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Ankota: Ushering in the Next Generation of Homecare Blog

Can Patient Centered Medical Home (PCMH) Solve the Fiscal Cliff?

Posted by Will Hicklen on Nov 26, 2012 2:46:00 PM

Aetna CEO Bertolini: Fix the Waste in Health Care and Reduce the Deficit by Half in 10 years

NPR discusses PCMHNPR discusses Patient Centered Medical Home"Washington lawmakers are still working to avoid the fiscal cliff. That's the expiring of tax cuts at the end of the year and deep spending cuts that could throw the economy into recession. A group of top CEOs has been urging lawmakers to reach a deal. Renee Montagne talks to Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini about the fiscal cliff and health care."

In a program that sounds a lot like Patient Centered Medical Home (PCMH), Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini shows that programs like this have been shown to reduce hospital admissions in Congestive Heart Failure (CHF) patients by 43%. Bertolini describes a rather simple approach that coordinates remote monitoriong and home care nursing with CHF patients. The results are compelling in this most expensive patient population, which costs as much as $80,000 per admission.  

Technology for Patient Centered Medical Home (PCMH)

Listen to the entire story by clicking the link above, or you can read the transcript below or directly on NPR's web site.

How does Ankota help manage Patient Centered Medical Home and similar programs? Click the blue button above to find out.



In Washington, lawmakers are trying to work out a deal to keep the economy from going over the fiscal cliff. Many economists predict those automatic tax hikes combined with deep spending cuts set to go into effect on New Year's Day would throw the economy back into recession.

A group of top CEOs has been urging lawmakers to reach a deal to keep that from happening. Mark Bertolini is one of them. He's CEO of the health insurer Aetna and he said tax increases are as important as spending cuts. We called him to talk more.

Good morning.

MARK BERTOLINI: Good morning.

MONTAGNE: So let's begin with something you have made public recently. And that's that Aetna is preparing for layoffs if the government does go over this fiscal cliff. Is that your way of sounding the alarm to both sides of Congress?

BERTOLINI: Well, you know, I think that connotation to my words is overblown. What I did say is that when companies go into a recession, one of the consequences of that recession are layoffs. And to the degree we go into a deep recession as a result of going over the fiscal cliff, that is an option that we would be prepared to exercise, as well as many other employers.

MONTAGNE: I'm interested in knowing where you see talks going.

BERTOLINI: Well, I think the talks are hopeful right now. I've been, you know, involved in a meeting that we had at the White House last week. But I've also have been very involved with the Fix the Debt Campaign for the last couple of years, and we do have a bipartisan approach. And that balanced approach is both taxes and entitlement reform.

MONTAGNE: Would you consider yourself an outlier among CEOs, that tax increases is not just inevitable but a good thing?

BERTOLINI: No, I think I'm actually in a majority of people in my socio-economic class and in my position. I would tell you that as long as we work on working down the debt, and the cost of working down the debt is really to pay more taxes, I get that. That's important. That invests for the future.

Think of it like war bonds. You know, we're paying for the future when we're helping the country get through a difficult time.

MONTAGNE: I'm speaking with Mark Bertolini, CEO of the big insurer Aetna.

Let's turn now to the fundamental issue, the ballooning government debt. One of the main causes is rising health care costs. It would be something you know quite a bit about. What do you see as key ways to lower health care?

BERTOLINI: I think the fact that we waste $750 billion a year on the health care system, about 30 percent of what we spend. So if we just fix the waste in the health care system, over 10 years that would pay back half of the nation's deficit. So, for example, today there is no data connection about Mark Bertolini across multiple providers, and if I'm having a significant health event, I see one doctor now and then I see another doctor in a few weeks from now - they may order the same tests.

Why shouldn't that information be widely available on the tests that I've had done? Why shouldn't there be a profile on recent exams that I've had? Why shouldn't that information be available in some way? And if it's available, then physicians begin with a better base of information and can move forward versus having to reinvent the history.

MONTAGNE: Let me ask you about fixing the delivery system so that costs and payments are based on outcomes, not procedures done.

