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Testimonials

In the various roles he has undertaken through the years, Val J. Halamandaris has been a singular driving force behind the policy and program initiatives resulting in the recognition of home health care as a viable alternative to institutionalization. His dedication to consumer advocacy, which enhances the quality of life and dignity of those receiving home health care, merits VNA HealthCare Group’s highest recognition and deepest respect. 

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VNA HealthCare Group

I have the highest respect for them, especially for the nurses, aides and therapists, who devote their lives to caring for people with disabilities, the infirm and dying Americans.  There are few more noble professions.

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President Barack Obama

Home health care agencies do such a wonderful job in this country helping people to be able to remain at home and allowing them to receive services

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U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) Chair, Democratic Steering and Outreach Committee

Home care is a combination of compassion and efficiency.  It is less expensive than institutional care...but at the same time it is a more caring, human, intimate experience, and therefore it has a greater human element...it’s a big mistake not to try to maximize it and find ways to give people the home care option over either nursing homes, hospitals or other institutions

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Former Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Newt Gingrich (R-GA)

Medicaid covers long-term care, but only for low-income families.  And Medicare only pays for care that is connected to a hospital discharge....our health care system must cover these vital services...[and] we should promote home-based care, which most people prefer, instead of the institutional care that we emphasize now.

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Former U.S. Senator Majority Leader Tom Daschle (D-CD)

We need incentives to...keep people in home health care settings...It’s dramatically less expensive than long term care.

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U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ)

 

Home care is clearly the wave of the future. It’s clearly where patients want to be cared for. I come from an ethnic family and when a member of our family is severely ill, we would never consider taking them to get institutional care. That’s true of many families for both cultural and financial reasons. If patients have a choice of where they want to be cared for, where it’s done the right way, they choose home.

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Donna Shalala, former Secretary of Health and Human Services

A couple of years ago, I spent a little bit of time with the National Association for Home Care & Hospice and its president, Val J. Halamandaris, and I was just blown away. What impressed me so much was that they talked about what they do as opposed to just the strategies of how to deal with Washington or Sacramento or Albany or whatever the case may be. Val is a fanatic about care, and it comes through in every way known to mankind. It comes through in the speakers he invites to their events; it comes through in all the stuff he shares.

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Tom Peters, author of In Search of Excellence

Val’s home care organization brings thousands of caregivers together into a dynamic organization that provides them with valuable resources and tools to be even better in their important work. He helps them build self-esteem, which leads to self-motivation.

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Mike Vance, former Dean of Disney and author of Think Out of the Box

Val is one of the greatest advocates for seniors in America. He goes beyond the call of duty every time.

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Arthur S. Flemming, former Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare

Val has brought the problems, the challenges, and the opportunities out in the open for everyone to look at. He is a visionary pointing the direction for us. 

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Margaret (Peg) Cushman, Professor of Nursing and former President of the Visiting Nurses Association

Although Val has chosen to stay in the background, he deserves much of the credit for what was accomplished both at the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging, where he was closely associated with me and at the House Select Committee on Aging, where he was Congressman Claude Pepper’s senior counsel and closest advisor. He put together more hearings on the subject of aging, wrote more reports, drafted more bills, and had more influence on the direction of events than anyone before him or since.

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Frank E. Moss, former U.S. Senator

Val’s most important contribution is pulling together all elements of home health care and being able to organize and energize the people involved in the industry.

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Frank E. Moss, former U.S. Senator

Anyone working on health care issues in Congress knows the name Val J. Halamandaris.

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Kathleen Gardner Cravedi, former Staff Director of the House Select Committee on Aging

Without your untiring support and active participation, the voices of people advocating meaningful and compassionate health care reform may not have been heard by national leaders.

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Michael Sullivan, Former Executive Director, Indiana Association for Home Care

All of us have been members of many organizations and NAHC is simply the best there is. NAHC aspires to excellence in every respect; its staff has been repeatedly honored as the best in Washington; the organization lives by the highest values and has demonstrated a passionate interest in the well-being of patients and providers.

