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  NAHC Report: Issue# 2588, 1/20/2015
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Summary of Latest OIG Report and What It Means For Hospices
CMS Modifies it’s Pneumococcal Vaccine Policy
For Your Information: CMS Regulations, Medicare Cuts and Copyaments, and Other Priorites for 2015
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Summary of Latest OIG Report and What It Means For Hospices

Earlier this month the OIG released a report on hospices, Medicare Hospices Have Financial Incentives To Provide Care In Assisted Living Facilities (ALFs).   

This report provides information to inform CMS’ payment reform decisions. The report is part of the Office of Inspector General’s (OIG) larger body of work on hospice care. While the report focuses on ALFs, many of the issues identified pertain to the hospice benefit more broadly.  They are similar to those that both OIG and MedPAC have identified in other hospice settings, such as nursing facilities. 

The report raises concerns about the financial incentives created by the current payment system and the potential for hospices to target beneficiaries in ALFs because they may offer the hospices the greatest financial gain. Together, the findings in this and previous OIG reports show that payment reform and more accountability are needed to reduce incentives for hospices to focus solely on certain types of diagnoses or settings.

The OIG could not make statements about the ALFs where the services were provided due to the lack of information available on these types of facilities, nor did the OIG assess eligibility status for the hospice benefit or assess whether services were appropriate.

Findings of this report are summarized below.

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CMS Modifies it’s Pneumococcal Vaccine Policy

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has issued Change Request 9050 which revises CMS’ pneumococcal vaccination policy for Medicare beneficiaries. This decision is based on the recent Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommendations that both the Pneumococcal Polysaccharide Vaccine 23 (PPSV23) and the Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine 13 (PCV13) is to be given to adults 65 and older, and younger individuals at risk for pneumococcal pneumonia. Generally, the pneumococcal vaccine was covered once in a beneficiary’s lifetime, with revaccinations covered for those at highest risk if 5 years have passed since the last vaccination, or if the beneficiary’s vaccination history was unknown.

For adults 65 years of age or older with no previous pneumococcal vaccinations, the (ACIP) recommends a dose of Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine 13 (PCV13) followed by a dose of Pneumococcal Polysaccharide Vaccine (PPSV23) 6 to 12 months later. Adults 65 years of age or older who  have received one or more doses of PPSV23 but have not received PCV13  be given  a dose of PCV13 at least 1 year after receipt of the most recent PPSV23 dose.

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CMS Regulations, Medicare Cuts and Copyaments, and Other Priorites for 2015
Deadline extended so more NAHC members can share their opinions on these and other critical issues by filling out one of the brief Priorites surveys below

In preparation for next year's largest gathering of home care and hospice advocates in Washington, DC at the 2015 Home Care and Hospice March on Washington, March 22-25, the National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) and its affiliate Hospice Association of America (HAA) are soliciting members' and advocates' input regarding the most important and significant legislative and regulatory challenges and concerns for the home care and hospice community.

NAHC will use these priorities to guide its legislative and regulatory advocacy during the March on Washington and throughout 2015.

Three simple online questionnaires are now available to allow home care and hospice organizations, as well as other interested parties, to provide their input. The questionnaires will only be available through Friday, January 30, 2015.

Please take a moment and cast your votes as soon as possible. Agencies or organizations that provide only hospice care are asked to complete only the hospice questionnaire.

The questionnaires include:

Legislative Priorities Survey:

https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/2015nahclegpriorities

Hospice Priorities Survey:

https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/2015nahchospicepriorities

Regulatory Priorities Survey:

https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/2015nahcregpriorities

Items should be ranked on the questionnaires according to the level of importance the voter believes they hold for the home care and hospice community.

Again, questionnaires must be completed no later than Tuesday, January 20, 2015 to allow votes to be included in each final tally. Please note that each agency is allowed only one submission; faxed copies of the questionnaire cannot be accepted.

Director of Finance. VNA Care Network & Hospice, Inc., Southborough, MA

Reporting to the Chief Financial Officer/Chief Operating Officer the Director of Finance will oversee and actively participate in the accounting, budgeting, cost reporting, accounts payable, billing and cash flow systems of the Network and affiliates. BS Accounting required, MBA and CPA preferred. Minimum 4  years of experience in Home Health financial management and experience in personal computer spreadsheet applications.

Please forward your resume and cover letter with salary requirements to Ann Bohac, HR Recruiter VNA Care Network & Hospice at abohac@vnacarenetwork.org or visit our website at vnacarenetwork.org

 

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