BERTOLINI: I think that is a very important step. In today's system we pay for each unit of service provided and there is an incentive then to do more units of service, particularly when the government cuts back on the reimbursement for units of service. Medicare and Medicaid pay well below physician's costs for reimbursement. So to the degree we change the system to where we pay for better outcomes, improving their health, then I think the system changes its focus.

MONTAGNE: But if you somehow manage to get a system where it's based on better outcomes, wouldn't many doctors, given a choice, choose patients that are healthier so that they offer that physician an opportunity at achieving a better outcome?

BERTOLINI: I would argue that people with multiple chronic diseases in the Medicare population, the opportunity to improve their care and make headway is much more dramatic than dealing with a healthy person. What we need to do is set up a system where we're reimbursing based on the underlying illness of the individual. So in the Medicare population the premium is $1,200 a month. In the healthy population it's $300 a month.

If we can improve care by 10 percent in the elderly population, that's $120 a month of opportunity versus $30 a month in the commercial population. So I think those are dramatic impacts, and we've seen 10 percent of the Medicare fee for service population driving 50 percent of the health care costs in Medicare, which is 50 percent of the nation's health care costs. And if we can have an impact there, we can make much better progress.

MONTAGNE: Could you give us an example?

BERTOLINI: I'll give you a great example. Congestive heart failure patients are the most expensive patients to take care of. We have given them a scale with Bluetooth technology and we told them to go home, stand on the scale in the morning and take your medication. And we monitor their weight over time. If their weight goes out of tolerance, because that means they're putting on water weight, which causes the congestive heart failure, then what we do is we send a nurse to the house.

The nurse makes sure their taking their medications. If they're taking their medications, they call the doctor to update them because they're not working as well as they should, and before they leave, they roll up the loose rugs in the house 'cause people shuffle when they walk when they've got water weight. We've reduced congestive heart failure readmissions by 43 percent. That's huge.

MONTAGNE: Roll up the rugs because people shuffle, so have also eliminated some percentage of falls?

BERTOLINI: That's right, 'cause they break their hips. And so there are example after example after example of having an impact there. You know, congestive heart failure admission can cost $80,000. And so if we can avoid one, we've not only improved the patient's quality of life dramatically, because they're still at home, but they're not in a hospital where they could get sicker, which is often what happens.

MONTAGNE: But of course would you have been saying this, or some of your colleagues in related industries, even 10 years ago?

BERTOLINI: No. And I think, you know, as time goes on, as we see the impact on health care, not only on this country's deficit, but on nations around the world, health care is central to the economic vibrancy around the globe. So I think we've come to the realization that this is very, very important. How do we do it better? Because it's unsustainable on its current path.

MONTAGNE: Mark Bertolini is the CEO of Aetna. Thanks very much for joining us.

BERTOLINI: Thanks, Renee.

Copyright © 2012 National Public Radio. All rights reserved. No quotes from the materials contained herein may be used in any media without attribution to National Public Radio. This transcript is provided for personal, noncommercial use only, pursuant to our Terms of Use. Any other use requires NPR's prior permission. Visit our permissions page for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by a contractor for NPR, and accuracy and availability may vary. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Please be aware that the authoritative record of NPR's programming is the audio.

Technology for Patient Centered Medical Home (PCMH)

Topics: PCMH, Home Care Industry, Care Coordination, transitional care, Therapy Software, Avoidable Readmissions, ACO, Patient Centered Medical Home, ACO Technology

Learning at the National Accountable Care Expo

Posted by Will Hicklen on Nov 13, 2012 11:51:00 AM

See related news story Ankota CEO to Deliver Keynote Address at National Conference on Accountable Care Expo

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Accountable Care (ACO) models are gaining tremendous momentum under healthcare reform -- because they make good economic sense and improve patients' lives. The nation's healthcare providers are seeking practical advice to guide them in fitting in to these new healthcare delivery models and the National Accountable Care Expo promises to be a great forum for these duscussions this week in Las Vegas, NV (Nov 15-16 at the Flamingo Hotel & Casino).  The program will help providers consider these problems and better position their own services for Accountable Care models The program for this expo is well planned and well timed for the state of health care today and Ankota is proud to deliver the keynote address - we hope to see you there!