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Elaine Stephens, Director of Home Care of Steward Home Care/Steward Health Systems and former NAHC C

Home care increasingly is one of the basic building blocks in the developing system of long-term care.  On both economic and recuperative bases, home health care will continue to grow as an essential service for individuals, for families and for the community as a whole.

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Former U.S. Senator Olympia Snowe (R-ME)

NCOA is excited to be part of this great event and honored to have such influential award winners in the field of aging.

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National Council of Aging

Health care at home…is something we need more of, not less of.  Let us make a commitment to preventive and long-term care.  Let us encourage home care as an alternative to nursing homes and give folks a little help to have their parents there.

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Former President Bill Clinton

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Educational Session Descriptions

Monday, March 24, 2014
General Session Workshop
8:30 am to 9:15 am

Medicare Home Care
MEDICARE POST-ACUTE CARE BUNDLING: Is This the Wave of the Future?

The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovations is spearheading a series of trials of a significant health delivery and financing reform known as Post-Acute Care Bundling. With these demonstration programs, CMMI provides a payment bundle to an entity to manage and finance the spectrum of services that follows an inpatient hospitalization, including home health services, skilled nursing facility services, long term care hospitalization, inpatient rehabilitation services, and rehospitalizations.  The President’s budget advances the bundling concept by calling for expanded use in order to achieve Medicare savings. Recently, the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission recommended that Medicare PAC bundling be accelerated. All signs point to increased payment reforms centered on PAC bundling. This program provides a landscape review of the state of PAC bundling nationally by a panel of experts directly engaged in creating and managing PAC bundled payment.

Objectives:

  • Describe the current state of CMMI bundling demonstrations
  • Recognize the operations of a bundling program and the role of home care
  • Identify the benefits and burdens of being a partner, participate, or vendor in a PAC bundle program

Faculty: Kelsey Mellard, MPA, Vice President, Partnership Marketing and Policy, naviHealth, Inc., Washington, D.C.; David P. Terry, BA, MBA, Founder & CEO, Archway Health Advisors, Brookline, MA; Legal, Legislative, and Regulatory Staff, National Association for Home Care & Hospice, Washington, DC

Course Level: Update; 1.75 Nursing CEs; 1.75 Accounting CPEs (NASBA/RE)



Monday, March 24, 2014
Concurrent Educational Sessions (100 series)
10:30 am to 12:00 pm


Medicare Home Health
CMS Panel on Home Health Regulatory & Policy Issues!

Representatives from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS)) will discuss home health regulatory and policy initiatives for 2014 and beyond. In addition to the latest information on key topics such as  payment policy, survey and certification, and home health quality initiatives. 

Objectives:

  • Describe major regulatory and policy changes CMS is planning to make in the home health program
  • Discuss the rationale behind these changes
  • Identify what impact these changes will have on your agency and how operations must be modified in order to comply with changes

Faculty: Patricia A. Sevast, RN, BS, Nurse Consultant, Survey and Certification Group, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services; Randy Throndset, Division Director, Division of Home Health, Hospice and HPCS, Chronic  Care Policy Group, Center for Medicare, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services; Mary Pratt, RN, MSN, Director, Division of Chronic & Post Acute Care, Center for Clinical Standards and Quality, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Baltimore, MD

No CEs or CPEs offered for this session



Medicare Hospice
Program Integrity and Beyond!

Compliance and program integrity involves all aspects of hospice companies - clinical, financial, administrative - and goes well beyond compliance with hospice regulations.  CMS has amped up its program integrity efforts in hospice but also all types of providers, some which ultimately impact hospices (i.e. Part D drugs).  Hospices are under increasing scrutiny from healthcare oversight entities such as the Department of Justice as well as from entities charged with oversight of businesses and employers such as the EEOC.  This session will focus on the "hot topics" of relatedness and hospice eligibility as well as go beyond regulations and discuss program integrity efforts impacting hospice and the important of an effective compliance plan.

