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:: NAHC Report
NAHC Report: Issue# 2509, 9/17/2014
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NAHC Lawsuit on Face-to-Face Physician Encounter Rule Advances
Congress Poised to Set Minimum Hospice Survey Frequency
For Your Information: NAHC Announces Finalists for Home Care & Hospice Nurse of the Year Award
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NAHC Lawsuit on Face-to-Face Physician Encounter Rule Advances

The lawsuit challenging the validity of Medicare's requirement that physicians provide a narrative to support their certification of a patient's homebound status and skilled care need is advancing in Federal District Court. The Department of Justice has filed a motion to dismiss with the court arguing that the court does not have the power to hear the case. This motion to dismiss is a typical action in Medicare litigation through which Medicare attempts to avoid the scrutiny of the federal court.

The Medicare Motion to Dismiss argues that NAHC failed to exhaust all administrative remedies prior to filing a lawsuit in federal court. In addition, the government motion claims that the NAHC complaint fails to state a cause of action that the court could hear. Over the past 25 years, the federal courts have restricted what's known as "jurisdiction" on Medicare related matters. Earlier decisions from the US Supreme Court generally require an exhaustion of administrative appeals.

NAHC anticipated this type of response from Medicare attorneys. "This is a "garden variety" type of defense offered in Medicare litigation," stated Bill Dombi, the lead counsel in the lawsuit. "We believe that the exhaustion of administrative appeals is not necessary in this matter for several reasons," he added.

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Congress Poised to Set Minimum Hospice Survey Frequency

For many years, the National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) and its Hospice Association of America (HAA) have supported greater frequency in hospice surveys.  Currently, there is no set time frame for frequency of hospice surveys, and the average length of time between surveys for hospice providers is six to eight years.  Some hospices have not been surveyed in over a decade.  More frequent surveys are a step toward helping ensure hospice provider compliance with regulations and proper administration of the hospice benefit. 

On September 16, the House of Representatives passed, by a voice vote, legislation that requires the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to survey hospices at least as frequently as every three years for the next 10 years.  The legislation also corrects a legislative drafting error that has prevented implementation of an Affordable Care Act provision requiring medical review of hospices with a high proportion of long-stay patients.  These provisions were first included in legislation introduced earlier this year by Reps. Tom Reed (R-NY) and Mike Thompson (D-CA); House Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI) and Senate Finance Chairman Ron Wyden (D-OR) worked in recent weeks to include these provisions as part of the Improving Medicare Post-Acute Care Transformation (IMPACT) Act of 2014.  

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NAHC Announces Finalists for Home Care & Hospice Nurse of the Year Award

JNAHC recently announced the top ten finalists for the Home Care & Hospice Nurse of the year. Voting continues until September 30 to select this year’s winner.
This year’s ten finalists, in no particular order, are:

  • Kathleen Lewis, Hospice of the Valley in Phoenix, Arizona.
  • Karen Schulkin, Professional Healthcare at Home, an affiliate of Kindred at Home in Pleasant Hill, California.
  • Debbie Ahlert-Caffey, Douglas County VNA, Kansas.
  • Greg Burns, HomeHealth Visiting Nurses of Southern Maine, Maine.
  • Brenda Hensley, Johns Hopkins Home Care Group, Maryland.
  • Bonnie Schmidt, St. Rose Dominican Hospital's Home Health Services, Nevada.
  • Vickie Oliver-Rivera, Visiting Nurse Service of New York, New York.
  • Karen Marshall, Hospice of Visiting Nurse Service, Ohio.
  • Mary Pistulka, Avera Hospice, South Dakota.
  • Joann Plencner, University of Virginia Health System's Continuum Home Health Care, Virginia.

To read about this year’s finalists, and to cast your vote for the 2014 Home Care & Hospice Nurse of the Year, please click here.

President & Chief Executive Officer

Strong Home Care Group, Inc. (SHCG) is the sole member of the certified agency Visiting Nurse Service of Rochester and Monroe County, Inc. (VNS) and of the licensed agency Signature Care (VNSC). In turn, VNS is the sole member of the licensed agency Finger Lakes Visiting Nurse Service, Inc. (FLVNS) and the licensed agency Finger Lakes Home Care, Inc. (FLHC). The combined agencies serve seven (7) counties  

Job Description:  Strong Home Care Group, Inc. seeks a dynamic, strategic, and visionary leader for the five corporations.  The President and CEO is accountable for assuring that home and community-based services meet the strategic needs of UR Medicine and aspire to set national benchmarks for patient outcomes, patient satisfaction and cost efficiency. 


  • Master’s degree in a health-related or business field. Must have 5-10 years of progressive experience in leadership management. 
  • Experience within a health system and/or academic medical center.
  • Demonstrated success as a visionary thinker with the ability to plan for the future and to execute action plans.
  • Expert knowledge of the home care and health industry. 
  • Knowledge of regulatory and The Joint Commission accreditation requirements.

Qualified candidates please send resume to:

Human Resources
2180 Empire Blvd.
Webster, NY 14580

Fax: 585-787-8369


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