Contact Ankota for Accountable Care Solutions

Ecosystems of providers are rapidly emerging which will control large shares of the services that many of Ankota's readers provide. The fact is, if you are a healthcare provider of any kind, you simply must position your business to be a valued part of these ecosystems. In business, when you are left out of a collaborative model like this, it's called disintermediation. Post acute providers such as home health nursing, physical and occupational therapy, and others are at great risk of being disintermediated if they do not adjust their business practices now. The consequences are severe: both revenue and profit margins will suffer dramatically and many businesses will undoubtedly fail. You can't do much to help patients if you don't remain in business. 

Fortunately, this change is for the better and presents tremendous new opportunities for providers of all types. Overall cost of care has been shown to decrease as a result of Accountable Care programs while patient outcomes improve, and patients live healthier, happier lives. Tremendous opportunities exist for post acute providers in particular, as post acute services will serve as a primary delivery model for many types of care. The need to coordinate these services and operate them efficiently will only increase. Providers that engage in these ecosystems and demonstrate their value along the way will thrive and their businesses will grow. Read: they get to help more patients and grow their business! 

Contact Ankota for Accountable Care Solutions

So what should you do? For starters, get involved in the discussions like those that will take place at the Accountable Care Expo this week.

If you're already "at the table" as part of a hospital or ACO, then your concern is about building your own ecosystem by collaborating with desirable partners. The partners you work with in these models usually provide services that you do not or provide them better than you can. Often they operate in mobile delivery models that are better suited to provide care at home, in assisted living or skilled nursing facilities. Post acute services like physical therapy, infusion nursing and even private duty home care are examples of those services.

If you are a provider of post acute services, then you have to position yourself to be the most desirable of options for the ACO system. You must understand your value, learn how to express it, and put systems in place that help you demonstrate your value to the ecosystem. You could be a low cost provider, or a premium provider that delivers better results or is easier to do business with. Or, you might be able to handle larger volumes of patients more efficiently. Take steps to be able to prove this before, during and after you provide the services, and institute a culture of constant improvement.

As more care is delivered outside of hospital settings, new types of cooperation will emerge just as they have in other industries. The ACO Expo is a great place to hear about them and plan for ways to integrate your business into the new healthcare ecosystem.

If you'll be there, please find Ankota's CEO Will Hicklen and introduce yourself after the keynote presentation Thursday morning!

See related news item here Ankota CEO to Deliver Keynote Address at National Conference on Accountable Care Expo

Topics: Population Health IT, Health Care Reform, Care Coordination, transitional care, Will Hicklen, Accountable Care Organizations, ACO, Patient Centered Medical Home, ACO Technology

Simple Steps to Getting Through Email

Posted by Will Hicklen on Nov 9, 2012 8:30:00 AM

Great news-- this is a simple one. One of the big complaints I hear from people is that they are overwhelmed by email. I know I am, and I hate that feeling when people ask, "Did you get my email?" When you have to say "no" and explain why you didn't, you risk marginalizing that person or their message that may actually be important to you. Health care, like most businesses, relies on relationships, so we only want to do things that support and improve relationships. 

email excuses

Whether you are among the post acute care providers that Ankota works with--private duty home care, physical therapy, infusion nursing, HME and DME--or the Hospitals and ACOs that we work with, this piece is quick and easy to use and may help you better manage your inbox. Please share it!

The author, Amy Levin-Epstein, has written for numerous publications including the New York Post, New York Times, AOL, and more. You can read more from Amy by clicking on her profile, below.

Amy Levin Epstein bio

(MoneyWatch) Although life is still not back to normal -- and many never be -- for many affected people by superstorm Sandy, many employees whose work was disrupted last week are getting back to business. Job one: Catching up on email. 

Whether or not you were "in the dark," like me, last week because of Sandy, you've probably experienced an email backlog at one time or another. Here's how to tackle an overloaded inbox, whatever the reason.

Skip around. Whatever system you use (for instance, targeting the most important or easiest to answer emails first), feel free to jump around. "The worst way to approach your email backlog is to go one by one in chronological order -- this approach is too fragmented, it often requires multiple scans through the emails, and you'll inevitably get nauseous, overwhelmed and miss critical emails. Plus it will take far too long," says Julie Morgenstern, author of "Time Management From the Inside Out." She suggests choosing meaningful, active categories, like "send product info" or "schedule meeting," or dividing emails based on who they're from or for ("clients" or "boss"). 

