice and skilled nursing facilities (SNF). Note that the SNF’s value-based payment program is ratcheting-up responsibilities for readmissions.

FutureFocus August 02, 2017 - Medicare Payment Proposal Includes Major 2019 Revision

In this week’s FutureFocus, are details of recent policy and regulation changes impacting home health organizations. These major changes include a $950 million decrease in Medicare payments and impact the methodology of how home health will be paid in the future.

FutureFocus July 26, 2017 - Standardizing Palliative Care Consultations

In this week’s FutureFocus, we provide a study on the importance of standardizing palliative care and the impact of 30-day readmission. Our Washington Report discusses the OIG’s new projects for home health agencies, hospice and telehealth. 

FutureFocus July 19, 2017 - Five Barriers to Accessing Palliative Care

In this week’s FutureFocus, we explore the five barriers to accessing palliative care. It becomes apparent that current reimbursement, and a lack of understanding palliative care will need to be addressed. Our Washington Report recaps the delay in CoPs and comments by CMS.  

FutureFocus July 12, 2017 - ACO Participation in End-of-Life Planning

In this week’s FutureFocus, we provide insight into end-of-life spending and how ACOs are participating in end-of-life planning. The market is signaling a greater need for home health, hospice and palliative care partnerships. Learn how this impacts your organization.

FutureFocus July 05, 2017 - MACRA: Changing Medicare’s Physician Reimbursement Model

In this week’s FutureFocus, we discuss MACRA. All home health and post-acute providers should familiarize themselves with how MACRA will change physician reimbursement and the impact to other stakeholders. 

FutureFocus June 28, 2017 - Market Scan: Falls Prevention and Coordinated Tool Kit

In this week’s FutureFocus, we focus on falls. We provide access to a falls prevention and coordinated care toolkit, and include a case study for reducing falls for hospice patients.  

FutureFocus June 21, 2017 - Two Changes Ahead for Providers

In this week’s FutureFocus, we discuss two changes ahead for providers. The first is a discussion about how key provider groups are having an impact on reducing regulatory burdens for acute and post-acute providers. Then, we share a new bill to enhance end-of-life planning

FutureFocus June 14, 2017 - Growth in Outpatient Services Spurs Growth For PAC Providers

 In this week’s FutureFocus, we discuss new market trends – the expansion of outpatient services and the new growth opportunities for PAC providers.

FutureFocus June 07, 2017 - The Growth of Home-Based Palliative Care Models

In this week’s FutureFocus, we explore the growth of Home-Based Palliative Care models. The Washington Report discusses the launching of the new Medicare Beneficiary identifier. 

FutureFocus May 31, 2017 - MedPAC’s Recommendations for PAC Providers

In this week’s FutureFocus, we continue to follow MedPAC’s recommendations for PAC providers. MedPAC publishes two annual reports in March and June. The information we share here is for MedPAC’s upcoming June Report. We invite you to sign-up for FutureFocus. You will receive it complimentary every Wednesday. 

FutureFocus May 24, 2017 - Integration Strategies for PAC Providers and Medicare Advantage Plans

In this week’s FutureFocus, we discuss trends and integration strategies between Medicare Advantage Plans and PAC providers. The Washington Report discusses the Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) extension.  

FutureFocus May 17, 2017 - 2018 Proposed Rules for Post-Acute Care Quality Reporting Programs

In this week’s FutureFocus, we provide the updates for 2018 proposed rules for post-acute providers. The Washington Report discusses a study on copays for home health. 

FutureFocus May 03, 2017 - Adding Caregivers into Discharge Planning Decreases Readmissions

In this week’s FutureFocus, we discuss the strategy of using caregivers in the discharge planning process. A recent study showed reductions in 90 and 180 day readmissions. Our Washington Report explains the new rule for national Accreditation Organizations to post all survey reports. 

FutureFocus April 26, 2017 - New Readmission Penalties for Chronically-Ill Patients

In this week’s FutureFocus, we discuss a very important change to readmission penalties effective 2019. The Washington Report discusses a GAO report on the Medicare Administrative Contractors and changes needed for more provider education.

