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FutureFocus

FutureFocus, a weekly newsletter, reaches beyond news headlines. FutureFocus provides information and solutions to respond to healthcare transformation. Readers get in-depth information, and thought-provoking industry insights to make better informed decisions.

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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.  

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