Create filters and flags. Depending on what email system you use, you can filter messages that are sent directly to you and only you (as opposed to your being copied) or highlight messages from certain people. "These filters help certain email stand out in your inbox," says time management consultant Peggy Duncan, author of "Conquer Email Overload with Better Habits, Etiquette, and Outlook 2007." "Separating these important messages will help you prioritize which messages to respond to." That way, you can set aside time to go through specific folders without switching gears. For example, for an entire hour you can focus exclusively on emails from your boss and for another hour, emails from clients.

Search for spam. These days, who isn't on at least a few (or a few dozen) mailing lists they don't need to be on? Whether it's newsletters, shopping ads or other types of junk mail, you can quickly consolidate these for increased efficiency. "Either delete them completely or set up a folder to place them into for a future time to wade through" after your inbox has been fully addressed, says efficiency expert Andrew Jensen. 

Keep your momentum going. Remember that your aim is to get your inbox under control, not resolve every single issue the messages present. Perfectionism can slow you down and even make you give up halfway through. "The goal here is not to finish all the tasks that have been assigned to you -- it's to process your inbox and eliminate the backlog so you can get back to work," says efficiency consultant Clay Hebert. 

Let people know the reason for a delay. This won't necessarily help you get through your tardy email responses faster, but it will ensure they are better received. "As you reply to emails that you have flagged from clients and fellow workers, apologize for the delay in getting back to them," Jensen says. For instance, "let them know that you were affected by the storm, but that you are striving to return to normalcy. This will help those with pushy and impatient tendencies to give you a little slack and be somewhat more understanding."

Topics: thought leadership, Home Care Technology, Will Hicklen, Home Care, NPDA, PDHCA, ACO, Managing Post Acute Care

Home Care Heroes of Hurricane Sandy

Posted by Will Hicklen on Nov 8, 2012 8:24:00 AM

Sandy damage

Previous Ankota articles such as Managing Home Care in a Storm and Post Acute Care Operations in a Storm focused on leveraging technology to better manage operations during emergencies like hurricanes and blizzards. All too often, storms like Sandy force home care operations "off the grid" and technology fails the business. The best stories and most inspiring stories, however, are about the human side of things and can only come out later. As with the following piece about the dedication of private duty home care aides working in the aftermath of Sandy in New York, they renew our spirit and remind us about what is special about those who work to take care of patients and clients in their homes.

If you have a story about an extraordinary home care worker, we'd love to hear about it. Contact us using one of the blue buttons below or contact will.hicklen@ankota.com to tell us about your Home Care Hero.

Please enjoy this story as I did, and if you think that your home care agency might benefit from new technology to better manage your home care operations, please contact Ankota by clicking on this button

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By Gail Sheehy, this piece ran in the Daily Beast. Gail Sheehy is the author of 15 bestselling books, including the revolutionaryPassages. Her most recent book is Passages in Caregiving: Turning Chaos Into Confidence 

Gail Sheehy profile

The real test of the army of caregivers for tens of thousands of seniors trapped at home when Hurricane Sandy slammed the East Coast began the day after the storm ended. Eloise Goldberg, the Visiting Nurse Service of New York supervisor for the Bronx and half of Long Island, stepped out of her home about 50 miles east of New York City on Tuesday morning, jumped into her car (her husband’s was crushed beneath an oak tree), and began to figure out how to get 11,000 home health aides and 3,500 clinicians to their patients. “We had been preparing our field staff for several days so they would have cellphone connections with their patients, but now we were up against massive flooding and blackouts and fires.”

On the Rockaway peninsula in Queens, where the Atlantic had cut through to join Jamaica Bay, nurses had begun to call Goldberg’s cell during the height of the storm on Monday. One nurse said she was wading in to reach trapped patients. She walked seven blocks through knee-high water to get to a group home and found medicines had been washed away. She would get prescriptions refilled and return, she promised. But by afternoon, downed wires sparked fires that eventually consumed 60 houses. By nightfall, more than 100 homes were destroyed. Many patients who had refused to evacuate were desperate to escape floodwaters that were climbing past the first floors. Each nurse on Goldberg’s Long Island team was reporting that they couldn’t find several patients. “The majority of our patients have been very calm through the hurricane,” Goldberg told me on Wednesday. “But if this continues—the blackouts, the lost power for communication, no water supply—I anticipate a very different reaction.”

