Smarter Digits in Healthcare: October 17, 2016

medicare quality payment program

Smarter Digits in Healthcare: October 17, 2016


Private duty home care has the lowest employee retention rate of any industry, estimated at 50-70%.  Caregivers typically leave for better pay and hours.  However, industry experts suspect that increased pay alone will not make significant improvements in retention and patient care.  Caregivers need training and support to professionalize the career path.


Demand for personal care aides is expected to grow 70% from 2010 to 2020.  Wyatt Matas recently characterized the home care industry as a two-sided business model, suggesting that if owners think of caregivers the way they think of the clients, and nurture the employee relationship, they can drastically reduce turnover and grow their staff to meet demands.


CMS continues the push alternative payment models with the Medicare Quality Payment Program, but seems to have heard comments criticizing the speed of implementation.  Though the 4% payment penalty for not reporting any data (on quality, clinical improvement, EMR usage and costs) is harsh, in the transitional year (2017), clinicians who report just one metric for 90 days will be exempt from the penalty.


CMS has also heard the concerns from clinicians in small and rural practices and has alleviated the burden of reporting for those who see fewer than 100 Medicare patients or bill for less than $30,000 in Medicare Part B.

5 Prescriptions

FierceHealthcare has published an eBook entitiled “The Expanding Role of Pharmacies to Cut Readmissions.”  They argue that analyzing the data from patients’ previous care is one of the best predictors of future readmissions.  Among other red flags, patients taking 5 or more prescriptions are at risk for readmission.  DealZumo agrees that data analytics will be a major factor in the success of healthcare, particularly among home healthcare companies.


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