As 2014 wraps, it’s the perfect time to reflect on the year’s highlights.
Here are five of home health and hospice’s biggest happenings of 2014:
1. Kindred and Gentiva merge. In early October, Kindred Healthcare and Gentiva Health Services merged, creating one of the largest post-acute-care providers in the country, and the fourth-largest healthcare employer in the U.S.
What does this mean for the patient? According to Kindred, it positions them to help shape the healthcare delivery system. Kindred execs say:
“The combined company can deliver patient-centered, coordinated care across the full continuum—from the hospital to the home. This integrated model is preferred by consumers as well as payors, including Affordable Care Organizations and Managed Care Organizations, as it improves quality, clinical outcomes and patient satisfaction while reducing costs.”
2. HCHB reaches mobile-user milestone. Leading home health EMR vendor, Homecare Homebase, launched the industry’s first home health mobile application in 2001. In 2011, HCHB worked with Samsung to create a tablet-based solution. 2014 marked a milestone for HCHB’s mobile transition goals—their field-user count surpassed 50,000.
This milestone was not only a personal win for HCHB, but shows the home health industry’s progression toward digital health.
3. Atul Gawande publishes influential end-of-life book. In October, surgeon, scholar and author, Atul Gawande, published his third book, “Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End.” The book presents the case for quality of life at the end of life and highlights the benefits of hospice care. Here’s an excerpt from the book’s summary”
“Medicine has triumphed in modern times, transforming birth, injury, and infectious disease from harrowing to manageable. But in the inevitable condition of aging and death, the goals of medicine seem too frequently to run counter to the interest of the human spirit. Nursing homes, preoccupied with safety, pin patients into railed beds and wheelchairs. Hospitals isolate the dying, checking for vital signs long after the goals of cure have become moot. Doctors, committed to extending life, continue to carry out devastating procedures that in the end extend suffering.”
4. CMS Conditions of Participation. Also in October,The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a proposed rule to update Medicare’s Home Health Agency Conditions of Participation. According to CMS, the rule focuses on assuring the protection and promotion of patient rights; enhances the process for care planning, delivery, and coordination of services; streamlines regulatory requirements; and builds a foundation for ongoing, data-driven, agency-wide quality improvement.
For more details, check out this CMS fact sheet.
5. Obsidian Research Group. Obsidian Research Group, based in Nashville, TN, is an independent healthcare research firm. By providing unbiased, actionable research they enable healthcare execs (including our own executive team at Medalogix) to make smarter decisions.
This year, Obsidian was one of the first research groups to identify home health’s growing repute in the overall healthcare landscape. Keep an eye on their findings to stay on the cutting edge of healthcare research.
What do you think were 2014’s biggest home health and hospice moves? Tweet them to @medalogix.
If you liked this post, you might like our post, “Favorite Sessions from the National Association of Home Care and Hospice’s 2014 Annual Conference.”