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“I’m providing essential emergency services,” she told police. She walked up 12 flights to administer the medicine and calm the patient, who, like tens of thousands of others, was sitting in the dark with no TV, no water or gas service, and (aside from a dying cellphone) completely cut off from the outside world.

With one half of the 1.1 million people on Long Island still without power as of Friday, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo blasted the Long Island Power Authority, which at first vowed to restore service to 90 percent of its customers by Wednesday. Messina’s advice to distant families with loved ones in this situation is to call a home-care company to get a live-in aide for a week or two, until essential services are restored.

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Topics: Private Duty Home Care Blogs, Home Care Blog, Home Care Best Practices, Will Hicklen, Home Care, NPDA, PDHCA, Home Care Scheduling Software, Patient Centered Medical Home

HR Guide for Home Care, Post Acute Providers in Natural Disasters

Posted by Will Hicklen on Nov 2, 2012 1:18:00 PM

HR Guide for Responding in Natural Disasters

HR Guide for Natural disasters

I had an interesting discussion with a Home Health Physical Therapy agency in Maryland yesterday, and then a similar discussion with a Private Duty, Non Medical Home Care agency in Pennsylvania just this morning on the same topic. Both have a combination of full time, salaried staff and 1099 caregivers. Not surprisingly, their operations have been severly disrupted by Hurricane Sandy. Of course, it's not just the caregivers: clients lives have also been disrupted, which in turn presents challenges to providers. Both of these agencies have concerns about their obligations to pay caregiver staff who are unable to report for work during a natural disaster like the one much of the East coast has just suffered. See related article on Managing Home Care in a Storm Here 

Ankota is not expert in legal matters such as this, however this HR Guide for Responding to Natural Disasters might help provide some guidance that all of our customers--current and future-- might appreciate. Many thanks to Kara Maciel from the law firm Epstein Becker Green for sharing her expert guidance.

Kara Maciel contact info


Natural disasters such as hurricanes, earthquakes, and tornadoes have posed unique human resource challenges for employers. While many employers are working around the clock on recovery efforts, other employers find themselves unable to function for extended periods of time because of damage or loss of utilities.

The economic effects of a natural disaster will have long-term consequences on businesses in the region.

Although no one can ever be fully prepared for such natural disasters, it is important to be aware of the federal and state laws that address these situations. This quick go-to guide can be used by employers in navigating through the legal and business implications created by events such as Hurricane Sandy. In addition, the information contained in this guide may be applicable to other disasters, such as fires, flu epidemics, and workplace violence.


1.  If a work site is closed because of the weather or cannot reopen because of damage and/or loss of utilities, am I required to pay affected employees?

The Fair Labor Standards Act requires employers to pay their non-exempt employees only for hours that the employees have actually worked. Therefore, an employer is not required to pay non-exempt employees if it is unable to provide work to those employees due to a natural disaster. An exception to this general rule exists when there are employees who receive fixed salaries for fluctuating workweeks. These are non-exempt employees who have agreed to work a specified number of hours for a specified salary. An employer must pay these employees their full weekly salary for any week in which ANY work was performed.

For exempt employees, an employer will be required to pay the employee’s full salary if the work site is closed or unable to reopen due to inclement weather or other disasters for less than a full workweek. However, an employer may require exempt employees to use allowed leave for this time.

2.  Is it lawful to dock the salaries of exempt employees who do not return to work when needed after an emergency or disaster?

The U.S. Department of Labor considers an absence caused by transportation difficulties experienced during weather emergencies, if the employer is open for business, as an absence for personal reasons. Under this circumstance, an employer may place an exempt employee on leave without pay (or require the employee to use accrued vacation time) for the full day that he or she fails to report to work. If an employee is absent for one or more full days for personal reasons, the employee’s salaried status will not be affected if deductions are made from a salary for such absences. However, a deduction from salary for less than a full-day’s absence is not permitted.

