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  NAHC Report: Issue# 2719, 8/5/2015
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U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Gets Funding for Health Care
Annual Meeting Spotlight: Hospice and Health IT Education Sessions
For Your Information: Four Quick Questions
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U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Gets Funding for Health Care

On July 30, Congress extended additional funding to the beleaguered U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to cover the rising cost of health care for veterans. As funding was depleted, the VA indicated that hospitals would need to close and that certain home care services would be terminated by the end of July or shortly thereafter.

As a result of the new funding, VA officials confirmed to the National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) that the veterans currently receiving home care services should not face any interruption in that care. Initially, VA officials explained that VA home health care would transition to the new CHOICE program within the VA, requiring providers to register with CHOICE contractors. However, it was also expected that current home care patients (those not receiving home health services) would continue in their care, but that prospective new patients might face a waiting list for care. CHOICE was created by Congress to address the long waiting lists for physician and hospital care by allowing veterans to get care outside of VA facilities. As part of the CHOICE changes, the home health benefit is shifted to that program. Other home care programs remain in the VA. However, as July 31 approached, veterans began receiving notices that home health and other home care services would be discontinued.

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Annual Meeting Spotlight: Hospice and Health IT Education Sessions
In coming weeks, the National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) is running a series of articles highlighting the exciting education sessions available under the various education tracks at the 2015 NAHC Annual Meeting & Exposition.

Today, we highlight the Hospice education track as well as the Health IT education track at the 2015 NAHC Annual Meeting.

“The Hospice education track will provide agencies with the tools and strategies they need to improve care, build effective programs, and bring down costs,” said NAHC President Val J. Halamandaris, “while the Health IT education track will identify opportunities for agencies to maximize the benefits of health IT to improve outcomes and efficiency.”

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Four Quick Questions
The National Association for Home Care & Hospice is launching a new series of articles called “Four Quick Questions” highlighting education offerings at the 2015 Annual Meeting & Exposition. In each article, a lead faculty member provides answers to the same four questions regarding a specific education session.

Today, Mary K. Carr, BSN, MPH, Vice President for Regulatory Affairs at the National Association for Home Care & Hospice answers questions about Session 406: How to Deal with Current and Future Changes: The Home Health Regulatory Roundup

What current issues does the session address?

MKC: The session will address the revised face-to-face requirements, updates to the 2016 home health payment rates,  CMS’ Value Based Purchasing program for home health agencies, and what agencies can expect with the implementation of the IMPACT Act, to name a few.

What is the most important insight or skill that attendees will take away from the session?

MKC: Over the past several years, the regulatory environment for home health providers has been steadily evolving. Medicare certified agencies are continually being challenged with increased regulatory burdens, reimbursement changes, and increased oversight. This session will provide an overview of the most important regulatory and policy issues facing home health agencies. Participants will come away with a better understanding of the changing regulatory and policy environments and what they need to do to meet those challenges.

Who would this session most benefit?

MKC: The session will most benefit middle and upper management personnel in Medicare certified home health agencies.

How would you best describe your session in 140 characters or less?

MKC: The session will provide important insights on how to prepare for the ongoing regulatory and CMS policy changes.


Community Nurses, Inc. was named by Becker’s Hospital Review as one of the top 150 Great Places to Work in Healthcare in the United States for 2015 – Come join our team!


The Director executes direct administration of the Community Nurses Inc. System Home Health and Hospice departments, Adult Day Services and Support Services as evidenced by achieving results in clinical quality, service excellence, human resources management and financial management.  The Director assists in developing and implementing a strategic plan for the growth and development of Community Nurses Inc. services in collaboration with the AVP of Home Health/Hospice and other Penn Highlands Healthcare leadership.


  • Bachelors Degree in Nursing, Business Administration, or related field required; Masters Degree in Nursing, Business Administration, or related field preferred.
  • System management experience preferred.
  • Five years home health/hospice nursing experience preferred.
  • Two years management experience in home health/hospice setting required.
  • Demonstrates effective communication and collaboration skills with physician and all other members of the health care team
  • Progressive and successful work history
  • Specialty certification preferred

Interested candidates please submit a resume and cover letter for consideration. FAX:  814-788-8046 OR E-MAIL:


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