FutureFocus April 19, 2017 - MedPAC Recommends Lowering Post-Acute Payments

In this week’s FutureFocus, we continue to follow MedPAC’s  recommendations for PAC providers. MedPAC publishes two annual reports in March and June. The information we share here is for MedPAC’s  upcoming June Report. We invite you to sign-up for FutureFocus. You will receive it complimentary every Wednesday.

FutureFocus April 12, 2017 - Study: Multiple Medications Linked To High-Risk Frailty

In this week’s FutureFocus, we share a study linking increased frailty to the number of medications patients are taking. This is a study all providers should read. The Washington Report details CMS’s response to the delay in Conditions of Participation.

FutureFocus April 05, 2017 - Keeping Our Eye on Regulatory and Policy Changes

In this week’s FutureFocus, we are keeping an eye on new post-acute legislation. These bills would expand relationships for PAC providers and have impact on better patient care. How would these new bills affect your organization? Our Washington Report explores HHS’s reaction to state waivers.

FutureFocus March 29, 2017 - CMS Review Takes Aim at Hospice GIP Care

In this week’s FutureFocus, we share the OIG report on inappropriate billing for inpatient hospice, documentation sought and reviews. In 2012, improper billing cost Medicare $268 million.

FutureFocus March 22, 2017 - Post-Acute Dollars Targeted by MedPAC

In this week’s FutureFocus, we discuss the future recommendations to slash Medicare payments in PAC settings. In our Washington Report, we explore the Trump’s Administration actions that can have impact to your organization.

FutureFocus March 15, 2017 - Accelerating the PAC Prospective Payment System (PPS) Is Being Considered

In this week's FutureFocus, the acceleration of the PAC Prospective Payment System (PPS) is explored. Implementation could occur three years earlier than once thought.  In our Washington Report, we update you on the repeal of the ACA and where that is headed.

FutureFocus March 08, 2017 - If you do...we have new solutions for you! Learn more information

In this week's FutureFocus, we discuss the five barriers to why more post-acute providers are not using electronic health records (EHRs). A downloadable report issued by the GAO offers further details. In this week's Washington Report, we update you on the pre-claim review demonstration in Florida. Now that Tom Price has taken over at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), home health provider groups can focus their efforts on having him either halt or revamp the controversial Medicare pre-claim review demonstration (PCRD).

FutureFocus March 01, 2017 - Gaps In Personal Care Services Spending

In this week’s FutureFocus, we explore the gaps in data collection for Medicaid personal care services. Incorrect reporting, lack of provider identification numbers and reporting errors top the list. CMS speaks to what is ahead.

FutureFocus February 22, 2017 - Care Management Plus (CM+): A Physician’s Model to Manage Chronic Conditions

In this week’s FutureFocus, we explore how the Care Management Plus model manages the chronically ill patient population from physician offices. For home health and post-acute providers, this model offers opportunities to partner beyond the physician’s four walls.  In our Washington Report, we look at the two top priority areas of the new CMS administrator: fraud and abuse and ACA.

FutureFocus February 15, 2017 - Five Things to Know About Home Health Reimbursement in 2017

In this week’s FutureFocus, we take a look at the five 2017 Medicare changes in home health. One of these changes is the Home Health Conditions of Participation (CoPs). With an estimated implementation cost of $300 million, CMS deflects cost concerns and focuses on the goals. Learn more about the potential impact and differing opinions.

FutureFocus February 08, 2017 - Drone-Delivered Medicine: The Sky Is the Limit

In this week’s FutureFocus, we share a story about a true trailblazer meeting the challenge of delivering medications to patients in rural areas. You’ll enjoy how the passion of patient care and the humming of a drone worked in concert to find the right solution. In our Washington Report, we take a look at the possibilities of the Medicare age eligibility increasing from 65 to 67. The impact is far-reaching.

