In the News

New NCCIH Music and Health Fact Sheet 

A growing body of research shows that music can be good for you. Listening to or making music affects the brain in ways that may help promote health and manage disease symptoms.

For example, there’s evidence that music-based interventions may help ease pain and anxiety; relieve distress in people with cancer; improve sleep quality in people with insomnia; and improve emotional well-being and quality of life in people with Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia.

Learn More

 

President's Message

Posted: October 5, 2022

First of all, I would like to extend the Academy’s hopes for safety for all those who were affected by Hurricane Ian in Southwest Florida. The pictures coming out of the Fort Myers area are shocking—the damage is devastating in many areas.

Life is short. Mother Nature may alter our lives through phenomena such as hurricanes, or it may simply be the delicate human condition. I learned last week that a classmate from PT school died—she chose to end her life for reasons that we may never know. She left a husband, two daughters, and numerous friends, colleagues, and classmates. I wasn’t close to this colleague/classmate, but it struck me just the same. Should you, or anyone that you know or love, feel that alone and without choices, you need only pick up a phone and dial 988. This number has been in place for about two months now. It is one more option for anyone having a mental health crisis. We all know how challenging life can get—physically, mentally, and emotionally. The 988 hotline is one more way to take care of ourselves and each other.

A final note in the vein of staying connected—if you are coming to the NAHC Annual Conference in St. Louis, please stop by the Academy’s booth and say hello. I will be there, along with Deputy Director Matt Hansen and a couple of volunteers.

Sincerely,

 

 

Phil Goldsmith
President
APTA Home Health

 

Home Health Care Among Settings Where Masks No Longer Required, CDC Says

Home Health Care News | By Patrick Filbin

Workers in home health care, nursing homes, hospitals and other health care settings are no longer required to wear masks indoors.

Late Friday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued guidance that ended a blanket indoor mask requirement that had been in effect for the last two and a half years.

The guidance was part of the CDC’s revisions to the agency’s COVID-19 recommendations, one of the final sets of changes that began in August.

The CDC recently reported that just over 73% of counties in the U.S. have “high” COVID transmission levels. About 27% of counties meet the substantial, moderate or low categories.

Since early in the pandemic, the CDC has urged people in the U.S. to wear masks – what the agency calls “source control” – while in health care settings.

The new guidelines apply to nursing homes, home health facilities and hospitals. The guidelines do not apply to restaurants and other non-health care environments.

“Updates were made to reflect the high levels of vaccine- and infection-induced immunity and the availability of effective treatments and prevention tools,” the CDC’s new guidance reads.

Even though masks are no longer required in facilities where transmission is not high, the CDC still recommends they be worn:

  • If someone has a suspected or confirmed COVID-19 or other respiratory infection
  • If someone has close contact or a higher-risk exposure with someone who had COVID-19 for 10 days after their exposure
  • If someone lives or works somewhere that is experiencing a COVID-19 outbreak (in this case, universal mask wearing can stop once no new cases have been identified for 14 days)
  • If mask wearing is recommended by local public health authorities

Read Full Article

 

URGENT: Ask Congress to Support Legislation to Stop Home Health Cuts

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has proposed an alarming, permanent 7.69% cut to Medicare home health services. This cut equates to a $1.33 billion cut from home healthcare in 2023 alone. Further, Medicare forecasts additional cuts of more than $2 billion in 2024 and the years beyond. In total, these cuts could reach $18 billion over the next ten years.

This summer, Senators Debbie Stabenow and Susan Collins and Representatives Terri Sewell and Vern Buchanan introduced the Preserving Access to Home Health Act of 2022 (S. 4605/H.R. 8581) to prevent the proposed cuts to home health from taking effect prior to 2026. 

Now that Congress is back in Washington D.C., we need them to take action to stop these cuts. 

Lawmakers must hear from their home health community constituents about the need to pass this legislation before the end of the year. Voices like yours are highly influential to lawmakers, which is why we need you to ask your Members of Congress to support this important piece of legislation.

Send an email to your federal lawmakers now asking them to support the Preserving Access to Home Health Act and submit a letter to the editor of your local newspaper to raise awareness.

Even if you have contacted your lawmakers about this legislation in the past, we encourage you to reach out again now that they have returned from summer recess. 

 

Home Health Value-Based Purchasing Model (HHVBP Communication)

On October 11th from 12:00 pm MT – 1:00 pm MT, the Home Health Value-Based Purchasing (HHVBP) Technical Assistance (TA) Team will present a live encore presentation of the August 25th webinar: Navigating Performance Feedback Reports: Interim Performance Report (IPR) and Annual Performance Report (APR). The encore presentation will contain the same content from the first webinar. This event will also include a live Q&A session.

During this event, the TA Team, using the sample reports now available on iQIES, will introduce the two (2) types of expanded HHVBP Model performance feedback reports: IPRs and APRs. Content will include a review of the purpose, availability, timing, and location of the reports, followed by a walkthrough of each report type and the content on each tab in the reports. The event will also include a segment showing how data populates from one table to another.

Understanding important details for each report type and navigating the reports are essential skills for an HHA to accurately and efficiently track, trend, and identify report information to interpret their Total Performance Score and potential payment adjustments, and inform Quality Assurance and Performance Improvement (QAPI) initiatives.

Register today at:  https://us06web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_e5u1sYo1SdyFs1UqiN6nUw

** Prior to attending, HHAs should review and download the sample IPR and sample APR now available on iQIES. Instructions on how to access the sample reports are available on the Expanded HHVBP Model webpage, under "Model Reports." If possible, please join 5-10 minutes early.**

Shortly after the live event, an audio recording and the transcript will be available on the Expanded HHVBP Model webpage. The slide deck from the August 25th webinar is now available under "Model Reports." This slide deck will be the same used for the October 11th event.

For questions, email the Expanded HHVBP Model Help Desk at [email protected].

 
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