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  NAHC Report: Issue# 2600, 2/6/2015
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Medicaid Proposals Contained in the President’s FY16 Budget
CMS Posts Revised Part D Prior Authorization Form for Beneficiaries Enrolled in Hospice
For Your Information: This Valentine’s Day, Give the Gift of Recognition
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Medicaid Proposals Contained in the President’s FY16 Budget

President Obama recently submitted his FY16 budget to Congress. Although many lawmakers in the Republican-controlled House and Senate proclaimed the budget dead on arrival, some of the President’s proposals could have a significant impact on upcoming Congressional budget deliberations.

Many of the provisions included in his budget that would affect the home care and hospice community are similar to proposals from previous years. NAHC Report recently highlighted Medicare provisions contained in the President’s budget – including the continued call for additional cuts to home care payments and the misguided proposal to implement a “sick tax” in the form of a home health copayment. While there are some proposals that raise serious concerns within the Medicare components of President Obama’s budget, the Medicaid provisions are mostly beneficial to home and community-based care.

The Budget includes legislative proposals in Medicaid which have a net impact of $3.7 billion on federal spending over 10 years, including $26.7 billion in Medicaid investments to make the program, according to the Administration, “more flexible, efficient, and accountable.”  The Budget extends and refocuses the rate increase for Medicaid primary care providers. The Budget also extends free preventive care services to all Medicaid beneficiaries, creates a new state plan option to provide continuous Medicaid coverage and limit churn, expands access to home and community-based long-term care services and supports, and provides permanent flexibility to facilitate enrollment of children into Medicaid.

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CMS Posts Revised Part D Prior Authorization Form for Beneficiaries Enrolled in Hospice

On Monday, February 2, 2015 the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) posted a revised Part D Prior Authorization Form for Beneficiaries Enrolled in Hospice. CMS is now accepting comments on the form, and instructions and burden estimates until February 23, 2015.  This revised form is the product of comments submitted to CMS at the end of last year.  On October 3, 2014, CMS proposed a prior authorization (PA) form developed by the National Council of Prescription Drug Plans (NCPDP) Work Group 9 Hospice Task Group consisting, in part, of hospice industry experts.  Comments on the proposed form were accepted through December 2, 2014.

The form proposed in October 2014 is a slight revision of one released in July 2014.  The form is already in use by many hospices and Part D plans.  This January 2015 PA form is the third iteration of the document.  A PA form is required for processing of prescriptions through Part D for enrollees who also receive hospice care if the medication falls into one of these four categories:  analgesics, antiemetics, laxatives and anxiolytics.

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This Valentine’s Day, Give the Gift of Recognition
NAHC and HHNA’s Nurse Recognition Program Seeking Nominations for the 2015 Home Care & Hospice Nurse of the Year through February

NAHC and its affiliate the Home Healthcare 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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