Recent News

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A recent decision by the  Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) and moves by the Administration and leaders in Congress point to a future expansion in the use of telehealth, an important development for the home care community. Telehealth is the expansion of health care and education using telecommunication technologies to deliver virtual medical and education services. Last week, MedPAC voted unanimously to expand telehealth reimbursement for Medicare in a  report  required by the 21 st  Century Cures Act. The many advocates for telehealth or telemedicine believe it has the potential to increase the quality of care, while enhancing convenience, ...
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Results from a recent study supports the recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for the proper removal of filtering facepiece respirators. In addition, they highlight the importance of discarding used filtering facepiece respirators after direct contamination by a cough or a sneeze. The study appeared in the  Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene . Improper donning and doffing combined with reuse resulted in more viruses transferred to the hands during scenarios simulating the use of filtering facepiece respirator. The importance of covering a cough or a sneeze to prevent spreading germs to those around us, ...
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WASHINGTON – The Internal Revenue Service, state tax agencies and the tax industry today urged all employers to educate their payroll personnel about a Form W-2 phishing scam that made victims of hundreds of organizations and thousands of employees last year.  The Form W-2 scam has emerged as one of the most dangerous phishing emails in the tax community. During the last two tax seasons, cybercriminals tricked payroll personnel or people with access to payroll information into disclosing sensitive information for entire workforces. The scam affected all types of employers, from small and large businesses to public schools and universities, hospitals, tribal ...
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“Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.” – Steve Jobs Winter Conference: Innovation is a State of Mind  |  February 21-22, 2018 In today’s healthcare world, innovation is not only key, it’s vital. Whether you are the owner/top executive of your agency or you are a clinician, we all have a hand in the success of the agency. Simione Healthcare Consultants is an industry leader in helping agencies improve their business performance and brings a full day of leadership training to next month’s Winter Conference. You won’t want to miss it! Topics include: Strategies for leading staff and resources for managing clinical and financial ...
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RCTCLEARN.NET launched a NEW and IMPROVED site for hosting online home care and hospice courses in 2017.  The site provides easy access to over 100 online home care and hospice courses you and your staff can take today for continuing education and/or orientation needs.    As a TAHC&H Member, all you have to do to obtain access to the updated site, is to simply request a list of tokens from TAHC&H.  Once you receive the list of tokens, provide one to each of your staff along with the Student Guide. The Student Guide provides a step by step approach to creating an account where users will be instructed to create their own UNIQUE username and password.  You'll ...
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TAHC&H has received numerous inquiries regarding the status of the new Medicare Home Health Conditions of Participation that have an effective date of January 13, 2018.  Most questions focus on the fact that CMS has yet to issue the final Interpretive Guidelines (IG’s).   As reported late last year, TAHC&H had an opportunity to review the draft interpretive guidelines that CMS intends to use in tandem with the CoPs.  Despite the absence of final Interpretive Guidelines, the effective date of the new CoPs will remain January 13, 2018.  CMS continues to work on the Interpretive Guidelines given the comments received.  In a message from CMS, David R. Wright, ...
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CoPs - Are you ready?

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They're coming! Recently updated Conditions of Participation for Medicare and Medicaid Home Health Agencies go into effect January 2018 . Have you asked yourself these questions? • Can you confidently affirm you will be ready for survey under these new regulatory requirements? • Are my staff members properly trained on updated policies and processes related to these changes? If not, our 2018 workshops are designed to give you needed knowledge to affirm your current processes and set priorities to ensure success.  Overview: The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services issued newly updated CoP regulations on January 13, 2017 with a subsequent compliance ...
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The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that the Hospice Compare Quarterly Refresh is available. This quarterly Hospice Compare refresh presents results for patient stays discharged for Q1 2016 – Q4 2016 for HIS data. Please visit Hospice Compare  to view the results. The next refresh of Hospice Compare is scheduled for  February 20, 2018  and will include HIS and CAHPS quality measure data.   REMINDER:  Remember to review your provider preview reports and CAHPS® Survey provider preview reports in your CASPER folder. These reports include Hospice Item Set (HIS) quality measure results from Quarter 2- 2016 to Quarter 1-2017 and ...
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The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Special Open Door Forum on the IMPACT Act and Improving Care Coordination. The forum call is on Tuesday, December 12, 2017,  1:00-2:00 pm Central Standard Time. This is a conference call only. This Special Open Door Forum (SODF) will provide information and solicit feedback pertaining to the Improving Medicare Post-Acute Care Transformation Act of 2014 (commonly referred to as the IMPACT Act ) . This SODF will provide an update on RAND's national field test launch, describe planned stakeholder engagement activities for 2018, and highlight ways for stakeholders to remain engaged and informed during the upcoming ...
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Newly contracted Community Living Assistance and Support Services (CLASS) Case Management Agency (CMA) and current Direct Service Agency (DSA) employees are invited to attend the CLASS Provider Training. All attendees must work for a CMA or DSA that has a Health and Human Services approved CLASS contract. Feb. 6-7, 2018 8 a.m.-5 p.m. John H. Winters Human Services Complex 751 W. 51st Street Austin, TX 78751 Space is limited. To register, or for any questions, please email URTrainingRegistration@hhsc.state.tx.us . When registering, provide each participants full name, email address, agency name and vendor number. Registration confirmation will be ...
