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The Care Coordination Team from Superior Health Quality Alliance developed a FREE Home Care toolkit to prevent emergency department visits and hospital readmissions through timeliness of care of home care services. The Timeliness of Care Toolkit (described below) includes a Home Care Intake Scripting Tool (HIS Tool), and Home Care Acceptance Tracking Tool (HAT Tool).
Home Care Agencies can download, use, and share the links to the Timeliness of Care Toolkit with other agencies. You can start by viewing the 30-minute Instructional Video, refer to the PowerPoint, and use the Example HAT Tool to practice before you begin using the toolkit.
From the Desk of NAHC - November 22, 2023
More people die from chronic disease than from acute disease. What this suggests is that the future will be about the management of chronic disease and not acute illness. The number of people going into hospitals will be fewer and they will spend less time there. What will increase by geometric progressions is the number of people cared for at home.
While sheer demographics and increased life expectancy – perhaps the greatest gift of the 20th and 21st centuries – have and will continue to increase the demand for home care services, our community will grow for other reasons, as well. Those other reasons mostly center around the great work done by home care workers and the unique services they provide.
So, as we begin this holiday season, here are the top ten reasons to be thankful for home care:
1. Home care keeps families together. There are few, if any, social values more important than keeping strong families together and this is particularly true in times of illness.
2. Home care is safer than the alternatives. While hospitalization is sometimes necessary, statistics show that hospitals can be dangerous for patients. It is not uncommon for patients to develop new or additional health problems (about 20 percent of hospital patients develop an infection or other illness) as a result of hospitalization, but those risks are minimized with care at home.
3. Home care is the most personal care. Home care is tailored to the needs of each individual and delivered on a person-to-person basis with lots of one-on-one interaction between the patient and caregivers. When we care for people in their own homes, we tell them they are special, they matter and they are loved.
4. Home care involves patients in their own care. In home care, the patient and his or her family are taught to participate in the caregiving by monitoring the health of the patient and taking steps to get well and maintain wellness.
5. Home care is a much better value. Studies have repeatedly shown that home care is far less expensive than institutionalization. In fact, home care is, on average, 10 times less expensive than a hospital and about four times less expensive than a nursing home.
6. Home care is more efficient. By caring for people at home, we allow them to avoid room and boarding expenses. In addition, the dazzling improvements in health technology are enabling people to monitor their own health as never before. Thanks to the development of the Internet and other technologies, telemedicine has more potential than ever. What’s more, technology has now developed that make it possible to treat most illnesses as well or better at home than in a hospital.
7. Home care is the only way to care for some people. In many rural parts of America or even dense urban areas, home care is the only available form of health care. Nurses and aides routinely visit patients in rural areas using unorthodox modes of transportation such as horses, dog sleds and boats.
8. Home care extends life. Allowing people to age at home not only adds life to their years, it adds years to their lives. Studies by nursing schools and government agencies have established beyond reasonable doubt that home care extends longevity because home care personnel and the intensely personal services they provide assist people not only medically, but psychologically and spiritually, as well.
9. Home care reduces stress. There is nothing like a health crisis to create stress, not only for the patients, but for their loved ones, as well. Hospitals, with their remoteness, their size and their state of frenzied activity, usually add to this stress. Home care, on the other hand, which is quieter and far more peaceful, has been shown to reduce the stress of patients and their families.
10. Home care is what people want. Home care is the preferred form of health care for America’s infirm and disabled. In fact, home care is preferred by a margin of 90 percent over comparable institutional care by the infirm. People facing terminal illnesses are increasingly choosing the form of home care known as hospice.
Home care is the oldest and most reliable form of health care, so it is no surprise that America is returning to it. However, home care is also the newest form of health care, as people increasingly prefer it over hospitalization and the advance of medical and other technologies make it possible – even preferable – to treat many maladies at home. The public is demanding that home care become more available than ever and our elected leaders must respond to this demand. NAHC is here to ensure that they do.
ForwardHealth Update 2023-40, "Home Health Care Services Electronic Visit Verification Soft Launch Announcement"
The Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) has published ForwardHealth Update 2023-40, “Home Health Care Services Electronic Visit Verification Soft Launch Announcement.”
For dates of service on and after January 1, 2024, DHS will require use of an electronic visit verification (EVV) system for Medicaid-covered home health care services. The affected services codes can be found on the EVV website. EVV is required by federal law. All states must require EVV system use to maintain full federal Medicaid funding.
Please feel free to direct any questions to Wisconsin EVV Customer Care – Monday through Friday; 7 A.M. to 6:00 P.M. – at 833-931-2035 or VDXC.ContactEVV@wisconsin.gov.
Earlier this month, in recognition of National Home Health Care Month, Gov. Tony Evers issued a certificate of commendation recognizing the important role of home health care professionals in Wisconsin’s health care system and the benefits of home health care for patients across the state. The commendation, which was requested by WiAHC, outlines the value of home health care and highlights the fact that it is a preferred method of health care delivery for patients recovering from an ailment, those who were recently discharged from the hospital, or those dealing with a chronic illness. CLICK HERE to read the read the Governor’s commendation.