Objectives:

  • Describe the importance of determining and documenting relatedness and eligibility
  • Discuss how the seemingly new interpretation of relatedness is impacting hospices
  • Outline key components in determining and documenting relatedness and eligibility
  • List program integrity initiatives impacting hospice
  • Describe compliance initiatives that lay the groundwork for hospice program integrity

Faculty: Katie Wehri, Hospice Regulatory and Operations Specialist, National Association for Home Care & Hospice, Washington, D.C.

Course Level:  Intermediate; Nursing 1.5 CEs; Accounting 1.5 CPEs (NASBA.SKA)



Medicaid Home Care
MEDICAID MANAGED LONG TERM SERVICES AND SUPPORTS: THIS IS THE FUTURE!

Medicaid is the largest public payer of home care services in the US. With a variety of benefit programs that cover children, persons with disabilities, and the elderly, Medicaid serves over 5 million people in home care, spending in excess of $30 billion annually. Traditionally all long term services and supports (LTSS) have been “carved out” of contracts between states and managed care organizations (MCO), meaning states retained management for the populations receiving LTSS. Now, as states seek budget certainty, many have already moved those populations into managed care while others are in the process of developing and implementing managed long term services and supports (MLTSS) programs. In some states, the transition to managed care happened at a rapid pace, leaving Medicaid home care providers and Medicaid MCOs to develop paths to work together in very short order. This program will feature a panel from the home care and Medicaid managed care industries, each discussing their experience with the move of the LTSS populations into managed care, pitfalls, opportunities for improvement, and the future of managed long term services and supports.

Objectives:

  • Recognize the political and health policy landscape of Medicaid reform that shifts LTSS into managed care
  • Identify the role and placement of home care in Medicaid managed LTSS
  • Identify areas for potential cooperation between providers and health plans
  • Recognize the opportunities that Medicaid managed long term services and supports present to home care and how to maximize these opportunities

Faculty: Michelle Martin, JD, Policy Director, National Council on Medicaid Home Care, Washington, DC; Sherl Brand, RN, BSN, Chief External Affairs Officer & VP/Bus. Dev., VNA Health Group, Red Band, NJ; Christopher Palmieri, BS, MHA, President, VNS of New York, New York, NY;  Michael Brown, AAS, BA, MS, Division Director, BAYADA Home Health Care, E. Stroudsburg, PA, Richard Fredrickson, BS, Sr. VP, Long Term Care, Centene Corporation, Tempe, AZ

Course Level:  Intermediate; Nursing 1.5 CEs; Accounting 1.5 CPEs (NASBA.SKA)



Private Duty
Employer Mandates under the Affordable Care Act: Status Report

The Affordable Care Act employer mandates take full effect in January 2015. Employers have several significant responsibilities to meet that vary depending on whether employees are provided with health insurance. This workshop provides an updated and detailed discussion of the ACA employer mandates, including the IRS standards for determining whether and how the mandates apply to your business, what options exist for eliminating or reducing possible penalties, and the developing standards on what qualifies as a qualified health benefit plan. In addition, legislative and regulatory efforts to mitigate the negative impacts of the mandate will be covered.

Objectives:

  • Identify the standards for determining whether the employer mandate applies to your company
  • Identify the standards for calculating an employer penalty when health insurance is not made available to employees
  • Discuss the business options to mitigate or eliminate an employer penalty
  • Describe the ongoing advocacy efforts regarding the employer mandate

Faculty: William A. Dombi, Esq., Vice President for Law, National Association for Home Care & Hospice, Executive Director, National Council on Medicaid Home Care, Washington, D.C.

