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  NAHC Report: Issue# 2589, 1/21/2015
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NAHC Submits Comments on the Five Star Rating System
House Energy and Commerce Committee Holds Hearing on Permanent SGR Repeal and Replacement
For Your Information: NAHC and HHNA’s Nurse Recognition Program Now Seeking 2015 Nominations for the Home Care & Hospice Nurse of the Year
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NAHC Submits Comments on the Five Star Rating System

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) held a Special Open Door Forum on December 17 to solicit stakeholder feedback on the proposed five star rating for home health agencies scheduled to start in 2015. During the call, CMS announced the quality measures it plans to use along with the proposed methodology for obtaining the five star rating. Comments were due Jan. 16.

The National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) submitted comments which addressed three main areas of concern with CMS proposed star rating system: the selected measures; the calculation methodology; and the next steps.

NAHC has concerns with CMS’ decision to include five measures that show improvement in functional status or clinical condition. The expected outcome for many patients admitted to home health care is to stabilize or prevent decline of a condition or functional limitation. In addition, the recent settlement in the lawsuit in Jimmo v. Sebelius   further confirms that the improvement standard does not apply to all Medicare home health patients. Further, an agency’s ability to affect a patient’s improvement in any measure depends largely on the services provided and the length of time the patient spends on service with the agency. The quality measures for home health agencies include data from four different payment sources: Medicare Fee for Service (FSS); Medicare Advantage (MA); Medicaid; and Medicaid managed care. Each such patient population and the applicable payers have widely varying utilization patterns.

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House Energy and Commerce Committee Holds Hearing on Permanent SGR Repeal and Replacement
Committee Wrestles with How to Offset the Cost

Earlier this week, the powerful House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health convened a hearing entitled “A Permanent Solution to the SGR: The Time Is Now”.  The purpose of the hearing was to discuss ways to advance a legislative solution to the flawed Medicare physician reimbursement formula known as the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR), including how to offset the cost. 

During the hearing, several of the witnesses endorsed proposals to restructure Medicare and increase cost sharing for seniors, including a home health copay. NAHC submitted a statement for the record urging the subcommittee to reject any proposal to impose a home health copayment to help offset the cost of the SGR fix.

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NAHC and HHNA’s Nurse Recognition Program Now Seeking 2015 Nominations for the Home Care & Hospice Nurse of the Year
February 14 deadline fast approaching

NAHC and its affiliate the Home Healtcareh Nurse’s Association is seeking nominations for the 2015 Nurse of the Year. NAHC runs the Home Care & Hospice Nurse of the Year campaign to further recognize a nurse who stands for the highest standards of care. The top 10 nurses chosen by the selection committee will be eligible for the Nurse of the Year award. Then the final decision falls to NAHC members and the public. Voting begins this summer on the NAHC website, and the winner will be announced at the 2015 NAHC Annual Meeting in October.

Eligibility Requirements

Any registered nurse currently employed by a NAHC member agency is eligible for the Nurse Recognition Program. The nominated nurse should embrace the program’s spirit and exhibit the following attributes:

  • Does the nurse’s story paint a positive picture of home care and hospice?
  • Does the story show that the nurse provided exceptional care?
  • Does the applicant demonstrate excellence in nursing through credentials, awards, and honors?
  • Did the applicant make a difference in their patients’ lives?
  • Did the applicant inspire us to be our best?

Special Cases

Agencies may nominate telemonitoring nurses who do not visit patients or hospice nurses whose patients are deceased. In these cases, it may not be possible to obtain a photo that depicts the nurse with the patient. If so, agencies may submit separate photos of the patient and the nurse, but photo release forms are still required for a nurse’s story to appear in CARING. If the patient is deceased, or if they are a minor, an adult family member may complete and sign the release form.

Online Application

Each nomination must be submitted using the online form available on the NAHC and HHNA websites. Use the online form to provide background information on the nurse, along with contact information for the agency and the nurse. Please provide separate contact information for nurses who do not work out of the agency’s central office.

For more information on the Nurse of the Year program and submission guidelines, please click here.

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 or visit our website at


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