Part 3: What You Need to Know About the 21st Century Cures Act: Maintaining A Proactive Clinical Workflow

In the previous two parts of this series, we discussed going beyond basic interoperability and electronic health record (EHR) adoption. In this post, we’ll dive into the importance of proactive clinical workflows. Part of the 21st Century Cures Act discusses how proactive clinical workflows can help prevent substance use by identifying effective strategies and performing evaluations to achieve and sustain a client’s health more quickly. Addiction is not a standalone issue, and there are tools within a seamless clinical workflow…

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Part 2: What You Need to Know About the 21st Century Cures Act: EHR Adoption

In the first post about the 21st Century Cures Act (Cures Act), we discussed going beyond basic interoperability to true integration to improve patient outcomes. In this post, we’ll focus on electronic health record (EHR) adoption, which sounds simple, but is rife with obstacles. Today we will discuss three of those obstacles: funding, data confidentiality/information blocking/complex data sharing regulations and usability. Funding One goal of the Cures Act was to strengthen mental health parity laws with input from the Department…

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Part 1: What you need to know about the 21st Century Cures Act: Interoperability, Integration, Mental Health

Almost two years ago, the 21st Century Cures Act (Cures Act) was signed into law. The intent of the Cures Act was to promote and fund the acceleration of research into preventing and curing serious illnesses, advance drug and medical device development, bring focus to the opioid epidemic and improve mental health service delivery. There are a number of provisions that push for greater interoperability, support for human services programs and the adoption of electronic health records (EHRs). The Cures…

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Patient-Driven Payment Model (PDPM): A primer for skilled nursing success

As part of its 2019 Proposed Rule for Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) Prospective Payment System (PPS), Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) published the Patient-Driven Payment Model (PDPM) which is scheduled to go into effect Oct. 1, 2019. As time ticks down to implementation, providers should become as familiar with the changes as possible to prepare for the upcoming overhaul of the current payment model. What is Patient-Driven Payment Model, or PDPM? PDPM is the latest Medicare proposed payment rule…

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Driving Recovery in the Opioid Crisis – The Technology to Get Us There

The opioid crisis has been long in the making and has yet to cease force as it continues to permeate the healthcare community. Drug use admission rates have increased 500 percent since the early 2000s. According to the CDC, there were more than 63,000 overdose deaths in 2016, which surpasses the number of car accidents and gun deaths in that same year. When studying the opioid epidemic, it’s important to consider the causes of addiction, which can range from genetics,…

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Patient-Driven Groupings Model (PDGM): What Home Health Agencies Should Know

Home health agencies have a lot to look forward to when it comes to upcoming regulatory requirements for reimbursements as proposed by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Let’s dive in to learn more about what they can do now to prepare for new payment changes in 2020. What is Patient-Driven Groupings Model, or PDGM? PDGM has roots from the previously proposed Home Health Groupings Model, or HHGM, which CMS has described as focusing on the value versus…

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How the Recent Opioid Legislation Impacts Community-Based Providers

Today President Trump signed into law legislation intended to help stem the opioid crisis. The SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act provides additional funding to combat addiction, improve access to treatment and authorizes a pilot financing program to incentivize providers to invest in technology to better coordinate care. We’ve all seen the stats when it comes to the opioid crisis: More than 72,000 people died in the U.S. in 2017 from an opioid overdose. The Centers for Disease Control and…

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PDGM Proposal Merits Close Scrutiny

The Patient Driven Groupings Model (PDGM) recently released by CMS is a good news/bad news scenario for home health organizations. We’ve examined the proposal closely and submitted comments to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services on behalf of our home health and hospice clients. The good news is that the proposal is budget-neutral. Under the previous Home Health Groupings Model (HHGM), which was withdrawn last year following the public comment period, organizations faced an estimated 15 percent cut in…

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Congress Passes Major Opioid Bill: Includes Health IT Financial Incentives for Behavioral Health and Substance Use Treatment Providers

Behavioral health organizations, including community mental health centers, psychiatric hospitals, addiction treatment and other key providers consistently lag behind acute care in the adoption of technology. Despite an increased demand for services and the fact they serve some of the nation’s most at-risk populations, these providers weren’t fully eligible for federal financial incentives on a par with acute care providers for purchase of electronic health record (EHR) platforms, key to enhancing care quality and efficiency in all healthcare settings. Significantly,…

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Electronic Visit Verification (EVV) Requirements on the Horizon

A lesser-known component of the 21st Century Cures Act is the electronic visit verification (EVV) requirement that goes into effect January 1, 2020, for personal care services (PCS), and January 1, 2023, for home health care services (HHCS). So, what is EVV and how can your organization prepare to comply with this requirement? One of the greatest impacts will be to PCS providers who offer opportunities to Medicaid beneficiaries to receive services such as activities of daily living (ADL) in…

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