March on Washington Update: Predictions for the Year Ahead
March 24, 2015 03:31 PM
At the 2015 March on Washington, a panel of experts on home care and hospice policy provided their legislative, regulatory, and legal predictions for the year ahead.
On the legislative front, Richard D. Brennan, Jr., Vice President for Government Affairs at the National Association for Home Care & Hospice, predicted that Congress would increase its focus on health IT and the challenges of interoperability. Brennan also predicted that this increased focus on health IT would bring home health more recognition as the best-suited provider of care to accommodate these new innovations.
NAHC’s regulatory team said members should expect federal agencies to increase their oversight authorities, implement more quality measures, and conduct more and more audits.
“What we are going to see based on the significant data analysis that’s being conducted is a continued expansion of oversight efforts,” said Theresa Forster, Vice President for Hospice Policy & Programs at NAHC.
Mary Carr, Vice President for Regulatory Affairs at NAHC, said home care should expect more and more quality measures being used in a variety of ways, from value-based purchasing to the star rating system and the IMPACT Act.
William A. Dombi, Esq., Vice President for Law at NAHC, said home care and hospice should expect to see more and more Medicare and Medicaid audits. “They have committed a huge amount of resources to reviewing claims in all sectors,” he said.
Barbara Citarella, President and CEO of RBD Limited Healthcare & Management Consultants, said providers need to stay cautious about others trying to take over new models. In response to these challenges, home care and hospice should develop a whole new skill set and increase collaboration with partners in the health care system.
Andrea Devoti, Chairman of the NAHC Government Affairs Committee, said home care and hospice will need to stay nimble and noisy in order to achieve the dream of making home the center of health care. Executives will need to make sure everyone, including employees, take charge and get involved on Facebook and social media to deliver the message about the value of home care and hospice.
Former U.S. Senator Mark Begich, Vice President for Policy and Business Development at NAHC, said NAHC will develop its communication tools, including launching the Home Care and Hospice Web-Based TV, and improve the Foundation for Hospice and Homecare.
“We have some exciting things ahead of us,” Begich said. “Making sure we develop and move the foundation in a new direction. Developing web-based TV and new communications that give you the tools you need and your patients need to know what’s going on here in Washington, as well as the new opportunities out there in home care and hospice.”