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  NAHC Report: Issue# 2753, 9/22/2015
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Senate Committee Hearing Focuses on Patient Access to Electronic Health Records
Hospice Quality Updates
For Your Information: 2015 Annual Meeting Deadlines
Job Corner: VNA Care Network & Hospice, Inc.
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Senate Committee Hearing Focuses on Patient Access to Electronic Health Records

On September 16, 2015, the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee held a hearing titled “Achieving the Promise of Health Information Technology: Improving Care Through Patient Access to Their Records.” The hearing focused on improving the exchange of health information and patient’s access to their electronic health records.

While the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act became law in 2009 and included mandated reforms and investments in health information technology, major barriers to interoperability remain. Many have expressed concern about the meaningful use program contained in the legislation, which set the criteria for meaningful use of electronic health records and established incentives for qualifying providers. It also established penalties for failure to the achieve standards. The program excludes certain providers, such as home care and hospice providers, from receiving the incentives.

At the hearing, Senate HELP Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN) called for a delay of the final rules for stage three of the meaningful use program. Instead, he argued the requirements should be phased in. “Patients need an interoperable system that enables doctors and hospitals to share their electronic health records, but the government, doctors and hospitals need time to do it right,” Alexander said.  “Some hospitals have told me they are ‘terrified’ by the prospect of stage three.  It does not help patients to makes these massive changes fast and wrong.  It does help patients to do this deliberately and correctly so that hospitals and doctors embrace the changes instead of dread them.”

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Hospice Quality Updates

There are some items of interest for hospices pertaining to the Hospice Items Set (HIS) and the Hospice CAHPS survey and survey process. The HIS completion and submission requirements became mandatory in 2014 and the CAHPS hospice survey became mandatory on April 1, 2015.  Hospices are required to have an approved vendor for the CAHPS hospice survey but not for the HIS.  However, a hospice may choose to work with a vendor in completion of the HIS-Admission and HIS-Discharge.  It is important to note that for both the HIS and the CAHPS hospice survey, regardless of whether the hospice is working with a vendor, it is the hospice’s responsibility to ensure its data is being submitted to CMS otherwise, the hospice faces a possible 2% reduction in its annual payment update.

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2015 Annual Meeting Deadlines

Register Today!

NAHC’s Annual Meeting is October 28-30, in Nashville, Tenn. A limited number of discounted rooms are available through September 28. To register for the conference and book your room for the hotel, click here.

Remember: The Early Bird registration rate for the conference expires on October 11. To get the lowest rate, register now!

Assistant Vice President, Home Health/Hospice – Full Time


The Assistant Vice President, Home Health/Hospice executes direct administration of the Penn Highlands Healthcare System Home Health and Hospice departments as evidenced by achieving results in clinical quality, service excellence, human resources management and financial management. The Assistant Vice President assists in developing and implementing a strategic plan for the growth and development of the System's home health and hospice services.


  • 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 required;
  • 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

Penn Highlands DuBois is the best of modern health care technology, plus the best of small town America!

Located in the midst of the beautiful rolling hills and woodlands of Pennsylvania, you don't have to be a native to feel at home here. No matter where your roots, you'll quickly recognize that the staff at Penn Highlands DuBois (PHD), like other residents of the community, will make you feel right at home.

Penn Highlands DuBois (PHD) offers residents of west central Pennsylvania a rare combination of technologically advanced health care in a warm, friendly environment. Widely recognized as one of the leading health centers of its kind in the commonwealth, PHD is an oasis of clinical and technical excellence, with a focus on patient-centered care. Its rural setting is just far enough from the hustle of the city life to make it peaceful, but close enough to provide easy access to sought-after urban attractions.


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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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