Course Level:  Overview; Nursing 1.5 CEs; Accounting 1.5 CPEs (NASBA.SKA)



Monday, March 24, 2014
Concurrent Educational Sessions (200 series)
2:00 pm to 3:30 pm

Medicare Home Heath & Hospice

Newly Proposed Medicare Disaster Preparedness Regulations

As the magnitude and occurrences of large scale disaster events continue to increase in frequency, it is no surprise that CMS would issue a proposed rule on disaster preparedness that has the intention of ensuring that certain health care providers can adequately meet patient and staff needs. Home care and hospice have clearly understood our role in disaster planning since September 11th. We have been ready to respond although clearly under funded for this role. There are many historical factors that have initiated this mandate for health care providers to develop an all hazards continuity of operations plan and while it is a sensible expectation, the real issue becomes the cost of implementation. This educational session will define the four primary components of the proposed rule (CMS-3178-P). These components will then be analyzed and formulated into homecare and hospice frameworks. The information in this session will contribute greatly to “talking points” to Congress to help legislators better understand the roles and importance of our industry.

Objectives:

  • Discuss rationale for promulgating the rule
  • List the four primary components of the rule
  • Articulate the important and various disaster roles of the home care and hospice providers
  • Develop an all hazards disaster plan that will be in compliance with the proposed rule.

Faculty:  Barbara B. Citarella, RN, MS, President, RBC Limited Healthcare & Management Consultants, Staatsburg, NY

Course Level:  Intermediate; Nursing 1.5 CEs; Accounting 1.5 CPEs (NASBA.SKA)


Medicare Hospice

Answers from the Experts: Panel on the Medicare Hospice Program

The Affordable Care Act included the most sweeping changes to the Medicare Hospice Program since creation of the benefit in the early 1980s, including changes to the hospice payment system and development of a hospice quality monitoring program. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is at work implementing those changes and this program gives attendees the opportunity to hear directly from CMS officials about progress on those initiatives – including hospice payment reform, collection of additional hospice data on claims, and significant revisions to the hospice cost report.

Objectives:

  • Describe options under consideration for hospice payment reform;
  • Discuss expanded hospice data collection efforts; and
  • List additional pending hospice regulatory changes.

Faculty: Randy Throndset, Division Director, Division of Home Health, Hospice and HPCS, Chronic  Care Policy Group, Center for Medicare, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services; Mary Pratt, RN, MSN, Director, Division of Chronic & Post Acute Care, Center for Clinical Standards and Quality, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Baltimore, MD; Cindy Massuda, JD, Division of Delivery System Demonstrations, Medicare Demonstration Program Group, Center for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, Baltimore, MD

No CEs or CPEs offered for this session


Medicaid Home Care

Medicaid Rate Advocacy: Succeeding in Getting Fair Payment

Medicaid home care payment rates are often far below the cost of the care delivered and require providers to subsidize Medicaid financial losses.  There is hope as there are some steps that can be taken to improve payment rates. This program will present the experiences of several states that have grappled with Medicaid home care rates with some success, focusing on creating an evidentiary base for rate advocacy that can prevail in the always difficult political climate of state Medicaid programs.

Objectives:

  • Identify sources of financial data that can be used to support revisions in payment rates
  • Recognize the state and federal legal standards for Medicaid payment rates
  • Define the techniques that can be used in Medicaid rate advocacy with state Medicaid programs and state legislatures

Faculty: William A. Dombi, Esq., Vice President for Law, National Association for Home Care & Hospice, Executive Director, National Council on Medicaid Home Care

Course Level:  Intermediate; Nursing 1.5 CEs; Accounting 1.5 CPEs (NASBA.SKA)



Private Duty
The Companionship Services Exemption under the FLSA: Compliance and Ongoing Advocacy Efforts

Under the federal Fair labor Standards Act, companionship services are exempt from minimum wage and overtime obligations. However, the Department of Labor has significantly revised the standards in the exemption in a manner that makes its unlikely to apply in home care. The new rule takes effect on January 1, 2015. This program provides a detailed explanation of the new standards, the steps needed for home care companies to comply, along with a discussion of continuing advocacy efforts to combat the adverse impacts of the rule change.

Objectives:

  • Describe the new standards for determining whether services provided meet the definition of “companionship” under the rule changes effective in 2015.
  • Identify the standards for determining what party is the caregiver’s employer under the companionship services and live-in domestic services rules.
  • Discuss the ongoing advocacy steps relative to home care employee compensation.

