CellTrak Blog

The latest home care trends and insights

5 Home Health Care Industry Trends That Will Shape 2018

Jan 4, 2018 11:34:47 AM / posted in Compliance

For many in the home health care industry, 2017 evoked that ancient Chinese curse, “May you live in interesting times.” There certainly was no shortage of issues of interest for the industry – with a multitude of new regulations going into effect (such as emergency preparedness requirements), and others ending up delayed at the eleventh hour (such as the federal overtime pay policy).

This turbulence shows no sign of slowing down, either. Below, we’ve identified the top trends we anticipate will impact the home health care industry in 2018, along with advice for home care business leaders to adjust their decision-making and plan their strategies accordingly.

 


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Health Care Cybersecurity: Is Your Agency at Risk?

Dec 7, 2017 10:45:43 AM / posted in Compliance, Savings

When Premier Health care, a physician group based in Bloomington, Indiana, discovered in early 2016 that a laptop from their billing department had been stolen, the loss was far more than just a pricey electronic item. That laptop contained unencrypted patient records – including social security numbers and financial information for 1,769 people, and additional data that could impact more than 200,000 additional patients.

It’s hard these days to read the news without coming across yet another story of a major data breach at a major organization. The unfortunate truth is that every business today faces the risk of cyberattack – but health care businesses may be even more vulnerable.


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Emergency Preparedness: Is Your Agency Disaster-Ready?

Oct 12, 2017 11:19:53 AM / posted in Compliance

The reports following recent hurricanes in the United States were heartbreaking. In the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, residents of a Texas nursing home that had never flooded before were trapped by rising waters. Meanwhile, eight residents perished in a Florida nursing home that lost air conditioning after Hurricane Irma, despite the home’s prior preparations for power outages.


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7 Tips for Achieving 5 Stars on Medicare’s Home Health Compare Website

Sep 14, 2017 9:05:00 AM / posted in Compliance, Care

For Medicare-certified home health agencies seeking to differentiate themselves, the Home Health Compare website managed by CMS can be a powerful tool. Potential clients, private payers, and government funders use the website to identify, compare, and partner with outstanding agencies.

However, to get the most from this tool, agencies need to understand how the website works and how they can maximize their quality ratings to achieve the coveted five stars across the board.

Let’s explore this further.


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7 Common Home Care HIPAA Violations and How to Avoid Them

Aug 17, 2017 8:30:00 AM / posted in Compliance

HIPAA regulations are the cornerstone of patient privacy, and it’s a home care agency’s obligation to follow them precisely. But the rules are intricate, and it’s easy for employees to inadvertently commit a seemingly minor violation that could result in significant penalties.


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Electronic Visit Verification Mandates: The Impact of Open vs. Closed Systems

Jul 13, 2017 9:30:00 AM / posted in Compliance, Electronic Visit Verification, EVV

The 21st Century Cures Act has established January 1, 2019, as the deadline for states to establish Electronic Visit Verification (EVV) standards for Medicaid-funded personal care services. As this date draws closer, state Medicaid directors must soon decide on the type of EVV system they’ll require.

Specifically, states will need to decide whether to mandate an open or closed EVV system. These two options are very different from each other, with different implications for home care agencies.

Before states enact these sweeping changes for their constituent agencies, states must understand these differences, so they can endorse the best solution for their agencies’ — and their own — needs.


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9 Best Practices for Mobile Device Management in Home Health Care

Jun 22, 2017 4:00:00 PM / posted in Communication, Compliance, Productivity

As mobile devices become more commonplace in the health care setting (the global mobile health market is expected to grow 33.5% annually through 2020), agencies are challenged to secure patient information and ensure compliance with confidentiality regulations.

Establishing a mobile device management (MDM) policy is one way to facilitate this.

In a 2015 HIMSS survey, more than 90% of health care provider employees reported using mobile devices to engage with patients, but only 57% of employees indicated their organizations have a mobile technology policy in place. This is a critical mistake; failure to meet regulations for data privacy and security can result in significant fees and penalties that can dramatically affect agencies both financially and reputationally.


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Understanding Overtime Laws and How They Impact Your Home Care Agency

May 25, 2017 10:00:00 AM / posted in Compliance, Productivity

Employees are the single biggest asset most home care agencies have, and managing those employees is one of the biggest challenges agencies face. This not only means keeping employees happy – but also finding ways to manage labor costs. Given that most home care workers are not salaried employees and not exempt, keeping tabs on overtime laws is critical.

It’s important to note that overtime laws frequently treat home care workers as a special category, and eligibility requirements for overtime differ compared to most other industries. The changing regulatory landscape doesn’t help, either, making it extremely difficult for agency management to keep up with developments.

Here’s a breakdown of what home care agency leaders need to know about overtime laws, worker rights, and the current regulatory environment.


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Selecting the Right Type of Electronic Visit Verification for Your Agency

May 19, 2017 9:00:00 AM / posted in Compliance, Electronic Visit Verification

As the cost of health care and personal services continue to escalate and the concern of fraud in the home health industry continues to grow, agencies are under increasing pressure from payers to provide proof that the in-home services they bill were in fact delivered.

A driving factor in this growing demand for Electronic Visit Verification (EVV) is the 21st Century Cures Act – which requires states to establish EVV requirements for Medicaid-funded personal care and home care services.

Agencies naturally are concerned. With budgets already stretched thin, there is worry that meeting the EVV mandate will simply add yet another cost that further eats away at profits. And yet, EVV can bring a level of visibility to the delivery and management of care. This visibility may in turn yield unexpected – and potentially significant – gains in productivity, communication, cost, and care outcomes.


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What Is Electronic Visit Verification?

Apr 13, 2017 9:00:00 AM / posted in Electronic Visit Verification, Compliance, EVV

The 21st Century Cures Act, which was signed into law in December 2016, is poised to change the way home health agencies deliver services. Notably, the act sets new mandates for states to establish policies for Electronic Visit Verification (EVV) of Medicaid-funded home care.

While some agencies may see this requirement as an obstacle, many others view it as an opportunity.

With the deadline for states to implement EVV requirements less than two years away, how can selecting the right EVV solution today help your agency increase operational efficiency and improve service delivery tomorrow? 


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