HCA’s dogged advocacy and program development work has achieved several concrete gains in 2017 that support you, help protect your organization, and provide you with vital resources to thrive.
- HCA gave you the advocacy tools and resources to quickly send nearly 600 messages to Congress on the disastrous Home Health Groupings Model (HHGM), which CMS had proposed as a vehicle to ram through $1 billion in home care cuts nationally. Gathering you as a force, working with our national counterparts, and engaging repeatedly with Congress, we succeeded in getting the federal government to withdraw HHGM from the 2018 Home Health Prospective Payment System rule.
- HCA was the first state or federal association to successfully seek a delay of the sprawling new home health Conditions of Participation (CoPs), leveraging our Congressional contacts to gain a six-month hold on the new CMS rules that affect virtually all aspects of home care operations.
- In the wake of litigation creating major upheaval and cost consequences for agencies delivering 24-hour/’live-in’ services, HCA sought and gained a vital emergency regulation and statement that resoundingly affirms the existing labor rules that providers have been abiding in good-faith.
- HCA enlisted the state medical society’s support on a set of HCA-authored regulations – which were accepted nearly verbatim by the state Department of Health – to substantially minimize the impact of Medicaid requirements for physician face-to-face (F2F) encounters as a condition of home care payment and service authorization.
- The 2017 adoption of HCA-authored “essential personnel” legislation means that home care and hospice providers now have a statutory basis for input on local emergency management decisions, so that you and your staff are supported in your powerful role helping patients when disasters strike.
- The enactment of HCA’s Hospital-Homecare-Physician Collaboration Law establishes a pathway for regulatory relief. It facilitates partnerships across the sector to meet the needs of an integrated system aimed at improving quality of care for patients while reducing cost. It also creates a pathway to avoid inappropriate jurisdictional cross-over by other entities seeking to provide Article 36-type home care services.
- During the 2017 budget negotiations, we convinced the Legislature to increase its infrastructure investments, adding $500 million for the Health Facility Transformation Program, including an HCA-requested minimum allotment for home and community-based providers (at $75 million). At HCA’s urging, the budget also included a commitment from the Executive to address rate adequacy issues, which remains an ongoing target of HCA work activity.
- In 2017, HCA received a prestigious New York State Health Foundation Grant (of nearly $150,000) that greatly stretches our resources beyond existing member dues revenue that we’ve already committed to sepsis prevention efforts in home care. With this grant, HCA is now equipped to train home care as a leader in tackling a top driver of health care costs – sepsis – through our first-in-the-nation clinical screening protocol.
HCA on Watch, a Voice of Authority
At every turn – when nobody else is otherwise mindful of your interests or your role – HCA is speaking authoritatively, aggressively and thoughtfully on your behalf, so that your work is not only understood by decision-makers in a very practical sense, but is also protected and supported.
This spirit fundamentally drives our work, whether it’s during high-level discussions about value-based payment constructs that must properly account for home care, or recent state-initiated discussions on post-acute regulatory reforms that might sound good on paper but pose enormous risks to existing structures of home care without HCA on watch. When it comes to the issues that impact you and your organization, HCA has The People, The Answers, and The Solutions working vigorously on behalf of our home care, hospice and MLTC members.
HCA: Your Hub of Expertise
HCA is your hub of expertise, bringing you and colleagues together to network, share and learn. We are always armed with meaningful information, insights, updates and analysis on the “hot-button” issues you care most about. Throughout the year, HCA held several members-only briefing calls to share our inside knowledge, expertise and analysis on emerging issues.
For instance, we gathered you to discuss the risks – and our strategy to tip the risk-benefit balance – stemming from state proposals that would reform or blur the boundaries of Article 36.
And when the courts rejected long-standing state guidelines on compensation for 24-hour home care services, we gathered our legal and legislative-affairs experts to describe the implications of these court cases and our strategies for relief. Our “Ask HCA Sessions” this past summer drew dozens of member organizations to 10 cities throughout the state for meetings staffed by HCA to hear your concerns and questions directly at locations near you.
HCA: Your Home Care Information Manager, Aggregator, Analyst
HCA works to inform you in several other ways. We save you from the time-intensive information hunt by tracking, aggregating, condensing and analyzing diverse and multi-level sources in our daily communications to you. These include our biweekly news clips, member alerts, education updates, policy memos, and weekly newsletter (including nearly 300 messages sent to you by October of 2017 alone!)
When a cost report or statistical report deadline is looming, we remind you or flag requirements coming up on the horizon … When rate updates or a new DAL is posted, we alert you … When the state issues new rate add-ons, we outline your allotments or explain the distribution methods, so that you know exactly what to expect. With HCA, you’ll never miss a beat in the cascade of information, requirements and updates that hit on a daily basis.
Timely, Topical Education
In 2017, HCA held nearly 50 educational programs and conferences leaving no issue area unaddressed. These sessions bring together thought-leaders, state officials, consultants, legal representatives and other experts to heighten your understanding and preparations in the regulatory, financial, clinical and operational realms.
These events not only address ongoing needs but they’ve drawn record audiences for topical and timely insights on the new Home Health CoPs, emergency preparedness and finance issues. All of these sessions are available at considerable discounts to HCA members.
With Several ‘Once-a-Decade’ Changes on the Horizon, HCA has Your Back in 2018!
The issues we face in 2018 are truly unprecedented: ongoing federal efforts to cut Medicaid by eye-popping, multi-billion-dollar amounts; legislative attempts to enact the most consequential payment overhaul to the Medicare Home Health PPS in 16 years (i.e., the Home Health Groupings Model); the most sweeping changes to the home health CoPs since 1989; workforce challenges, payment issues, a crush of regulations. The list of superlatives is extensive.
Your membership in HCA gives you access to the people, the answers and the solutions for navigating all of these challenges for succeeding in 2018.
Please renew or join with HCA today. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact our Senior Director of Membership Laura Constable at (518) 810-0660 or firstname.lastname@example.org.