Faculty: Tammy D. McCutchen, BA, JD, Shareholder, Littler  Mendelson, P.C., Washington, DC

Course Level:  Intermediate; Nursing 1.5 CEs; Accounting 1.5 CPEs (NASBA.SKA)



Monday, March 24, 2014
Concurrent Educational Sessions (300 series)
4:00 pm to 5:30 pm

 

Medicare Home Health

Home Health Face to Face Forum

The home health Face to Face (F2F) requirement has proven to be one of most unjust regulations ever issued.  Agencies are being held accountable for physician noncompliance with claim denial rates as high as 70+ percent, even after two years since its implementation. This interactive program will present the current state of the home health F2F requirement including an overview of the regulation and issues related compliance, medical review, and claims denials. The program will provide participants an opportunity to share their experiences with the requirement and to provide feedback on strategies for relief.

Objectives:

  • Identify key areas that require reform within the F2F requirement
  • Develop strategies for regulatory relief
  • Identify available resources and courses of action for providers

Faculty: Mary Carr, RN, BSN, MPH, Associate Director for Regulatory Affairs, National Association for Home Care & Hospice, Washington, DC; William A. Dombi, Esq., Vice President for Law, National Association for Home Care & Hospice, Executive Director, National Council on Medicaid Home Care  

Course Level:  Intermediate; Nursing 1.5 CEs; Accounting 1.5 CPEs (NASBA.SKA)


Medicare Home Health and Hospice

ICD-10 Transition - Are You Ready?

The requirement to transition from ICD-9 diagnosis coding to ICD-10 is fast approaching.  The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has assured the provider community that the implementation date will remain October 1, 2014, with no plans for further delay.  Home health and hospice providers must have plans in place now in order to be ready. This program will provide an overview of the necessary steps, including productivity and financial considerations, home health and hospice providers need for a successful and timely transition to ICD-10.

Objectives:

  • Evaluate the agency’s ICD-10 transition readiness
  • Describe immediate steps for preparedness
  • Identify available resources for workflow processes 

Faculty: Corinne Kuypers-Denlinger, BA, Vice President, Post-Acute Care Product Group DecisionHealth, Gaithersburg, MD;  Arlene Maxim, RN, Founder, A.D. Maxim & Associates LLC, Troy, MI 

Course Level:  Intermediate; Nursing 1.5 CEs; Accounting 1.5 CPEs (NASBA.SKA)



Medicaid Home Care

The Future of Medicaid: CMS Panel of Experts

Medicaid is the largest government program covering home care services. It is also rapidly changing. Whether it is a shift to managed care, innovations in chronic care management, a rebalancing of long term care to the home care setting, or coordinating Medicare and Medicaid for dual eligibles, Medicaid is definitely the most important health care program in the country. This program brings the insights on the future of Medicaid from the perspective of Medicaid experts from the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.  Invited panelists include the officials from Medicaid divisions responsible for home care policy and administration along with representation from the division for coordinating Medicaid and Medicare.

Objectives:

  • Identify the how Medicaid home care is evolving nationally
  • Discuss the delivery reforms affecting home care that can be expected in Medicaid
  • Understand how home care and hospice fit into the future of Medicaid

Faculty: Edo Banach, Medicare Medicaid Coordination Office, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services; Ralph Lollar, Disabled and Elderly Health Programs Group, Center for Medicaid, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services
No CEs or CPEs offered for this session


Wednesday, March 26, 2014
Concurrent Educational Sessions (400 series)
8:30 am to 10:00 am

Medicare Home Health
2014 Regulatory Roundup

This program will be presented to inform attendees about the status of the current Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) regulations and policies that are of greatest concern to home health agencies. Hot topics will include: Face-to-Face encounter policies, the Improvement Standards, Provider Enrollment Chain and Ownership System (PECOS), alternate survey sanctions and new Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) requirements. During this session, an opportunity will be provided to attendees to discuss the challenges that they are facing.

