Home Health & Hospice Weekly News Roundup

Our weekly list of news, reports, and information about home health and hospice care. Learn about new studies, trends, CMS regulations and more.

CMS Updates Payment Policies for Medicare Hospice Providers

Two days after a critical report into the quality and care of hospices caring for Medicare beneficiaries, CMS released a final payment rule for 2019, giving providers an increase of $340 million, and said it will update the information on its Hospice Compare website. The increase is a 1.8% rise from 2018.

CMS Finalizes “Promoting Interoperability” Rule

Just three months after issuing a proposal, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has finalized a rule late this afternoon that will overhaul the meaningful use program with a core emphasis on advancing health data exchange among providers. The final rule issued today makes updates to Medicare payment policies and rates under the Inpatient Prospective Payment System (IPPS) and the Long-Term Care Hospital (LTCH) Prospective Payment System (PPS) that will incentivize value-based, quality care at these facilities.

LHC Group Posts $16.8 Million Profit in Second Quarter

LHC Group Inc. has reported second-quarter profit of $16.8 million, compared to $11.3 million for second-quarter 2017. The Lafayette-based home health and hospice company said it had net income of 55 cents per share, compared to 63 cents per share a year ago. Earnings, adjusted for costs related to mergers and acquisitions and non-recurring costs, came to 84 cents per share in the second quarter. That figure exceeded Wall Street expectations. The average estimate of six analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for earnings of 81 cents per share.

Right at Home Announces Partnership with Kindred at Home to Improve Overall Quality of Healthcare Outcomes for Aging Adults

Right at Home, a leading in-home care franchise with more than 500 locations across the world, today announced a preferred partnership with Kindred at Home, the largest home health and hospice provider in the country. This partnership is the latest strategic program implemented by Right at Home with a focus on highlighting the value of home care in the post-acute continuum and is part of its proprietary care delivery system, called RightCare. An example of the RightCare system is exemplified through Right at Home's collaboration on the Harvard In-Home Program study with Harvard Medical School's Department of Health Care Policy and with ClearCare, the software provider the Right at Home franchise system uses. This collaboration seeks to better monitor Right at Home clients to improve at-home senior healthcare by tracking changes in clients' behavior or condition so staff can take appropriate action in order to avoid a more serious health issue. Right at Home also has a RightTransitions program that was developed to create a seamless transition from hospital to home and keep patients from being readmitted to the hospital.