Wisconsin Rep. Alex Dallman (R-Green Lake) attended the Wisconsin Association for Home Health Care (WiHCA) 2023 Fall Conference, which was held in the Wisconsin Dells on Nov. 2-3. Dallman welcomed conference attendees to the Dells and gave a legislative update on health care and workforce issues being considered at the State Capitol. His appearance was part of a larger effort by WiAHC to connect home health care professionals with state lawmakers to advance policies that improve the delivery of home health care across Wisconsin.
“WiAHC greatly appreciated Rep. Dallman's appearance at the conference, his insightful comments, and his willingness to engage our members in positive dialogue”, said Jayne Thill, WiAHC Board Chair. “His support of home health care in Wisconsin, particularly related to the home health care worker shortage, will help pave the way toward sustainable solutions to improve care.”
“It was great to speak at WiAHC’s 2023 Fall Conference and give attendees an update on work the legislature is doing for home health care services across the state,” said Dallman. “I believe home health care services help keep costs low for families while also giving individuals the comfort of staying in their homes. I am grateful for the work WiAHC is doing to advance and expand home health care services in Wisconsin.”
Dallman who was first elected to the Wisconsin Assembly in 2020 represents the 41st Assembly district, which includes the northeast corner of Sauk County and large portions of Adams, Marquette, and Green Lake Counties. His district also includes the cities of Wisconsin Dells, Adams, Portage, and Green Lake. He currently serves as a member of the Legislature’s powerful Joint Finance Committee, which oversees development of the state’s two-year budget.
For dates of service on and after January 1, 2024, DHS will require use of an electronic visit verification (EVV) system for Medicaid-covered home health care services. The affected services codes can be found on the EVV website. EVV is required by federal law. All states have to require EVV system use to maintain full federal Medicaid funding.
Questions? Contact Wisconsin EVV Customer Care Monday–Friday, 7 a.m.–6 p.m. CT at 833-931-2035 or VDXC.ContactEVV@wisconsin.gov.
WiAHC hosted Katie Wehri, Director of Home Health and Hospice Regulatory Affairs at the National Association for Home Care and Hospice at the 2023 Fall Conference. Katie’s “Home Health Update” was the morning after the Final Rule was published and included the latest news and updates. Click HERE for a copy of Katie’s presentation and a report from NAHC can be found HERE.
Wisconsin Rep. Alex Dallman (R-Green Lake) recently attended the Wisconsin Association for Home Health Care (WiHCA) 2023 Fall Conference, which was held in the Wisconsin Dells on November 2-3. Dallman welcomed conference attendees to the Dells and gave a legislative update on health care and workforce issues being considered at the State Capitol. His appearance was part of a larger effort by WiAHC to connect home health care professionals with state lawmakers to advance policies that improve the delivery of home health care across Wisconsin.
Home health care offers a wide range of health care services provided by skilled non-physician practitioners, such as nurses and physical therapists, to treat an illness or injury in a patient’s home.
The goal of home health care is to treat patients in the comfort of their homes, where they tend to recover more quickly, avoid complications, and enjoy a better quality of life than they might in an acute care setting.
Dallman who was first elected to the Wisconsin Assembly in 2020 represents the 41st Assembly district, which includes the northeast corner of Sauk County and large portions of Adams, Marquette, and Green Lake Counties. His distirct also includes the cities of Wisconisn Dells, Adams, Portage, and Green Lake. He currently serves as a member of the Legislature’s powerful Joint Finance Committee, which oversees development of the state’s two-year budget.
Governor Evers issued a certificate of commendation to Home Health Care workers on Nov 2, 2023. The certificate includes a summary of the services and benefits home health care workers provide patients and their families as well as commendation to home health care workers, providers and agencies for their dedicated service to the state of Wisconsin. View the full certificate HERE.
By Hoven Consulting – WiAHC’s lobbying firm
WiAHC has decided to formally support legislation – Senate Bill 476 – that formalizes state Department of Health Services (DHS) regulations allowing health care providers who are not physically located in Wisconsin to apply for certification as a Medicaid provider in order to treat Medicaid recipients via telehealth. In this situation, the health care provider will need to be licensed in Wisconsin and will need to be in good standing with the respective credentialing board.
On September 27, the Senate Health Committee held a hearing on the nomination of Kirsten Johnson to be the Secretary of the state Department of Health Services (DHS). Prior to her nomination, Kirsten served as the head of the City of Milwaukee Health Department, as well as the Washington-Ozaukee Health Department. She also served as the president of the Wisconsin Public Health Association. On October 6, the Senate Health Committee voted 5-1 to recommend her confirmation to the full Senate. Senator Andre Jacque (R-DePere) voted no. The next and final step is for the full Senate to vote on her confirmation. This full Senate vote could occur by mid-November.
On October 15, the state Department of Safety and Professional Services (DSPS) unveiled an updated Wisconsin Enhanced Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (ePDMP) website. In its recent announcement, DSPS noted that the updated website incorporated feedback from stakeholders, including prescribers, health care systems, law enforcement and pharmacies. Specifically, DSPS highlighted the following improvements:
On September 26, the Legislature’s Joint Finance Committee – the budget writing committee – rejected Governor Evers’ request to provide more funding for additional staff members at the state Department of Safety and Professional Services (DSPS) to assist in processing occupational credential applications. The vote was along party lines – 10 against and 4 in support. In its request, DSPS noted that they needed more staff members to maintain or reduce processing time for occupational credentials.
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