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:: NAHC Report
NAHC Report: Issue# 2517, 9/29/2014
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Proposed Rule on The Home Health Conditions of Participation to be Released Soon
DEA Issues its Final Rule on Disposal if Controlled Substances
For Your Information: Last Day to Vote for the Home Care & Hospice Nurse of the Year Award
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Proposed Rule on The Home Health Conditions of Participation to be Released Soon

On Thursday, September 25, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) completed their work on a proposed rule that revises the home health Conditions of Participation (HH CoPs).  The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid may now send the proposed rule to the Office of the Federal Register for publication. Once published, interested parties will have 60 days to submit comments.

Home health agencies must meet the Medicare HH CoPs in order to participate in the Medicare program. Agencies that fail to meet any of the HH CoPs are at risk, at a minimum, for the imposition of a number of sanctions and potentially at risk for program termination. 

Although CMS has made several significant revisions to the HH CoPs through out the years, many of the current CoPs have remained unchanged since their inception in 1973. In 1997, CMS attempted to revise the HH CoPs with a proposed rule that focused on patient-centered outcome oriented quality standards. However, since CMS did not publish a final rule within the required three years time frame, the proposed rule was rescinded and CMS must issued anther proposed rule.

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DEA Issues its Final Rule on Disposal if Controlled Substances

On September 9, 2014 the Disposal of Controlled Substances Final Rule was printed in the Federal Register.  The rule is effective October 9, 2014.  This rule governs the secure disposal of controlled substances by registrants and ultimate users. These regulations will implement the Secure and Responsible Drug Disposal Act of 2010 by expanding the options available to collect controlled substances from ultimate users for the purpose of disposal, including: Take-back events, mail-back programs, and collection receptacle locations. An ultimate user includes ‘‘a person who has lawfully obtained, and possesses, a controlled substance for his own use or for the use of a member of his household’’ (emphasis added) (21 U.S.C. 802(27)).

Accordingly, a member of the hospice patient’s household may dispose of the patient’s pharmaceutical controlled substances, but the home hospice or homecare provider cannot do so unless otherwise authorized by law - for example, under state law - to dispose of the decedent’s personal property and in cases where an ultimate user has given permission to the hospice to dispose of the medication.

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Last Day to Vote for the Home Care & Hospice Nurse of the Year Award

This is the last day to cast your vote for the Home Care & Hospice Nurse of the Year. Below are this year’s 10 finalists.

Please take a moment to read all of these deserving nurses’ stories and cast your vote while there’s still time. 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.

Registered Nurses and Hospice Staff

Renown Health, based in Reno, Nevada, is looking for experienced, supportive Registered Nurses and hospice staff.

In keeping with our commitment to providing compassionate and continuum care at every stage of life, we are opening Renown’s first-ever hospice program and we're looking for experienced RNs and hospice staff with at least two years of prior hospice experience.

Renown Health is northern Nevada’s largest integrated health network and a nationally recognized healthcare leader. Based in Reno, Renown serves a 17-county region comprised of northern Nevada, Lake Tahoe and northeast California. The Reno-Tahoe region holds a range of lifestyle options that spans from downtown Reno to the shores of Lake Tahoe. With over 300 days of sunshine annually, it’s easy to understand why so many people choose to explore the natural beauty of our region. Experience as much or as little as you want as you thrive in our small-town feel and friendliness and all the financial benefits that come from a state with no state income tax.

Learn more at: or contact Anne Larson, Recruiter, at 775-982-6306. EEO/M/F/V/D


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