We recommend caution, however, in docking salaried employees’ pay and suggest that you first consult with legal counsel. Moreover, many employers instead require employees to “make up” lost time after they return to work, which is permissible for exempt employees. This practice is not allowed for non-exempt employees, who must be paid overtime for all hours worked over 40 in a workweek.

3.  What other wage and hour pitfalls should employers be aware of following a hurricane or other natural disaster?

On-Call Time: An employee who is required to remain “on call” at the employer’s premises or close by may be working while “on call” and the employer may be required to pay that employee for his “on call” time. For example, maintenance workers who remain on the premises during a storm to deal with emergency repairs must be compensated—even if they perform no work—if they are not free to leave at any time.

Waiting Time: If an employee is required to wait, that time is compensable. For example, if employees are required to be at work to wait for the power to restart, that is considered time worked.

Volunteer Time: Employees of private not-for-profit organizations are not volunteers if they perform the same services that they are regularly employed to perform. They must be compensated for those services. Employers should generally be cautious about having employees “volunteer” to assist the employer during an emergency if those duties benefit the company and are regularly performed by employees.

4.  Can employees affected by a hurricane seek protected leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”)?

Yes, employees affected by a natural disaster are entitled to leave under the FMLA for a serious health condition caused by the disaster. Additionally, employees affected by a natural disaster who must care for a child, spouse, or parent with a serious health condition may also be entitled to leave under the FMLA. Some examples of storm-related issues might include absences caused by an employee’s need to care for a family member who requires refrigerated medicine or medical equipment not operating because of a power outage.

5.  If a work site or business is damaged and will not reopen, what notice must be provided to affected employees?

The Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (“WARN”) Act, a federal law, imposes notice requirements on employers with 100+ employees for certain plant closings and/or mass layoffs. However, an exception exists where the closing or layoff is a direct result of a natural disaster. Nonetheless, the employer is required to give as much notice as is practicable. If an employer gives less than 60 days’ notice, the employer must prove that the conditions for the exception have been met. If such a decision is contemplated, it is advisable to consult with legal counsel about the possible notice requirements to ensure compliance with the WARN Act.

6.  Our human resources department has been disrupted, and it may be weeks before things are back to normal. Will the government extend any of the customary deadlines governing employer payment for benefits, pension contributions, and other subjects during this recovery effort?

During previous natural disasters, particularly Hurricane Katrina, many governmental agencies and entities extended the deadlines for certain reports and paperwork. Therefore, it is expected that with future natural disasters, the government will provide some deadline extensions, but, as with every natural disaster, the government’s response will vary. Regardless of what extensions may be granted, employers should be fully aware of state laws and implement any policies or plans necessary to minimally interrupt the payment of wages to their employees.

7.  Employees from other states want to donate leave to affected employees. Is this lawful?

Yes. Employers can allow employees to donate leave to a leave bank and then award the donated leave to the affected employees.


  • Identify and notify those employees whom you believe should be deemed “emergency services personnel” and will be required to work during a storm or evacuation order. Make arrangements for providing these employees with food and shelter. Make sure to have procedures in place for the evacuation of these employees if the hurricane or other disaster causes the workplace to become unsafe. 

  • Identify your “essential employees.” These are employees whom you cannot require to be at work during a natural disaster but you believe are vital to the continued operations of your company. Determine what incentives you can provide to these employees to entice them to work during a disaster or to return to work as soon as possible. These incentives can include shelter, hot meals, fuel, and arrangements for family members. 

  • Establish a contingency plan to address the needs of those employees who may be temporarily living in company facilities during a storm or disaster. Ensure that you can provide such necessities as gas, food, and shelter to these employees. 

  • Review your existing policies to determine how to distribute paychecks to employees who cannot come to work because of adverse weather conditions or a lack of power. 

  • Establish a communication plan. This will include identifying ways to keep the lines of communication open with your employees even if power is out in the local community. Collect primary and secondary contact sources from your employees. Consider establishing a toll-free phone line through which employees can obtain updated information regarding the company’s status during an emergency. 

  • Review applicable leave policies and procedures to address and allow for disaster-related leave requests, including how such leave will be treated (i.e., paid or unpaid).