Objectives:

  • Identify policies and regulations under development by CMS
  • Describe the impact on home health providers
  • Identify available resources and courses of action for providers

Faculty: Mary Carr, RN, BSN, MPH, Associate Director for Regulatory Affairs, National Association for Home Care & Hospice, Washington, DC

Course Level:  Overview; Nursing 1.5 CEs; Accounting 1.5 CPEs (NASBA.SKA)



Medicare Hospice
Revisions to the Hospice Cost Report – the Why, What, and How-to of Expanded Data Collection

Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), Congress directed the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS’) to expand its collection of hospice data to help inform its efforts to reform the hospice payment system.   In early 2013 CMS sought industry input on a significantly expanded proposed hospice cost reporting tool; it is anticipated that CMS will issue a final hospice cost report in the very near future.  The new cost report is expected to place much greater demands on hospices, including engagement of a broader range of staff to ensure appropriate collection of data and modification of processes throughout the organization.  This session will provide a general overview of the anticipated new requirements, guidance on what processes a hospice might consider altering to comply with the new cost report, and insights into ways the expanded data collection may be used to improve financial management of the organization.

Objectives:

  • Describe the importance to CMS, the provider, and the hospice industry of accurately completing Medicare hospice cost report;
  • Describe the new data elements that CMS will collect as part of the revised hospice cost report;
  • Identify hospice processes that must be altered to ensure appropriate advance collection of the data needed to complete the revised hospice cost report; and
  • Describe ways in which a hospice may use data collected for the revised hospice cost report to improve financial management.

Faculty: Lisa M. Lapin, BA, Principal, Simione Healthcare Consultants LLC, Westborough, MA

Course Level:  Intermediate; Nursing 1.5 CEs; Accounting 1.5 CPEs (NASBA.SKA)



Wednesday, March 26, 2014
Concurrent Educational Sessions (500 series)
10:15 am to 11:45 am

Medicare Hospice
Medicare Hospice Policy Roundup

The Medicare Hospice Program has entered an era of rapid change that is being driven by regulatory and legislative initiatives.  As part of this session, experts from the National Association for Home Care & Hospice’s (NAHC’s) Hospice Association of America will provide insight into the latest regulatory issues hospice providers are addressing, as well as changes that are anticipated in the not-too-distant future.  The session will also outline hospice issues currently under consideration by Congress, the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) and oversight organizations that may yield future changes in the Medicare Hospice Program.

Objectives:

  • Outline key issues related to current and future hospice regulatory requirements; and
  • Describe federal legislative initiatives in hospice and end-of-life care and work currently being conducted by MedPAC related to hospice.

Faculty: Theresa M. Forster, Vice President for Hospice Policy & Programs, and  Katie Wehri, Hospice Regulatory and Operations Specialist, both of the National Association for Home Care & Hospice, Washington, D.C.

Course Level:  Overview; Nursing 1.5 CEs; Accounting 1.5 CPEs (NASBA.SKA)



Medicaid Home Care
The New Medicaid Home and Community Based Service Rule

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services recently released the log-awaited final rule on Home and Community Based services (HCBS). This rule establishes a new HCBS State Plan benefit that allows states to provide extensive home care without all the red tape required to get approval for a waiver program. The rule also sets out a modern definition of the home for purposes of HCBS, allowing Medicaid beneficiaries to receive care in numerous settings beyond the traditional private residence. It also streamlines Medicaid waiver processes to encourage state participation. This program provides an in-depth review of the new rule and discussion on it implications on the future of Medicaid home care.

Objectives:

  • Describe the standards for HCBS under the new state plan option benefit
  • Review the requirements for establishing that an individual’s residence is a “home” for purposes of Medicaid HCBS benefit eligibility
  • Evaluate the administrative streamlining that the new HCBS rule provides for establishing waiver programs.

Faculty: William A. Dombi, Esq., Vice President for Law, National Association for Home Care & Hospice, Executive Director, National Council on Medicaid Home Care  

Course Level:  Intermediate; Nursing 1.5 CEs; Accounting 1.5 CPEs (NASBA.SKA)











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