FutureFocus February 01, 2017 - Scanning Healthcare's Future

In this week’s FutureFocus, we scan healthcare’s future. Will CMS’ innovation demonstrations continue? What is the opinion about bundled payments and how the model is working? Is telehealth a key solution? How does home care fit in? What’s the latest word on the rollback of the ACA? Read “to the point” discussions to determine the impact to your organization.

FutureFocus January 25, 2017 - Care Coordination Initiatives Signal Market Changes to Broaden Relations Across the Continuum

In this week’s FutureFocus, we take a look at the growth of ACOs in 2017 and why it is significant to the future of healthcare. Are ACOs working?  Are they here to stay? We explore recent data tying ACOs to readmissions. In our Washington Report, we continue to report on recent hearings tackling the topic of Medicare cuts and the ACA repeal. Learn the latest insights and how it impacts your organization.

FutureFocus January 18, 2017 - Six Key Trends Signaling Changes to Bundled Payment Initiatives

In this week’s FutureFocus, we focus on insights that shape the future of home health: the Conditions of Participation and the cost to implement them, the 'Push Act' to replace the pre-claim review demonstration, and recommendations for further cuts in 2018. Learn how this impacts your organization.

FutureFocus December 14, 2016 - Testing New Payment Systems to Reduce Avoidable Hospitalizations

In this week’s FutureFocus, we explore a new payment model to reduce avoidable hospitalizations. We look at how the model is working, results, and where it is headed. Our Washington Report discusses home health spending in relationship to overall healthcare expenditures

FutureFocus December 07, 2016 - Incoming HHS Secretary Could Halt Pre-Claim Review

In this week’s FutureFocus, we provide insight about the next Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS), Tom Price. Is there a strong possibility the Pre-Claim Review will be put on hold? What will happen to the CMS Innovation Models. What changes can the future bring to your organization?

FutureFocus November 30, 2016 - The OIG Investigation Plans 2017-2018 Home Health, Hospice & DME

In this week’s FutureFocus, we take a look at Medicare fraud and abuse projects and what they mean to your organization. We identify new and ongoing projects and key takeaways.

FutureFocus November 16, 2016 - Forward Thinking Insights on PAC PPS Payments

In this week’s FutureFocus, we provide insight to how ACOs are meeting the needs of non-medical patients. We identify what those needs are, provide examples of solutions, and look ahead to what new models are being tested. In Our Washington Report, we provide resources to you for emergency preparedness requirements, and update you on recent fraud convictions.

FutureFocus November 09, 2016 - Hospice Spending: What Are the Drivers?

In this week’s FutureFocus, we explore new developments with the Chronic Care Act. A new proposal looks at three main categories under Medicare: telehealth, Medicare Advantage, and the Independence at Home Act. Our Washington Report discusses two topics affecting the future of home health: how home health will see a $130 million cut in 2017 and the changes in the HHVBP Model, Quality Reporting Program.

FutureFocus November 02, 2016 - Why is the National Association for Home Care (NAHC) Intending to File a Lawsuit?

This week’s FutureFocus provides new details about the Pre-claim Review demo, the intentions to file a lawsuit against CMS, and the affect on the future. We also take a look at the latest insights on the demonstration in Illinois. Learn more about the latest Pre-Claim Review Resource: New Decision Flowchart and new FAQs.

FutureFocus October 26, 2016 - Why Are the Number of DME Beneficiaries Decreasing?

This week’s FutureFocus takes a look at the DME industry today and its future. Why is the number of beneficiaries receiving DME decreasing? What is impacting the future viability of the DME industry? We provide you with the latest insights.

FutureFocus October 19, 2016 - Readmissions: 30-Day Interval

This week’s FutureFocus takes a look at the current 30-day readmission policy. Is 30-days the right interval, or are readmissions occurring sooner at 5 and 7 days? We explore what the data is telling us. Our Washington Report: Is It Too Early to Expand Bundled Payment Models, provides feedback from the industry asking CMS to slow down.

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