  • Formulate a team of decision makers who will have authority to make crucial decisions related to other human resource matters in the midst of the hurricane or other disaster. This team should establish a method of communicating with each of its members during the hurricane. 

  • Review any existing Employee Assistance Programs and ensure that employees know how to utilize these programs during the aftermath. A successful Employee Assistance Program can promote the fast and efficient return of your employees. 

  • Remember to be sensitive to the needs of your employees who have experienced extensive property damage or personal devastation. Always keep in mind that human life and safety trumps all other business necessities.

* * * * *

For more information, please contact:

Kara M. Maciel 
Washington, DC

About Epstein Becker Green 
Epstein Becker & Green, P.C., founded in 1973, is a national law firm with approximately 300 lawyers practicing in 11 offices, in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Houston, Indianapolis, Los Angeles, New York, Newark, San Francisco, Stamford, and Washington, D.C. The firm is uncompromising in its pursuit of legal excellence and client service in its areas of practice:Health Care and Life SciencesLabor and EmploymentLitigationCorporate Services, and Employee Benefits. Epstein Becker Green was founded to serve the health care industry and has been at the forefront of health care legal developments since 1973. The firm is also proud to be a trusted advisor to clients in the financial services and hospitality industries, among others, representing entities from startups to Fortune 100 companies. Our commitment to these practices and industries reflects the founders' belief in focused proficiency paired with seasoned experience. For more information, visit www.ebglaw.com.

Topics: Physical Therapy, Home Care Blog, Private Duty Agency Software, Home Care Best Practices, Care Coordination, transitional care, Will Hicklen, Home Care, Physical Therapy software, ACO, Managing Post Acute Care

Most Seniors' ER Visits Avoidable: Another Call for Home Care

Posted by Will Hicklen on Nov 1, 2012 2:19:00 PM

MEDPAC Reducing Readmissions

Further evidence of the opportunity for Home Care to reduce avoidable admissions:

60 percent of Medicare beneficiary visits to emergency rooms and

25 percent of their hospital admissions

...were avoidable had patients received better care at home or in outpatient settings

This is according to the newest MEDPAC report, downloadable using the link below. And, according to experienced Home Care executives..NOT AT ALL SURPRISING. 

Click me

MEDPAC Report on Reducing Admissions and ER Visits

KHN Avoidable Readmissions

Some interesting findings in the MEDPAC report, as reported by Kaiser Health News

1) The commission’s preliminary study found the most common diagnosis for preventable ER visits was upper respiratory infections. The most common diagnosis for preventable hospital admissions was congestive heart failure.

2) While not every ER admit can be avoided, the study showed wide variations across the country and among different cities. 

3) Hospitals that had lower occupancy rates had higher rates of admissions, and duel elegibles (with both Medicare and Medicaid coverage) had higher admission rates. 

4) Patients could avoid preventable ER visits and admissions to the hospital with better care at home and in outpatient settings.

Family doctors, home care, and family caregivers must work proactively to make sure that patients take their medications and receive the kind of care and support at home that keeps them out of hospital rooms and EDs. Many of the progams are taking on terms like Population Health or Geriatric Care Management. Regardless of the vernacular, the aim is consistent: to reduce the rate at which the elderly or chronically ill have to visit emergency roooms or be admitted to the hospital. Home Care is a central and vital part of the solution. 

This article ran in KHN on October 5th and sparked a healty discussion. Read the complete article here along with readers' comments.

If you are a home care agency that wants to improve operations with better automation and business processes, and become a leader in the mission to reduce hospital admissions among the elderly, contact Ankota for a free demonstration 

Click me

Topics: Geriatric Care Management, Private Duty Home Care Blogs, Elderly Care, Home Care Best Practices, Care Coordination, Aging in Place Technology, Home Care Technology, Will Hicklen, Home Care, NPDA, Avoidable Readmissions

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About Ankota

Ankota provides software to improve the delivery of care outside the hospital, focusing on efficiency and care coordination. Ankota's primary focus is on Care Transitions for Reeadmisison avoidance and on management of Private Duty non-medical home care. To learn more, please visit www.ankota.com or contact Ankota.

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