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If you are looking to satisfy the Texas HCSSA Administrator/Alternate Administrator training requirement online –look no further. The collaborative partnership of Home Care Information Network (HCIN) and TAHC&H develop, maintain and deliver online training programs of the highest quality, plus a learning experience that’s full of features and easy to use. As your partner in compliance, TAHC&H's experience working with the Texas Department of Aging & Disability Services is second to none, assuring you that the training you receive is truly what you need. The industry trusts TAHC&H to represent its best interests and you can trust TAHC&H and HCIN to provide ...
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Earlier this year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Division of Tuberculosis Elimination (DTBE) released provisional 2016 surveillance data on reported tuberculosis (TB) cases in the United States. The full report, entitled  Reported Tuberculosis in the United States, 2016 , is now available online. The 2016 TB Surveillance Report has additional information on TB trends, risk factors, and more.  The data are also available through CDC’s  AtlasPlus online tool . The DTBE has developed a  slide set ,  fact sheet ,  infographic , and  web graphics  with highlights from the surveillance report to support TB education and outreach to clinicians, ...
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Given the diversity of our Texas population, health care providers are continuously searching for resources to assist them with everyday communication and health literacy. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is a here to assist you with resources. In addition, CDC is always ready to accept feedback and learn from health care providers on implementing positive changes to make health information accurate, accessible, and actionable and health services people can understand and use. The CDC’s health literacy web site is a place that provides information, tools, and links on health literacy research, practice, and evaluation for public health topics ...
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The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is aware that the location search on  Hospice Compare  may return incorrect results.  As a result, CMS has provided a message on the home page of Hospice Compare informing users that when searching by location, the list of agencies provided may not serve the zip code, city, or state they entered.   The banner message states “ When searching by “location”, the list of agencies provided may or may not serve the Zip code, City, or State you entered. We suggest you call any hospice you select to confirm that they serve your area.”    Please note that the banner message recommends that consumers call hospice providers ...
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The Centers For Medicare and Medicaid Services has published guidance on updating demographic data. The guide walks a provider through steps on how to verify and update hospice demographic data. The demographic data displayed on Hospice Compare is generated from the information stored in the Automated Survey Processing Environment (ASPEN) system. View guidance on how to update your demographic information, including address, telephone number, and ownership with your state ASPEN coordinator, as well as the cutoff dates for changes. NOTE: Updates to Hospice Provider demographic information do not happen in real-time and take approximately ...
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The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is committed to reducing improper payments in all of its programs, as evidenced by improper payment reduction efforts contained in the Fiscal Year 2018 President’s Budget. CMS’s new leadership is re-examining existing corrective actions and exploring new and innovative approaches to reducing improper payments, while minimizing burden for its partners. Due to the successes of actions we’ve put into place to reduce improper payments, the Medicare Fee-For-Service (FFS) improper payment rate decreased from 11.0 percent in 2016 to 9.5 percent in 2017, representing a $4.9 billion decrease in estimated improper payments. ...
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Members: Access Your FREE Journal HERE from Wound Care Education Institute (WCEI)  Articles featured in this issue include: Slough - the enemy of wound healing. Learn what it is and how to remove it.   Wound bed preparation: the importance of rapid and effective desloughing to promote healing.  The mysterious and even elusive biofilm. Read about current methods of identification and removal.   Recommendations for the management of biofilm: a consensus document.  How sweet it is! All about honey and wound healing.   Manuka honey in wound management: greater than the sum of its parts?  For more free articles, ...
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The Accreditation Commission for Health Care (ACHC) is a nationally recognized accreditation organization with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) deeming authority for Home Health, Hospice, and DMEPOS. ACHC Surveyors and Account Advisors are friendly and helpful, ensuring you obtain the highest-quality accreditation and helping you improve your business and provide excellent patient care. Utilizing a collaborative approach, ACHC has become synonymous with exceptional value and providing an outstanding customer experience. TAHC&H members can take advantage of exclusive membership discounts towards ACHC Accreditation services.  Click here ...
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Texas residents in counties impacted by Hurricane Harvey will not have to worry about vehicle titling and registration requirements for the next 45 days. Today Governor Greg Abbott suspended certain statutes related to the enforcement of title and registration laws in the 58 counties included in the state’s disaster declaration: Angelina Comal Karnes Refugio Aransas DeWitt Kerr Sabine Atascosa Fayette Kleberg San Jacinto Austin ...
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​The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is granting exceptions under certain Medicare quality reporting and value-based purchasing programs to acute care hospitals, PPS-exempt cancer hospitals, inpatient psychiatric facilities, skilled nursing facilities, home health agencies, hospices, inpatient rehabilitation facilities, outpatient dialysis facilities, long-term care hospitals, and ambulatory surgical centers located in areas affected by Hurricane Harvey due to the devastating impact of the storm. These providers will be granted exceptions without having to submit an extraordinary circumstances exception request if they are located in one of ...
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